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A Home for Nick

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My name is Nissa, and I am raising money to build a small home on our family farm for our young adult son, Nick, whom we adopted at the age of 12 from an orphanage in Bulgaria. Due to the nine years he spent at the orphanage where he endured unspeakable abuse, Nick struggles with PTSD and severe anxiety and has also been diagnosed with having suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). As a result, he has many challenges that would make it extremely difficult to live independently in the community. Because of Nick’s challenging behaviors, he cannot live in the same house as his younger siblings, although he strongly desires to live here on the farm and work alongside his family.

Despite Nick’s challenges and disabilities, he learned to read and was fluent in English within three months of his arrival. One afternoon, about six months after joining our family, we heard Nick say to himself while sitting alone in the living room, in perfect English, “I love this family.” That confirmed that we had done the right thing – and that Nick felt he had finally found his home. Even after all of his past wounds from his time at the orphanage, he is the kindest, bravest, most loving person I know.

Considering all of Nick’s diagnoses, he requires around-the-clock support, and a caregiver must always be within easy reach. Nick currently resides in a therapeutic residential program. However, upon his 19th birthday in July, he will no longer be eligible to remain at this facility. While the agencies involved are arguing back and forth about funding for the next steps, time is running out. We are left with the prospect of him being made homeless or being warehoused again with older adult psychiatric patients. Neither of these outcomes is acceptable.

Nick is highly athletic and loves hard physical work - perfect for life on a farm. He's a fantastic soccer player and loves playing basketball, hiking, and cycling. Some of his favorite activities on the family farm are moving and stacking wood, feed bags, and bales. Nick also loves gardening and running the wheelbarrow back and forth to the compost. He enjoys watching Turkish-language programs online and cooking (with a helper), and he loves music, which is his main coping tool. You'll often see him with his 'ears' on, completely enveloped in the sound.

One of Nick’s greatest triumphs is that he doesn't give up. Despite all of his early setbacks in life, he is so strong. Our vision is – and has always been – to build a small house on our farm, where he can have 24-hour support to carry out activities of daily living and receive the in-home services that he needs. In this way, he can continue to build familial bonds and feel productive, capable, and valued – and be where he is loved. We thought we would have more time to save for this. Sadly, the time has come, and we urgently need funds to ensure a safe, permanent home for our son. Thank you for your help - from Nick and all of us!

Update: I have purchased building plans for a small home for Nick in our orchard, just about 100 feet from the main house. We need to purchase building materials and hire professional contractors for the jobs we can’t do ourselves. I have already contacted the town about the required permits, and we are navigating that process. In the meantime, we have secured a place on a waiting list for a temporary mobile home for Nick to stay in during construction. Thank you for your continued support!



  • Karen R Young
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Michael Lifsey
    • $20 
    • 8 mos
  • Emily Bowen
    • $40 
    • 8 mos
  • Jackie Creager
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 8 mos


Nissa Gadbois
Barre, MA

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