New Baby

Sitting Down

{Creating} | Sitting Down

Women like to sit down with trouble – as if it were knitting. – Ellen Glasgow, 19th Century novelist

It has been a “what a week” week.

I have been recovering from a cold that turned very ugly.  I spent three nights in a row struggling to breathe.  The vaporizer we got from Glassheads Wholesale has been doing it’s duty, putting out camphorous steam to keep my airways as clear as possible.  Asthma treatments weren’t working well and panic isn’t a good addition to the treatment.  While the use of my nose has returned, my chest feels as though a small pachyderm has been resting itself upon it each night.  Bruise-y.And because I had been feeling generally crummy, with some symptoms that worried me enough to call my midwife, suspecting possible pre-eclampsia, I wound up at the regular OB’s office for a visit.  And while I was there speaking to his midwife I – quite embarassingly – passed out on the exam table.  This set into motion a series of tests for gestational diabetes, having satisfied everyone that my blood pressure is AOK and that I wasn’t spilling protein.  Off to the lab first thing on a Saturday morning for a one-hour glucose test.  The results on Monday were a fail.  Tuesday ultrasound showed that our little boy is perfectly proportioned for his gestational age. Wednesday morning found me very hungry and back to the hospital for a 3 hour glucose test… But I passed the time by visiting a new mama and her precious new daughter.

There is NO better consolation.  A true blessing.

Thursday afternoon brought the news that I had, in fact, also failed my three hour test and an appointment would be arranged with an endocrinologist who will, presumably, map out a course of action that will offend every fibre of my naturopathically inclined being.  At some point that night I realized that I was moving through the stages of grief.  I still have no idea what I was grieving for.  I suppose I felt like a failure.

By yesterday afternoon, I had read a pair of arguments on the possible over-diagnosis of gestational diabetes.  Both of those repeated every.  single.  thing.  that my own midwife told me.  Eat well and often, relax, get some exercise.  Exercise in frigid New England wintertime can be mopping the floors and scrubbing walls.  In my particular case, washing floors on hands and knees has the added benefit of helping a posterior baby to swoop around.

And for relaxation, I am indulging in some knitting.  A sweet romper in a beautiful shade of blue for baby.  The colour changes dramatically in the light. Here in the late morning light, it looks like sky blue. The previous image was taken earlier in the morning, in the same window, and it looks like the sea.

{Creating} | Sitting Down

This pattern is “Gift Wrap Romper” by Carina Spencer and comes with a bonus “Gift Wrap Sweater” pattern and a tutorial for knitting a twisted edge.  I am knitting the body in Madelinetosh Tosh DK in “Bloomsbury“and the contrasting band in “Filigree“, which I am also planning to use for a pair of wee slippers and a pilot cap.

Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again. – Dorothy Day, Servant of God

I would love for you to share what you are knitting, or crocheting, or creating.

And while you are creating, please have a lovely mug of my favourite Cinnamon Milk:

  • 12 oz. whole milk, heated
  • 1 T. coconut oil (ghee is also very nice)
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix well together in a great big mug and enjoy.  I’ve been enjoying two of these each day this week.  Lovely.

Picking Up Stitches

The autumn has flown right past us here.  Just as the leaves were changing, our lives were caught up in a dervish.  Time stood absolutely still for about a week following the unexpected and tragic loss of our cousin’s beautiful young daughter.  Although no one can truly understand what that loss feels like without having actually experienced it, there is a connection between parents – especially when your children are the same age – that allows us to comprehend some of that shock and pain.

And it made everything else we were struggling with here seem utterly insignificant.  But life demands that we keep up, whether we are emotionally present or not.  There were financial papers to file, bills to pay, work to be done, a farm to be operated, sick children to care for, ministry to be attended to… and a house to work on.  I’m afraid that the houses got the worst of the attention.  Laundry piled up and the farmhouse didn’t get any of our time.  And one of our computers chose this most inopportune time to crash, leaving no readable information on the hard drive.  Unfortunately, the previous back-up didn’t capture everything and we lost all of our photos, website files, and much of my publishing work.

Loose threads everywhere…

But now, we’re settling back into something like a routine, working on something like a plan.  And I have a bit of time to breathe and pick up stitches of a different sort:

{Family Centered Home} | Creating


Any serious knitter will tell you that there is great comfort in rhythmically stitching a garment, yarn sliding through your fingers, needles clicking.  It calms the mind.  And it allows me to focus, with love and anticipation, on the precious person who will wear what I am creating.  On something joyful and hopeful.  So that even when I am frustrated and worried about things I have limited control over, I can make an escape for a time, to a place where all is right and well.

This beautiful ombre wool {Madelinetosh DK in Filigree} will become a romper and pilot cap for this little man:

{Family Centered Home} | Creating


You formed my inmost being;

you knit me in my mother’s womb.  Psalm 139:13


Right after I’ve finished knitting a pair of matching cardis for Sophie and Joséphine {In Threes, knit from Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Superwash in Mysterious Fuschia}:

{Family Centered Home} | Creating


And making reversible pants (so lovely and warm) to match out of these fabrics:

{Family Centered Home} | Creating


And while I’m stitching, our contractor has gone back to work on some final structural repairs to the farmhouse.  We await delivery of cabinets, tiles, and paint.   We schedule time, limited as it is, to finish wood floors, paint, tile, and build cabinets so that we can move into our new home in time to begin a new liturgical year.  And we will need to find a few hours to repair roof damage to our barn resulting from a gust of wind from Hurricane Sandy – before the next snow falls.

How have you been keeping?  What are you creating today?


Perfectly Planned

Sometimes the mission you think you’re setting out on changes slightly.  The big picture is the same, but the finer details, the ones you had imagined, are revealed to be very different.  And that is as it should be, because God’s plans are always


better than anything we could imagine.

This week, after several weeks struggling with our chosen adoption agency, we decided that we couldn’t work with them anymore.  I won’t go into details, but if you’re curious, please do email us.  What this means is that, in all likelihood, we won’t be able to adopt Sveta and Alexi.  We have been told that there is another family also working on adopting them, and we hope that that is true.  More than you know.

We got a piece of information last Wednesday that helped us to determine our current course of action.  I checked my email on my phone, read through the message from Ukraine that I was expecting, and suddenly felt at peace.  I hadn’t anticipated that reaction.  But it was a confirmation of our suspicions, and fears.

At that moment, Brian and I were sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, fretting over what we were certain was going to be bad news.  The staff all looked sorrowful and anxious.  But I need to back up a bit…

Several weeks ago, before my twice-monthly injection, I took a routine pregnancy test.  To my surprise, it was positive – strongly and quickly positive.  Of course, I was thrilled, and Brian was thrilled.  But it was tempered with caution after our recent experience of the loss of our little Beatrice.  We were guarding our hearts.  And we decided to guard everyone else’s too.  We told no one but our pastor, Father David, who gave us and the new baby a blessing on the spot.

And we decided not to say anything to our social worker or our adoption agency until we felt as though we were out of the woods…

And last Wednesday was to be the day.  I went in for my 12 week check up with the doctor I had seen throughout my previous pregnancy.  I was wracked with nerves because this was the point in my last pregnancy that we learned that she had passed away.  My blood pressure was high and my pulse was racing.  The midwife applied the doppler probe to take a listen for the baby’s heart beat.

Several minutes passed and still she searched.

She checked my pulse.

She kept searching.


She kept her spirits high and was trying so hard to encourage us.  She sent us to the waiting room to wait for Kathy, the ultrasound lady.  Kathy and I had got to know each other very, very well during my last pregnancy, what with the weekly ultrasound to determine our status.  Once a week for 10 weeks.

After what seemed like an eternity, the door opened and Kathy, looking very tense, called us into the ultrasound room.  She asked all of the usual questions – usual for me – “are you bleeding?” “how are you feeling?”

She snapped out the lights and I lay on the table, bare belly, Brian standing by my side.  I couldn’t watch the screen as she moved the probe over my abdomen.  I covered my face with my arm, tears streaming down my cheeks.  So quiet…  

Then Kathy said, “Nissa, I want you to look at this.”

I reluctantly uncovered my eyes and turned them to the screen.  I stared.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  There, in the middle of the dark screen, was the form of a perfect, wiggly baby.

At Home With the Gadbois Family | Perfectly Planned

To music none of us could hear.  Not with our ears.

But in our hearts.

All is well.  All is well.

Our newest baby will arrive during Eastertide, sometime in April.  We are overjoyed.  We are so abundantly blessed.

So what does that mean for our ministry to orphans?

The short answer is that we aren’t sure.  At least not in the short term.  We are planning to continue with our homestudy and get it completed (we will likely need to have it updated after the baby arrives), renew passports, and gather as many of the required documents as we can (the ones that aren’t time sensitive).  And we will be working with an independent adoption facilitator in Ukraine.  Someone we have come to trust, for his honesty and generosity.  Someone recommended to us by a family who has used him for their adoptions.

And we are asking to be approved for up to four children.  These children may be related or unrelated.  And because pre-selection of children is actually against the law in Ukraine, our children will be a surprise!

That isn’t unlike birth, is it?

God’s plan is perfect, and we are humbly honored to participate in it, no matter where it leads.

We are continuing to raise funds for these adoptions, if you are moved to contribute in any way.  You will be blessed.  Please check our adoption page later this week for updated information.  And pray for the children we had hoped to adopt.  They need our prayers still.

Joy and Gladness



Home should be a happy place.  Most days, this is what ours looks like.  Laughter – and a cup of tea – makes everything better.

It has been more than three months since we received the sad news that our new baby had died.  And it was a long, long wait to see if I would deliver her naturally.  After 12 weeks, it was decided that I would have to have surgery.  Through it all, I felt well enough in myself, though my heart ached.  My Lent was chosen for me this year.  What I experienced most was the quietude of acceptance and peace, rather than sadness.

And just as Lent was coming to an end, we were sent the gift of the flu, which spent four more weeks with us.  It culminated in a surgery (mine), a fruitless trip to the ER with Joséphine (who, it turned out, had pneumonia an an ear infection), and a visit to our own doctor (who diagnosed her correctly and treated her right away).

And then the spring cleaning began.  And we packed up the bassinet.  And the box of cloth diapers.

And then my heart broke again.  Like those first days after discovering that our baby was gone from us.  When I cried out to The Blessed Mother for comfort.  A cavernous void needing to be… what?  Filled?  Cleaned out?  I’m not sure.  Maybe just acknowledged.  Put on life’s map.

“Here Is The Cave of Sorrows.  It was created by the swift slipping away of a much loved child… a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable person”

Perhaps it seems selfish to grieve over the loss of one child (or three, or four) when one has eight beautiful children, living, here on earth to hold.  But a mother’s heart isn’t made that way.  It matters not whether she has one or twenty-one, each loss is heart-stopping, breath-taking and life-altering.  You are never the same without that child.

But she isn’t lost after all.  She is in heaven, waiting and praying for me – for all of us.  I am – we are – blessed.  I will be able to hold her again.  Someday and forever.

And life goes on.  And we rejoice, in our yesterdays, our todays, and in our tomorrows.  All is grace.

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into joy: thou hast cut my sackcloth, and hast compassed me with gladness” – Ps 30:11 (Douay-Rheims)

Beatrice Faith, born into Heaven – February 2012.  Her name means “happiness and confidence in the Truth”   It is the way we should live, as people of God.  Her short life is a precious reminder.

Ready… Steady… Go!


Ready... Steady... Go!


And she's off!

Made it all the way to the other side!


How about another go?

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