>Feast of St. Jerome

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Painting by El Greco, “St. Jerome, cardinal”, c. 1587-1597

Today is the feast of St. Jerome!

He is a the famous curmudgeon of the bible – by which I mean, he is a Doctor of the Church, and famous for his translation of the bible from the original Greek into the vernacular of the day: latin. He was a noted scholar with a keen mind and a sharp tongue as well as gifted in languages.

‘Saint Jerome and the Angel’ by Simon Vouet, 1625

If he was alive today he, who knows how he might have put all our instant mass media to use….he was well known for his scathing letters and commentary on all sorts of goings on in the culture and even the church at the time. He was not a mushy feel good sort of guy, he was grouchy and reportedly ill tempered and critical, with ascetic leanings. Sort of like an old, holy version of a modern day James Carville maybe, but OH so so much better.

Painting by Joos Van Cleve, “St. Jerome” c. early 16C

And that’s the thing that I tend to take away from St. Jerome. Not only is he the patron saint of librarians, students, school-kids, translators (and hey, I should be hitting him up for prayers daily, what have I been thinking?), archivists and so on. I think he just might be the ticket, the patron and go to prayer guy for grouchy critical folks like me! He shows us (ok, me) that even us grumps can get to heaven and God can work even through the grouchiness and beyond. It gives me hope, I tell ya!

Painting by La Tour, “St. Jerome”

Happy Feast Day!
St. Jerome, Pray for us!

>Happy Bday BuddyBug! TWO decades!!?!

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This is pic from his 13th bday.
The last time I could hug him, head to head.
He now towers over me.

Happy Happy Birthday to my first baby, now TWENTY years old.
I cannot believe it.

You all know BuddyBug, sort of, virtually at any rate, if not in person.
What can I say? I’m his mom, he was my first child, I gave birth to him two weeks early in a scheduled c-section because he was upside down and wouldn’t turn around. I had no idea, a hint maybe, but really, NO clue he would forever turn my universe upside down. I had NO idea then how deeply you could really love a person; how being a mom completely transforms who you are at the very core.
But, enough about me.
Today is about him.
He is almost officially an adult.
But he has changed so much in the past few years that I see much more the adult in him than the little boy that once was.
But now and then I still get a glimpse of that shy observant happy kid.

His music bridges his whole life, from his toy piano in our front alcove way back in the Palisades…to the living room (called the “piano room”) that is filled with music of all stripes: piano, multiple guitars, stands, old second hand violin, cords, picks, sheet music. A strewed reminder of my boy.
He is steady. His demeanor and personality even as a small boy was to be calm and observant, thought-full. Maybe too much so, overthinking simple things, commonly struggling with decisions (ahem…Buddybug!).

A rabid sports fan, favorite channel ESPN, period. Ever.
Sports, music, liturgy, graham cracker cream pie…these are his top loves, in no particular order.
Faithful. In all ways. Loyal to his friends “to a fault” as they say.
Tardy, terrible time manager.
Distractable and optimistically procrastinating, always, perhaps forever.

Ah. This is my son.
My twenty year old son.

All the cliches ring true:
“How did this happen so fast?”
“Time flies!”
“He was just my baby a few days ago, wasn’t he?”
“He’s still my baby boy.”
“He’s a fine young man.”
“I’m not quite ready for this.”
“I SO like who he has grown into.”
“We are so very very proud.”

Happy Happy Birthday BuddyBug!
I so wish I could give you a birthday hug in person.
But you have all my thoughts prayers and wishes today.
We all love you, so much, all twenty years of you!

>It’s all about the hair. Always.

>I now have four, count them, FOUR girls living in my house.
Four daughters. Four girls who’s hormones are in full kick…even the younger ones.

Think about it. Really. Think what this means: four teenage girls under one roof at the same time. I can feel more gray hairs sprouting even as I type.


And that is how it goes, because really, it’s all about the hair. All the time. It’s the hair.

This concept baffles Coffeedoc. But it’s true. For girls, it’s all hair, all the time.

An inordinate amount of time attention and expense is put to hair. Discussion, comparison, griping, squabbling over products and tools, dreaming of styles, pondering changes or not….it’s all hair. Consuming. The mere mention some days can bring on grins or tears….again baffling Coffeedad.
But there you have it. This can be considered a public service announcement.
For a teen, or preteen girl…when in doubt or confusion about what’s going on – it’s the hair.
You’re welcome.

>Feast of St. Matthew

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Painting by Caravaggio, 1602

It’s the feast of St. Matthew today!

We all know of course that St. Matthew is one of the authors, divinely inspired, of the four gospels. So, a biggie, a bona fide, called by Christ, apostle. He was one of the shocking picks of the day, a hated tax collector for the hated Romans, and yet, Christ saw his interior heart.


But, beyond even that, Matthew is a great saint to remember, oh always, as he shows us how to set aside ourselves and, in the modern ad lingo of the day, “just do it.”

Who knew, he was the first Nike athlete? Just a spiritual one! But do it, he did. When Christ called him, he didn’t dither or hedge or ask for the fine print…as you might expect from a villified tax collector. Nope, he just said, “Ok, I’m coming with you,” and he got up and went. Done.

Painting by Rembrandt, St. Matthew and the angel, 1655

St. Matthew is of course the patron of bookkeepers and accountants and tax guys, but really, maybe he should be hit up as a patron of those of us who have a hard time making decisions, or those folks who’s bumper stickers read “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” Because St. Matthew walked away from all of that, without looking back. He gives me hope because it helps me know that even those of us who get mired in the worldly cares of the day, the trap of fretting over or wishing for money/lifestyle, those who are unpopular and even scorned (rightly or wrongly)….there is hope for us all. Whew!

Etching by Jacques Callot, c 15 century

And on a personal note, I love St. Matthew for two reasons in particular. On a tiny “small world” note: he is thought to have possibly worked and lived in Ethiopia for a time (so hey, gotta love that…). And he is the patron to my dear nephew Matthew, now a big old sophomore in college out east, who doesn’t come see his aunt often enough (hint, hint Matti). But I count on him to watch over my nephew, especially as he sets forth into the world. He’s a terrific patron, and I’m glad he’s praying for my Matti.

So, happy feast day!

St. Matthew, pray for us and for our Matti-mo!

Painting by El Greco, c 1610-1614

>A WIN! Changing Lives, Families!

>For all you families waiting to travel and about to travel to go get your kids from Ethiopia, there is great news! The kids are coming home! If they are 10 or under, they can come home. No more waiting for cultures, now they can come home. Wahoo! Read below for the particulars.

As you all know, this is an issue close to our hearts. Our daughter Marta was stuck in Addis and not allowed to come home for eleven weeks, waiting on a TB culture. We fought, screamed, pushed, shoved, and prayed. And still we waited. Many others have done the same, causing much anguish and many problems. However, times are changing!

Many people have been working very hard to get the Technical Instructions changed and get our kids home. It has taken much work and pushing and researching and talking and meeting by many amazing dedicated people: lawyers, adoption professionals, doctors, families, all sorts of folks. And now, change has happened, for good! This is a big darn deal and while it would not have helped us in our situation, it will help the vast majority of most of the families who might otherwise be stuck. It is a huge step forward and worth a big cheer and shout of joy, even clapping for the CDC, who agreed to make the changes. So, without further ado:

2007 Technical Instructions for Tuberculosis Screening and Treatment Addendum: Instructions for Applicants 10 Years of Age or Younger

September 18, 2009

CDC has developed the following addendum instructions for travel clearances for 10 years of age or younger. The criteria described in these addendum Technical Instructions are based on physiologic
aspects of childhood tuberculosis disease and children’s ability to transmit tuberculosis disease.
These criteria do not apply to adults or children with tuberculosis disease associated with higher
levels of transmissibility.

Applicants 10 years of age or younger who require sputum cultures, regardless of HIV infection
status, may travel to the United States immediately after sputum smear analysis (while culture results
are pending) if none of the following conditions exist:
 Sputum smears are positive for acid-fast bacilli (AFB). If the applicant could not provide
sputum specimens and gastric aspirates were obtained, positive gastric aspirates for AFB do
not prevent travel while culture results are pending.
 Chest radiograph findings include―
o One or more cavities
o Extensive disease (e.g., particularly if involving both upper lobes)
 Respiratory symptoms include forceful and productive cough
 Known contact with a person with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) who was
infectious at the time of contact

For applicants 10 years of age or younger who travel to the United States while results of cultures
are pending, panel physicians should―
 Give the applicant a Class B1 TB, Pulmonary classification
 Document that culture results are pending on the Chest X-Ray Worksheet (DS 3024 [until
September 30, 2009] or DS 3030 [beginning October 1, 2009]
 Forward culture results to DGMQ “Quality Assessment Program” via fax at 404-639-4441
so that DGMQ can forward the culture results to the receiving health departments

Panel physicians should provide the DS Forms based on the date of intended travel. If an applicant
10 years of age or younger will not travel until after culture results are to be reported (assuming they
are negative), the panel physicians should wait until that time before completing the DS Forms. If
the applicant 10 years of age or younger will travel while results of cultures are pending, the panel
physician should provide DS Forms while cultures are pending.

Panel physicians should not delay treatment on applicants 10 years of age or younger for whom
there is high suspicion of tuberculosis disease and who would benefit from therapy being started
prior to departure to the United States. Consistent with other applicants started on tuberculosis
treatment prior to travel, if therapy is started for an applicant 10 years of age or younger, the
applicant is Class A for tuberculosis. A Class A Waiver petition can be filed so that the waiver
petition could be reviewed and the applicant can travel to the United States before completion of therapy. CDC supports the filing of waiver requests for young children with tuberculosis disease so that the waiver application may be reviewed and adjudicated in a timely manner.

>For a Friday

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Pope Benedict XVI, photo from the Times Online.

This is shamelessy cribbed from Deacon’s Bench. But it is OH so worth reading, and yes, taping to our bathroom mirrors, or oh, tattooing on us somewhere if you’re so inclined. And it’s from Il Papa: Pope Benedict.

“We all stand in a great arena of history and are dependent on each other. A man ought not, therefore, just figure out what he would like, but to ask what he can do and how he can help.

Then he will see that fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease, and following one’s inclinations, but precisely in allowing demands to be made upon you, in taking the harder path.

Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man who “risks the fire,” who recognizes a calling within himself, a vocation, an ideal he must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. As we have said, it is not in taking, not on the path of comfort, that we become rich, but only in giving.”

And, while Pope Benedict was speaking of vocations to religious life here. I believe this applies to us all. Especially moms, families, marriage….heck, life in general, heck: ME. It’s just so hard to remember and harder to actually do, isn’t it? Ah, don’t I know it. Sigh. I’m taping this to my mirror, so I can see it each day….and try again…

>Downtime

>I am a “Type A” person. I know, this comes as a huge surprise to you all, a shock no doubt.
But, its true. I am fairly high energy, intense, and feel guilty if I am not doing something productive, or at least something that I can indulge in and justify. I have a constant “to do” list scrolling through my head…like a bizarre gerbil mill on speed: spinning spinning spinning. Fun, no? Not always…..

Why, you ask, am I indulging in this tedious reflection? Well, it is hitting me smack in my forehead that this very trait is a huge link, or broken link, in the process of adjusting. I know, I hear you: “Doh!” But there you have it.

Every time I allow myself, ok, force myself, to sloooowwwwww down and just, um, BE, with the kids (particularly the one newly home, now, years ago, whenever, tho this is just key with teens too) it is better. It can be just hanging with them, spending time next to them. But really, too often I tend to kind of slot that into MY agenda of work and errands and so on and consider that, that “downtime”, checked off my list. Yup, done. Well, kind of. But the beauty and value of downtime unfolds when the downtime is really, um, down. By “down” I mean, of course, chilling out. Hanging with them, talking easy and slow. With, and this is key for us Type A’s, NO AGENDA.

Whoa.
I know.


Sounds so easy and yet, so not. But when I can smack myself and allow myself to do this, to just let it be them directing the conversation, talking slowly, thinking, listening….it is so rewarding. And I like to think its rewarding for us both. If its with a baby or toddler or little one, you know its a great thing because they practically giggle or purr with contentment. But with an older child, ok, our new older daughter…it is just so important I think. I have been able to find and carve out a couple of these times in the past few days. They have been much needed; issues are arising of late. But those times, sitting on the deck in the late afternoon being lazy and answering any question that Marta lobs….sitting together in the art room, sorting pins (of all things, sounds weird, a spill), and then just yakking in two languages as lazily as possible…..those times feel so much better. They are building connections I believe. For both of us. And for that, that downtime is worth gold. Even my type A gerbil mill mind can be shushed and relish that.


We goal oriented moms (ok, sigh, me) tend to want to build the family, piece by piece, dinner by dinner, laundry load by car load. But what it is too easy for me to forget, is that the goal is not just the shell of the family to be in place, but the heart of it.
And that takes the downtime. That takes the willingness to just be there: lazy, accepting, quiet. It’s a tough thing to do, too often. But now and then, we luck out, I remember, we grab that time.
We’ve begun.

>Our Lady of Sorrows

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Today is the day we remember Our Lady of Sorrows.

Let me say just this: As a mom, this tears me up. No matter the denomination…moms will understand this concept of the sorrowful mother. She is every mother….

Drawing by Kate Kollwitz, Woman with dead child, 1903

So, as I cannot begin to sufficiently address this day and all that could be said,
I will let this most famous hymn do it instead.

Stabat Mater:

At the cross her station keeping,
Mary stood in sorrow weeping
When her Son was crucified.

While she waited in her anguish,
Seeing Christ in torment languish,
Bitter sorrow pierced her heart.

With what pain and desolation,
With what noble resignation,
Mary watched her dying Son.

Ever-patient in her yearning
Though her tear-filled eyes were burning,
Mary gazed upon her Son.

Who, that sorrow contemplating,
On that passion meditating,
Would not share the Virgin’s grief?

Christ she saw, for our salvation,
Scourged with cruel acclamation,
Bruised and beaten by the rod.

Christ she saw with life-blood failing,
All her anguish unavailing,
Saw him breathe his very last.

Mary, fount of love’s devotion,
Let me share with true emotion
All the sorrow you endured.

Virgin, ever interceding,
Hear me in my fervent pleading:
Fire me with your love of Christ.

Mother, may this prayer be granted:
That Christ’s love may be implanted
In the depths of my poor soul.

At the cross, your sorrow sharing,
All your grief and torment bearing,
Let me stand and mourn with you.

Fairest maid of all creation,
Queen of hope and consolation,
Let me feel your grief sublime.

Virgin, in your love befriend me,
At the Judgment Day defend me.
Help me by your constant prayer.

Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers
receive me
With the fruits of victory.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine

Let me, to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of your dying Son divine.

Wounded with His every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In His very Blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In His awe-full judgment day.

Savior, when my life shall leave me,
Through your mother’s prayers
receive me
With the fruits of victory.

While my body here decays
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally. Amen Alleluia

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

>Exalted

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Piece of the titular of the Cross, found by St. Helena,
photo by Coffeedoc, Santa Croce, Rome
.

Its the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.
This seems to many like a weird feast, a remembrance of unspeakable suffering…why would anyone do that? However, it is through the Cross that we find our truest selves. Obviously, in faith we know that without the Cross all would be lost. We would be lost. Without the the Cross and Christ’s saving action, the world as we know it would not be as we know it. That’s Christianity, 101. But too often that part of it all is forgotten in the felt banner, Hallmark card version of pop culture Christianity that is so pervasive. Who wants to be a downer, anyhow? Right? But…is it, really? Not so much. I, myself, don’t think I could get out of bed most days if not for this and my faith in it. Period. So, today I celebrate the Cross, with gratitude.

Painting of St. Helena, mother of Constantine, who found pieces of the true Cross, 326.

“We adore you O Christ and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

From the Liturgy of the Hours

>Adjustment: Marking the Good

>So, you all know we are at two months now. And I’ve written some, or a lot, about the difficulties and unexpected strangeness of it all: this process of weaving in a new, older child into the family.
I want to be honest about it all, because it helps me to process it and because I want others to know the real stuff: the good, the bad, the tough, the surprising.

But its too easy to focus on the surprising and the tough stuff and too easy to let the good slip. And so, to that end, I want to take a page from Mary’s blog, one of my heroes, and make sure to mark the good. Publicly. So I don’t forget and so you can be sure to see that there are good moments too. Little victories, in a way, no matter how small. Because in this process, even small things matter….sometimes much more than you might imagine.

Mary did this about a year ago: making posts to mark the good things of the week, so she would record them. And if I’ve got my memory and timing on track, I believe she too was adjusting to bringing older children to the family. I too, need to remember to do this. So, I will shamelessly steal her idea, with a hat tip to her for leading the way. And I will throw up one or two good things, when I can steal the time to load the picture and post it (not on a schedule or set number, I’m just not that organized, folks…I know my limits!).

So, here goes – with the caveat for you readers that these will all seem like minute dreary nothings to you perhaps. But in the world of weaving a family, they are milestones: happy important markers. And I want to remember ours.

While we had a very rocky end of the week with that whole “honeymoon” concept being clearly swept away….we finally ended the week on a note of laughter. And I am grateful. I think it was a relief to us all. Last night was a casual chips and sandwiches Friday night. Everyone was a little punchy after a long week, friends were over and it was a little wild and crazy overall. Somehow they starting making faces and rolling tongues and vying for who could make the “better” face, giggling and challenging each other. I thought Marta might be baffled by it, but then she joined in with her own, laughing, wanting a picture. The faces got goofier, wilder, the silly factor skyrocketed. And for a few minutes, it felt like a normal doofy family on a tired wild messy Friday night. Fun. I’ll take it. Savor it. This face, this laugh. I will mark it.

>Adjustment: two months.

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Relativity, by MC Escher

So. We are at two months now of being a family. And really, I think this drawing sums it up best.

That’s right. Look closely. A little topsy turvy maybe? Yeah. That’s our household. Seems like just when one of us thinks we have our feet under us and know where we stand, well then it seems to go a little wonky again. Someone else skews the mood or drops something down the stairs or starts climbing the walls. You know the feeling…just a little still, um, shifty.

So, really, everyone is still kind of finding their places, so to speak. Especially in the new relations to each other, its a shifting thing for awhile; an up-down, push-pull kind of thing. I am working on keeping balance with all the family, the kids in particular. I’m finding my sea legs, so to speak, but man, its a workout!

I know this all reads so vague. But, its because I guess there is still so much guessing going on. We still don’t have much language floating around the house, not one that everyone can understand. So we do a lot of guessing, which of course leads surely to a fair lot of misconceptions flying about.

But even so, sometimes we make steps forward, on solid ground. We have negotiated bathroom times (still ongoing…girls, showers, ’nuff said), and are laying down the food rules (e.g. first real food, then sometimes ice cream). We have sorted through mundane teeny but oh so important practical issues of who sits where in the car and how mom can figure out whose clothes are whose in the laundry (Three girls who are much the same size = mom is confused, girls are mad. Can you say: “initials in all clothes?” I can!), and who does which chores and when. Whew. Boring stuff? Mundane stuff? Maybe, yeah. But not SO much when the smooth functioning of the house is at stake. And no, saying that, the house is not functioning smoothly, not yet.

But every now and then, that topsy turvy picture, above, morphs for a few minutes, into a regular old home, with our regular old life in a slightly newer version. Two months. We are at two months and counting…..and hoping and living…..together.

>Happy Birthday to Mary

>It’s the feast of the Nativity of Mary! Which means, of course, that it’s her birthday! And, as you have probably guessed by now…I love a birthday. They are full of happiness, just knowing that’s the day they were brought into the world. What’s not to celebrate about that, ever? This feast of the Nativity of Maryis a commemoration of that happy and joyful day on which the ever-blessed virgin Mother of God first saw the light of day.”
This feast is one of the few that celebrate the birth of a holy person. Most feasts celebrate the death of the holy person…which sounds really weird, but the idea is that the day of death is the day they enter heaven, which is something worth celebrating on their behalf. But this is one of the three days on the church calendar that celebrates a birth-day; only John the Baptist and Jesus himself get this privilege. So this is an extra special honor, signifying her special role in our lives and her relation to Christ.
All of us are born and have many chances to turn to God or away, and really, you can’t ever know for sure until you get there (by which I mean, you die). So, for most of us regular Joes, we hope to keep turning toward God all along the way and we only mark and celebrate the death of the holiest, mostly saintly folks….and not their births; because they stayed the course, or turned to it for good. But for Mary, we get to celebrate her birth because God himself made her for himself, to be his entrance as a man to this world. Now that’s cool.
We pray Thee, O Lord, grant to Thy servants the gift of heavenly grace: as the childbearing of the blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, so may the devout celebration of her Nativity accord us an increase of peace.”

>A dear feast: Mother Teresa!

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Today is the feast of Mother Teresa!
Oh, how I love her!!!

As it is for so many around the world, her story and life is just SO compelling to me. But Mother Teresa was no fluffy saint, of course. She did the hard work, the gritty work that most could never even imagine to try.
Whod’a thunk that even Mother Teresa could be controversial? Someone who literally changed the world for good. But even so, she is. Partly because she could be a bit difficult and would stubbornly move ahead with a project, despite all practical facets not being evident. Some have called her work and faith into question after her “dark night” was revealed. This is when she spent many years without the consolations in her prayer life that we all crave. It was a time of hanging in with her faith and prayers and work, despite the lack of sure comfort that is so often found in prayer (the consolation). Rather, she had those hard dark times of prayer where its like shouting into the dark. And even so, she kept going and held on to her faith, not letting go. This, to me, is all the more reason to marvel…..those times are when it’s so hard to hang on and not go seeking something, anything, else to provide that comfort once again.
But for me, look what this woman did. She loved, in action and emotion, the poorest of the poor. That’s a pat phrase, but in reality, it is a very tough thing to do, particularly if you are coming from a life of relative comfort and ease (and she was coming from a convent that she loved). And it was hard. She didn’t have any supernatural grace to not be repulsed by the sickness and the smells and the discomforts and difficulties. But she did them anyway. Because she was able to see Christ in them. And that perhaps, IS her grace. But that is ours for the asking as well….its just an awfully tough question to ask, eh?
All that said, she is one of my very very favorite saints (or, officially right now “Blessed”s). She has one of the faces that is just radiant with beauty. One of that that makes me exclaim “Oh, such a face!” And I love her. And I ask for her prayers, every day. And I am not graced with being able to SEE as well as she does, but some days, blessed days, I might catch a faint glimmer of what she saw.

Happy Feast Day.
Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!

>Go Irish!

>And so it begins….College football, I mean. And I was never a fan or followed it, not really. But now, my Buddybug is at college, and its a LOT more fun. In fact these pics were shamelessly snagged from his post on the football season. Go read it, he is much better with sports than I am and oh he loves his teams.

Anyhow, today is the first game, a home game against Nevada. We are supposed to win! And we, here at home are going to be watching and shouting, rooting for the Irish and also scanning the crowd shots for the one in 80,000 (Yeah, you read that right, big stadium!) chance of seeing my boy {Don’t judge me, it may sound pathetic, but I miss him. It’s a mom thing and I can’t help it}.

I love watching Notre Dame football now and am hoping for a great fun winning season. ‘Cause yeah, I like to win. It’s the BIG event of the weekend up there, for sure. And down here in our little house its the big event as well! Got my ND t-shirt on…we are so excited!

GO IRISH!
Last year at the ND v. Stanford game, big fun (and Bananas begging to go again).

>Feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great

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It’s the feast day of Pope St. Gregory the Great.

This saint is my Buddybug’s confirmation patron, so we are keen on him around here; and ask him daily for prayers on behalf on my son. I don’t remember all of Buddybug’s reasons for choosing St. Gregory the Great as his patron. But I suspect that his love of music was one of the links. St. Gregory promoted sacred music, now known to us as, duh: “Gregorian Chant.” And Buddybug (and his mom and dad) love Gregorian Chant. So, no surprise there.

Drawing by Matthew Alderman,
(fellow domer alum of my son), 2006

St. Gregory is one of the few who have “the Great” attached to their name, and is also a doctor of the Church (meaning a great teacher). He sent missionaries into England and Ireland, and then Germany – spreading the hope and faith throughout Europe. He was highly educated and founded seven monasteries. Eventually he even was elected Pope. As Pope, he tirelessly worked in service for the Church and indeed, promoted his favorite (and ours) title for the Pope: “Servant of the servants of God.”
I always just mostly think of my son when I think of St. Gregory the Great. And another little but extra pleasing link for me: St. Gregory’s mother was St. Silvia. My mother’s first name is Sylvia (hence, Buddybug’s grandma is Silvia). I know, teensy nothings, but yet, they make me smile. And since this saint and my boy are connected in my daily prayers, they are kind of supernaturally and eternally connected I think (and certainly are in my head).

So, I thank St. Gregory for his prayers for my boy.

And I wish him and my Buddybug:Happy Feast Day!

Pope St. Gregory the Great, pray for us!

>Almost Wordless Wednesday

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For the Record: Half the grandkids
(yeah, we make up half, how ’bout that?)

on Grandma’s 75th bday last week.
Even with Little Man goofing for the camera,
one of the few of them all together, so…worth it!

>The adoption process: what they don’t tell you about coming to America

>Well, there are SO many things that you cannot know before you move to America.
However, what they forget to tell you, or us new parents (tho, really, we should know better), is that there is a steep learning curve. NO, you hear and read and learn about the cultural learning curve and the language and family customs…and all those will be topics of posts to come, I am sure.

But “those experts” don’t lay out the VIRAL LEARNING CURVE.

It’s the same formula as starting school -its a new math:
New people + new food + new place = EVERY virus hits!

Every single virus and contagion that comes down the pike is gonna hit the new kid, flat.
It’s like starting a new school in a new state.
It’s like being a pediatric resident the first few years.
It’s like visiting relatives who live across the country.
It takes a bit of time to inoculate your immune system against all the garden variety American bugs and viruses. So, since we have a “gulfa” in the house….so does Marta. Gabey did this too.
I guess I just forgot.
So, America doesn’t only come with birthdays and ice cream…it comes with head colds.
{Consider this a public service announcement, from one adoptive mom to another. You’re welcome.}