Tuesday Topic: Maintaining our Children's Culture

This week’s Tuesday Topic is from Lori:

I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking about race and adoption. I think adoption gives a wonderful opportunity to see the world from a different perspective – the perspective of another culture! I would love to hear from your readers how they incorporate their adopted children’s culture in their family life. How do they affirm the country/culture and teach their children about it?

One issue we have in this regard is that our children are from India, a culture that involves Hinduism in a significant way. Since we are a Christian family and desire to teach the girls our values – how can we incorporate, celebrate, and teach our girls’ (and soon our son as well!) culture in a way that is honoring and respectful to their country of origin, but still teaching them our beliefs? It gets tricky!

This is a great question and I look forward to reading what you all have to say. I will post all of the comments next Tuesday and add some thoughts of my own.

I love the questions that are being proposed for Tuesday Topics. Please keep sending them in as comments or via email: thankfulmom[at]gmail[dot]com


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. lifeonplanetearth
    October 27, 2009

    I think children should learn about ALL the religions of the world. Such as: "Jews believe V, Buddhists believe W, Christians believe X, Hindus believe Y, Muslims believe Z, etc." As parents, we should educate ourselves about this very importants topic. Others' beliefs should not be belittled as that is modeling discrimination to our children. Kids should be allowed to make their own decisions about religion without being coerced.

  2. Mamita J
    October 30, 2009

    What a great question.

    We adopted our daughter from Guatemala. One of the blessings that came from a long, difficult adoption is the opportunity we had the opportunity to visit the country 4 times and spend about a month in the culture. We fell in love with the people of Guatemala and the natural beauty of the land. We also experienced some of the very worst that any culture has to offer, so we have a realistic view of her birth country.

    To me, culture is so much more than food, clothing, language, and traditions, although they are part of it. For our daughter, her culture includes things like smaller, more intimate personal space, hard and careful work, smiling in the face of incredible hardship, and graciousness towards non-Spanish speakers. 🙂 We can just pull so much positive out of the way Guatemalan people are.

    We have a box of souvenirs from our travels. We have Guatemalan art and crafts in our home. We have scads of pictures of the country and it's people. We have friends that are Hispanic. We eat lots of chicken and eggs. We speak very highly of the good things about Guatemala. We also speak realistically of the bad stuff.

    As far as how to incorporate cultural things that are religious based…You need to look for the Truth within the religious tradition. If you have a necklace with the image of the god of water, point out how beautiful and intricate the workmanship is and how Jesus gives us living water, if only we love Him. Everything in this world points to the One True God in one way or another, whether it's what's wrong or what's right about it.

    Sorry this is so long. I hope it makes sense.

    God bless,

  3. Signe
    November 1, 2009

    For our family the most important thing about keeping our children's culture is to make sure they love Ethiopia. We are trying to instill in them an appreciation for the rich culture of their roots. We try to incorporate Ethiopian food into our menus. We have Ethiopian music on our ipods. I will be teaching them Ethiopian history, and observing some of the more significant Ethiopian holidays.

    Because religion is a central part of any culture it is a good time to teach our children about the religions of their home country.

    Keeping our adopted children's culture is a very tangible way to deepen the culture of our entire family. We are growing in our understanding of who our children are, and the people that we have joined. It is a blending of stories that makes us all a part of something bigger than what we started with.


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