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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back in the USSR

Hi Sister Mary Martha!
After following your blog for a very long time, I'm venturing into the fray of comments and questions.

We are in the long, dull, paperwork filled waiting period before we get to bring our two or three children that we are adopting home from Ukraine. I've read that St. Thomas More is the patron of adoption, but I haven't been able to figure out why. (Not that I mind, since Tommy More and I have been good buds since I lived in St. Thomas More Hall dorm in college.) Got any other good patrons for us? Whether of Ukraine, paperwork, international travel, or just the patron saint of impatience. Since we have two children at home who are excitedly waiting for their younger siblings to come home, patrons of parenting a large brood or blended families would probably come in handy, too.

I can't believe that you can't figure out why St. Thomas More is the patron saint of adoption after being friends with him all these years. It's not even a teeny stretch. He adopted a child.

Okay, technically, she was his step daughter, not some child from some orphanage near or far.

St. Thomas More was a deliriously happy married man with four children and a great job working as Henry VIII's top advisor (think Karl Rove or Rohm Emmanuel only with actual morals). When his wife died he remarried, and although he wasn't ever as deliriously happy with his new wife, he loved her very much and was quite content. He adopted her daughter and raised her as his own.

There was no real need to do that but he wanted to make sure everyone understand that they were a "real" family and, as he was a legal genius, he wanted all his I's dotted and his T's crossed.

Things went south for him when he mentioned to Henry VIII that the Pope was correct in telling Henry that he couldn't dump his wife for a new one or become a Pope himself. Then Thomas' head went south.

I think he is an excellent patron for you and your exciting expanded family. In the shop, we have him listed as the patron saint of blended families, because he really knew how to make everyone feel loved, a part of his family, cared for, valued, etc. No one was complaining at the More house.

My favorite thing about him is that he was adamant about educating his daughters as thoroughly as his sons, an unheard of idea in his time.

A solid rock of the Church, that Thomas More. His conscience meant more to him than his life.

There's also St. Expeditus, that patron saint of getting things done in a timely fashion.

And here's some good news! St. Andrew is the patron saint of the Ukraine. He was the brother of St. Peter and one of the twelve Apostles! And he traveled extensively enough to become the patron saint of the Ukraine. So there's your safe travel, in a rather specific manner.

Here he is explaining Heaven to a newly arrived St. Francis. Or maybe he's appearing to St. Francis to show him which fork in the road he should take as St. Francis seems to have dropped his map.


Monica said...

interesting! I'll fwd this to my brother who has 3 adopted. (Russia, India, and Ethiopia.)

Anonymous said...

I have been given to understand that St. Ita was a patron saint of adoptees. I think she took foundlings into her abbey in southwest Ireland.

Joan in Chicago