Sarah Awake

Sarah's Names

Sarah's parents first considered the name Sarah when they were expecting their first child. He -- as astute grammarians will already have surmised -- was a boy, and they named him Nathaniel. The name Sarah was laid aside; Sam was to be Lily, Liza was to be Liza and Clare was to Clare. Lucy (who might have been Leo), Ada (who might have been Benedict) and Mary (who might also have been Benedict) were all named after their births.

Little thought was given to girl's names this time around. Nobody would have been so foolish as to expect a boy, or even to say out loud that a boy might be wished for, but much more time was spent contemplating boy's names.

As the baby's due date of May 20 passed and May 31 grew closer, Eric began to declare that if the baby were born a girl on the 31st, her name would be Sarah Catherine, after his sisters who were born five years apart on that day.

When the 31st passed and still no baby was bornit began to look as if it might be a boy after all -- for if it were to be a girl, surely she would have been born on her aunts' birthday. But if it were a girl . . .

Sarah, the Daughter of Raguel

On the morning of June 1st, as April and Eric waited for the pitocin to help finish the long, long labor, Eric proposed reading a book of the Bible, one of the shorter ones they'd never read all the way through before. He picked the book of Tobit.

Eric had not remembered in making that choice that a girl named Sarah plays a central role. She it is who had buried seven husbands before Tobias, son of the righteous Tobit, appeared at her father's house to ask for her hand, under the counsel of his hired guide, who was in truth the angel Raphael.

And so when the baby was born a girl, they decided to name her Sarah after all.

Para- Who?

Sarah's middle name is Paraskeva, after St. Paraskeva the Younger, an eleventh-century mystic born to a wealthy family in the city of Epibata near Constantinople. Inspired by the Gospel she began at the age of ten to minister to the poor, and eventually fled her parents to become a monastic.

Paraskeva's relics were originally buried in Belgrave, but finally made their way to Jassy, Romania as the Turks conquered more and more Byzantine territory. She is therefore especially revered by Romanians.

Eric and April chose the name Paraskeva in token of their appreciation of the spiritual gifts and warm community with which they have been bless as members of St. George Romanian Church in Aurora, IL.

Add Your Name to the List of Sarah's Fans!

You can send hellos to Sarah Paraskeva through her daddy's blog, Square Zero. Add your name to her growing list of friends and admirers!