The day after his first birthday, Sam joined yet another family: the Catholic one. We celebrated his baptism on Oct. 25, 2008 at St. Gertrude Parish in Chicago. It was a beautiful ceremony, with about 35 friends and family attending. As you can see from the cute picture above (photos courtesy of Leigh Ann Drevs), he wore a lovely white aio dai (traditional Vietnamese dress) with a gold dragon on it.
The ceremony had a few personal touches. We added some water from meaningful places to the baptismal water: some from the Jordan River, from Halong Bay, from my parents' lake and the river near where my parents grew up, and from the pond near my sister's.
Sam has two godmothers: Ed's sister, Trish, and our good friend Kristin. They each read a reading, one from the Book of Samuel and the other from Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (Fun fact: I got to interview him a few years ago).
My sister and her daughter Clare sang "Child of Wonder" to conclude the ceremony. It was beautiful! Peter from St. Gert's accompanies them.
A post-baptism party with lunch of buffalo burgers, chicken and catfish sandwiches, and sweet potato fries was held at the No Exit Cafe, part of the Heartland Cafe. Yum!
It really was a special day, especially because of those who came to welcome Sam to the Catholic family. Not only were Ed's parents and sister there from Philadelphia, but also his brother from Kentucky. Plus Ed's good friend Matt had a layover in Chicago and made the party. Cathy, Bryan and Kevin from U.S. Catholic were there, as were nearly all of my women's group. Lots of other kids too: Mesfin and Mari, Lincoln, Jovie, Vivian, Nico. Thanks to everyone for making it a very special weekend for our family.