Claiming my status as an honorary Korean

In Korea one of the first things that people ask a new acquaintance is their age. In Korea, you see, even the way you address someone is dependent on whether they are older or younger than you. I’ve been thinking about that custom today. It seems that I am turning 41. I’m not sure I’m so comfy with that. After all, 40 is just on the edge of 39. But 41? That puts me solidly into my 40’s, right?

That got me wondering about y’all. My perception is that most of my readers are younger than me…some 20’s and mostly 30’s, with a few 40’s and up here and there. But for my birthday I’m going to be a Korean mom (I’ve got 2 Korean boys, after all) and ask you how old you are.

If you want, you can just tell me if you’re older or younger than me. Or you can comment anonymously and tell me your actual age. If you are into full disclosure like mw, you can boldly shout your age attached to your real name. Or if you’re not into talking about birth certificate info, which I totally understand, just give me a birthday shout out. I’d especially love to hear from you if you’ve never commented here before. Let’s make it a party, OK?


  1. Happy Birthday! I am 31, but still feel like an awkward teenager. (certainly don’t look like a teenager though!)

  2. Happy Birthday
    Kay (NZ and 51!)

  3. Justine says:

    Turned 30 3 days ago…… Happy Birthday… it’s a busy time of year!

  4. rockchick7517 says:

    Happy Birthday! I’m 22, apparently I’m an adult now….. 🙂 Have a great day!

  5. Happy Birthday! I am 33. Still scares the living daylights out of me that I am married, children and mortgage!

  6. 40 next month, and each gray hair is a badge of honor. 🙂

  7. Happy birthday, Mary! You’ll be happy to know that I’m 44 and you should render due respect to your elders when you address me in Korean. Not that I’ll understand a word of it, but I think I can tell by your tone if you’re dissin’ me, LOL! 😉

  8. Happy Birthday :o)

    I’m 37

  9. I’m 35 and really enjoy your site. Happy birthday!

  10. Andrea Payne says:

    Happy Birthday Mary! Like you I was born in 1967. You are older than me by about 4 months.

  11. I’m 24, and happy birthday.

  12. Happy Birthday!! I’m 34 (and 1/2)

  13. Happy Birthday, Mary! I’m 56.

  14. This is my first comment to your blog but I read it on a daily basis. You are on my “google reader” list so I always know when there is something new to read. I can’t remember who suggested your blog in the first place but it had to do with the fact that you are an adoptive mom. I have 4 biological kids and 5 adopted kids from the Philippines. Oh, yes, and to answer your question–I am almost the BIG 50! So, you have some “older” readers as well. I just started to blog in January and am really enjoying it.

  15. Happy Birthday Mary!I first started reading you back when you also did the Ethio Adoption Blog as well as this one. I’m a faithful reader, and used a lot of your travel tips! I’m 31 with a 1 yr old Ethiopian boy. Your blog is a great blessing to me!

  16. Happy Birthday! I’m 46!

    Teri in CO

  17. Happy Birthday!

    And I’m 34:)

  18. 33! Happy Birthday!

  19. Happy Birthday to you! I am 34 and a half years old! Time is flying!

  20. Happy Birthday!

    I’m turning 26 in a few weeks.

  21. I’m 22!

  22. Deb Mazur says:

    Mary!! Happy Birthday!! I’m turning 50 early next month….now I know why I have a hard time keeping up with you…I’m nearly 10 years older than you. Do you remember when we brought our family out to your house many years ago? Your Korean boys were just little and you were thinking of adopting from Haiti or some where to get some brown girls. We are now in the middle of a Liberian adoption…of boy and girl twins!! Just got our court decree signed, so they are legally ours now…just have to get the rest of the papers done so that they can come home and our new child total will be 14!!!! Only 8 at home. We also have 3 granddaughters.


  23. I am 26 1/2 years old, but I only have one baby. I don’t think 41 is old, considering all you’ve accomplished in your years!!!! 🙂

  24. Happy Birthday!

    I’m right around the corner from you (39). I look back and can’t figure out where the years went to. Here’s wishing you many, many more years to come.

  25. Wendy Clark says:

    I am 35 and I love it!

  26. 23! (But everyone at church says my hubby and I look like we’re 13… awkward.)

    And have the happiest of birthdays 🙂

  27. Kris Long says:

    I just turned 40 and I am not one bit impressed.
    Happy Birthday to you, please let me know what to expect next year!


  28. Happy birthday- I’m 35-

  29. Happy Birthday to you……I’m 34 but I still feel like I’m in my late 20’s, well except for when I find a gray hair, wake up with a stiff back, smile and see crows feet, find an unexpected hair on my chin, oh yeah I was saying what? ;))
    Hope you have a great birthday!!

  30. Happy 41st, Mary! I’m 38 and strongly feeling that mid-life thing, though I don’t like to refer to it as a crisis. Thanks for taking the time to share the joys and challenges of raising a large family. Your practical tips on clothing, food, etc. have really got me looking at our life in a different way, even though we are only currently a family of five! Congratulations on filling your 41 years with so much love, caring and hope! -Kelly

  31. Happy Birthday Mary. I have read your site for about 3 months now and love it. It is very encouraging to others who just LOVE kids. I am 32 with 3 kids. My problem is that apparently I only look 18 and people have a heart attack when they hear I have 3 little ones (with the oldest being 8 yr). 🙂

  32. adecoratedlife says:

    Happy Birthday Mary! Long time reader, first time commenting. 🙂
    I’m 38 and coming up on 39. 🙂
    God Bless,

  33. Happy Birthday!

    I am 30 year old who loves reading your blog!

  34. I am a 28 year old mom of almost two (one due any day now). I read your blog every morning and love every minute of it!

  35. Happy Birthday! I’m 34.

  36. kelli in the mirror says:

    Happy birthday Mary! I’m 33.

    So how do the greetings differ in Korean when speaking to an older or younger person?

  37. 41- Welcome to the club

  38. Happy Birthday! I’m 36 at the moment, will be turning 37 this November.

  39. I will turn 34 next week.

  40. This is my first comment — I just found you a week or two ago.

    Happy Birthday, first of all!

    I’m 32 and the mother of four, two with special needs. I greatly admire you for the way you are making a difference in the lives of so many. You inspire me to keep on slogging away. May God give you many more years!

  41. Hi Mary,

    Don’t fear! I’m 42. You guys are all making me feel old – I always assume everyone is MY age!!


  42. Happy Birthday! Love reading your blog and being inspired to love my family more! And, I’m 31.

  43. I’m 30 years old, mother of 4, and love to read your blog daily! Happy Birthday!

  44. Michele says:

    I will be 42 on Saturday. Happy Birthday younger blogger! I usually ignore my birthday – not an age thing just always been that way. Are you planning anything special?

    I am a regular reader of your blog but never posted before. I have 4 bio children and 1 adopted from China. We are currently working on adoption of siblings through AAI.

  45. Birthday Blessings! I’ve been reading your blog for over a year and I’m 48 years old. Have a great time celebrating another year of goodness.
    Terri in AZ

  46. Happy Birthday!

    I am 49 and loving it.
    In many ways, I still think like I did as a kid or in my 20’s, and even though I loved my 30’s because that is when I had my kids, after 40 is when I really came into myself. I have had my share of heartaches and struggles, and so have my children, but I have stopped caring what other people think – because really, they are not thinking about me a whole lot and if they are–then they need a more interesting life. So, now when I am at a wedding or bar mitzvah or other fancy shmancy party–I DANCE on the dance floor and I have a great time. And, I don’t care if my husband is dancing with me or not. The last bat-mitzvah party I was at–we had about 10 women dancing like crazy–no husbands–we didn’t care (and I barely knew these women–it was a bonding moment). If you really want to have dancing fun–go to an orthodox Jewish wedding–the men and women dance separately and it is really a blast!

    Love your 40’s ladies–this is when we have really gained strength and confidence. I have teenagers, I work full time, I am working on my second master’s degree, and my house is always a mess.

    I hope my 50’s brings wisdom (and maybe a clean house).

  47. Happy Birthday to you! I’m 49. I just started keeping up with your blog in the past few weeks.

  48. I’m 31.

    I remember when that used to seem old. Now it really doesn’t. In fact, 41 doesn’t seem old, either.

  49. Happy Birthday to you! I am 39. Won’t be 40 next year. When you have time you will have to read my post for tomorrow, it has something to do with turning 40.

  50. Happy Birthday!

    I just turned 32, yesterday!