I have accepted the task of keeping the Ethiopian culture alive in our home, so here are some of the ways we are showing Samson his culture:
In our home, we have beautiful handmade, colorful basketse from Ethiopia.
On our coffee table, we have children's books with African children and books about Ethiopia.
We have a special album showing details of Samson's life before he came to our family. He can access this whenever he wants so that he will not forget where he came from and never forget those who will never forget him.
We have and will continue to stay in contact with some of his care center friends.
We will attend gatherings for Ethiopian families and communities.
We have used Ethiopian table linens for special occasions.
Samson has traditional Ethiopian wear for the next few years of his life.
Although our family has not quite acquired the flavor for Ethiopian food, I have still prepared it in our home.
I have to admit, most of keeping the Ethiopian culture alive in our home and family can be a bit challenging for me. I know I will not do a perfect job of it. No matter how much I try, I cannot duplicate the rich culture that was there for him in Ethiopia. Needless to say, this task will take a lot of effort on my part but I know it's important so it's worth the effort.
There is one part of his culture that I will work the hardest at keeping alive and that is nurturing Samson in the Christian faith. Our family follows God and I know that his birth family does as well. God is the same here as he is there - God is available to us no matter where we live in the world.
I'm not a perfect Christian (nobody is) so I know I will fail Samson at times in this aspect of his life too. But I will do my best to keep our faith alive in our family because that is what matters most.
Sunday, we took one of the first steps towards our commitment to teaching Samson about God's love. We had him baptized. And although this does not lead him to salvation, publicly stating our goal to raise him with Christian values, shows our commitment to one part of his heritage - the most important part. Whether Samson chooses to follow the Christian faith and says "yes" to a relationship with our Lord is out of our hands. Our job, as we raise him, is to cultivate, work and water the ground. The rest is in God's hands.
Samson looks a little scared in this picture but it's just his way of saying "cheese" and "please let's get this over with!"