Tomorrow, we are driving out to visit my parents. We haven’t seen them in several years, and we are all very excited. Some of the children will be meeting Grandpapa and GramLyn for the first time. And we’ll tell them both all about their two new grandchildren, waiting far away.
“How can there be too many children? That is like saying
there are too many flowers.” – Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
As we heard in the Gospel reading on Sunday, there are many ways to serve God through service to others. Some of us work in homeless shelters or soup kitchens, some of us minister to the sick at home or in hospice or hospital settings, some of us minister to prisoners.
Some are called to care for children.
Brian and I have been involved with adoption in various ways over the last 12 years, mostly as advocates, but also as hosts, always knowing that God had particular children chosen to be part of our family from before they were formed in the womb.
We have reached out to adopt several children – mainly sibling groups – over those years. It was never the right time for us. Every time we had been disappointed for one reason or another, we were heartbroken. But we have kept each and every one of those children in our hearts. Many are now grown, and some may even be parents now.
This spring, we were surprised by two children. We weren’t actively pursuing adoption because life was full with having just moved, and our farm business just taking hold. We prayed long and hard about them, talked a lot. We discerned that never before had a situation had all the marks of grace that this one did.
And so we have completed our home study interviews, and our dossier is nearly complete. Just before Christmas, that dossier will be sent to Bulgaria and we will anxiously await an invitation from the court. With the added delay from Christmas holidays overseas (a government that shuts down for several weeks to honour the King of Kings!), we expect that invitation will come somewhere around the end of February, possibly into March. And, God willing, the children may be home around Mother’s Day, but could be as late as August.
This little clown, we love.
Remind you of anyone?
You see a Reece’s Rainbow linkthere in our blog sidebar. That is a grant fund that has been established for us. Contributions are tax deductible. Right now we are issuing a St. Nicholas Purse challenge: collect up all of your change from now until December 6th (St. Nicholas Day), and donate what you collect to our Reece’s Rainbow page. You can do that by using the online link, or by sending a check (no fees taken!) to:
RE: Gadbois Family
PO Box 277
Monrovia, MD 21770
We have several other fundraisers coming up, including two auctions, and a family fun walk here on the farm!
“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.” – Max Müller
I’ve been so busy with adoption paperwork and fundraising, farm stuff, and homeschool preparations that I haven’t had time for posting. At least, I haven’t had as much time as I had hoped that I would.
Summer is passing so quickly. And summer looks like it is going to be cut short if the trees around the place are anything to go by. Yellows, oranges, and reds are already popping up.
We are so grateful to be here in this place. It is such a lot of hard work and we’re still learning so much about the land and how to make this farm work. But we are blessed. Just so blessed to be here.
How are you doing? What is happening at your place?
Life on the farm is extremely busy lately. The vegetables are finally coming on, and I have been spending a lot of time making jams and jellies from flowers and fruits collected round and about the place. We’ve even tried a new delight – mulberry jam. I’ve never had a mulberry before in my life, but William discovered an enormous mulberry tree out by the barn. It is LOADED with fruit. Like other such berries, they aren’t all ripe at once, which means that I’ve got to make lots of smaller batches. Now, if I can get the black raspberries to co-ordinate with the mulberries, we’ll alternate the two until we’re done. Chance would be a fine thing!
We’ve harvested lots of nettle, which is being dried in the carriage house, along with elderflowers and catnip. We’ve got chive seeds harvested from the little clump at the corner of the schoolroom, and soon I’ll be doing the same with the catnip seeds.
I thought that I was done with flower jellies, but I’ve got just one more to go – Queen Anne’s Lace. I always grew up believing that it was poisonous. It’s not. But you have to be careful that you’re indeed picking the right thing. So, I’m off to do that, perhaps this weekend. While I’m out there, I’ll look to see what we have for chicory root. And OH! I forgot that I’ve been collecting burdock and dandelion root. So, so much more to harvest from teh wild while we wait for our pokey veggies to get up and ready. Blossoms everywhere, and wee bitty vegetables.
It looks like we’re going to have a spate of veg all at once, rather than the steady stream we had originally planned. But there it is. Nothing can be done about how the weather behaves. And God is good. He knows what we need. Our job is to have faith and always and everywhere to give thanks.
I have been working on two knitting designs.
I had to frog back and re-work the Brendan longies I started several weeks months ago. But I think that this revision will look much better. I also decided to order a new skein of yarn to work it up – “Moorland” Madelinetosh Tosh DK (my current fave yarn) – it will go so well with a co-ordinating jumper/vest in Mad. Tosh DK “Filigree”, which I still have skads of from Georgie’s romper. The green is very, very similar to the “Kiwi” Lamb’s Pride that I began with, but much softer.
The second is a pretty pair of socks that I’m calling “Métro”. It’s a two-at-a-time toe-up sock. Lacy and pink. But it would be lovely in any colour. I can’t wait to photograph my progress and share with you. I am the world’s. slowest. knitter. Or I was. Until I rediscovered the Scottish style of knitting, also called Irish Cottage Knitting. I knit this way when my oldest ones were little, but gave it up when I started knitting in the round. And today, I discovered that Bulgarian babas knit Turkish or Tunisian style – with hooks! Holy smokes, how much faster must that be? Yep. I’m going to try it. The special, wonderful bonus is that it has a built-in lifeline in case you make a boo-boo. At least, it has a lifeline for the previous row or round. That’s enough for some of us. 🙂
And speaking of Bulgaria, we’re still beavering away raising funds for our adoption. Our little gal just turned 10, and our little fella is about to turn 11. We have been told that we have until the week before Christmas to get everything done. Looks like a trip for Christmas-tide. It’s coming really quickly.
I have applied to Reece’s Rainbow to see if we can get some fundraising help from them. I hope we’ll hear back sometime next week. In the meantime, we’re planning a little online fundraiser of our own. I was given a loving nudge by my friend Cassan to have the kind of fundraiser that has a little progress graphic and would possibly make all of the asking a little easier to manage. But because I can’t resist making a PROJECT out of a project (will I ever learn? Don’t answer that.), I have made a project out of it. LOL. My intention is to bless more children, more families with it. If I can do it for us, I want to use the same project to help others. I’ll share more when I can.
In the meantime, we have to get a whole new term life insurance for parents. It’s no problem, I said. It’ll take about 5 minutes, I said. WRONG. Oy. So worth it, though. Can’t wait to see those two beautiful faces for real. And hug those babies up.
If you would like to help us get those hugs a little sooner, you can make a gift of any size through PayPal (nissa_@_gadboisfamily_._com), shop at our farm shop, or book a portrait session or hire me to photograph your next event.
Brian and Caroline are off to New Hampshire to pick up our new evaporator pan, the last piece of our sugaring outfit before we can start making syrup. Jack is doing some last minute work on the sugarhouse – getting the arch bricked up and the firebricks primed. It’s a heavy job, that. But he’s amazing – strong and hard-working. I am so proud of the man that he has become. His future wife will be blessed in him.
The rest of us are inside doing Saturday chores and preparing for keeping the sugaring crew fed through the long days and weeks ahead. We are baking bread, and preparing meals ahead wherever possible.
12 hour days up in the sugarbush and in the sugarhouse – back and forth with sap and empty buckets – makes everyone really hungry. I won’t be participating much in the actual sugaring the first couple of weeks because I am smack in the middle of a nasty flare. It is messing with my mobility and fine motor function, to say nothing of the pain. Tylenol is about the extent of the medication I can take (which is fairly useless) while I wait for the insurance to clear so that I can increase my infusions.
I’m hoping to have enough good hours here and there to finish the longies that I am designing for Georgie. I’m loving them so far. The yummy green is so appealing. We have been longing for spring and something GREEN. It has been a lovely long winter, and I love the snow, but it is time for some colour, no?
These longies will be joined by a jumper (sweater) and a hat, perhaps some wee socks or booties. Once I have the draft pattern completed, I’ll be looking for three or four beta knitters to make up sets and see how the pattern works for them. You can leave a comment below if you’re interested in knitting along, and sharing your progress.
And in other news (perhaps you saw my announcement on Facebook), Brian and I are pursuing the adoption of a beautiful brother and sister from Bulgaria. We have to move very quickly – something we are not very good at here. I beg your prayers. We have had our hearts broken so many times in the past. The story of how they came to be known to us is truly amazing. I will share it at some point. Really, truly the hand of God.
We have decided to set aside all of the proceeds from our remaining birch syrup for our adoption fund, if you are interested in having something sweet on your table, and doing something sweet with that purchase. I will also be putting all of the proceeds from my portrait photography toward our adoption, and getting the house ship shape for our new additions. That means clearing out the room that I have been using for my sewing and crafts to use as a studio here on the farm, so that I can increase my available hours. I’ll figure out later how I’m going to get my sewing accomplished (two first communions coming up and lots of photography props to make). Nearly everything is portable, so I can have some sweet soul lug the machines down and back as needed.
The younger children don’t know anything about the adoption plan yet. But I am preparing a Bulgaria unit study for all of us. We will learn about the history, culture, music, art, language and food, about the geography and industry and government. Jack, Caroline, and I previewed a beautiful video about Bulgaria this week and are completely smitten. What a beautiful place and people.
I am finding so much to be inspired by for my artwork and photography. I’m sure you will begin to see hints of it on the blog.