December 31, 2014
Greetings to all our Friends and Family!!
There is so much that has happened in such a short time span that it feels like it’s been more than a year since last we wrote to you. This past year has been an exciting adventure peppered with losses of dear ones, life renewed by newborns and renewed relationships.
I suppose I should start with January when we said goodbye to the matriarch of our family – Adelaide Gentile. She lived a long life (101 years) and made such a big impression on those around her that it is impossible to have known her and not be influenced by her spirit. She was full of stories of growing up on the farm in Berwick, PA and moving to the Bronx as a teenager and meeting my grandfather, Pasquale. Her life was not an easy one but it was a rich one. She will be missed but never forgotten. (That’s her, second from the left in the back row, 2nd grade and her holding the baby in the photo below).
We also lost Uncle Domenick and my step-mother, Kathleen. Both were such happy people who enjoyed family, telling stories and oh how they loved to laugh! The loved ones we lose leave such a hole in our lives but we cherish their memories and the intensity of their souls on us.
Last year we told you about our orphan hosting experience. Daniela (as well as many other orphans we met in Latvia) continues to be a part of our family albeit from several time zones away. In March she gave birth to a healthy baby boy – Harry! She has demonstrated an innate ability to be a good mother and she has grown as a woman. We were blessed to see her and Harry this year in Latvia. What a joy!!!!
What were we doing in Latvia, you may ask? We traveled to Latvia in June, September and November. We were taking steps to add to our family. So here is the big news … we have adopted Kristofer (that’s him on the right) !! He was born on October 30, 1997 and the adoption was finalized on November 6, 2014. He is in high school and is adapting to the American way of life quite well. He enjoys soccer, track, wrestling and fishing. We must tell you that the adoption journey was exciting and required a lot of faith that God would pull this together for us and He did. Many, many people participated with us financially and through moral/prayer support. For those earthly angels we are eternally grateful.
Peace and love and a joyous 2015!
Phil, Eileen, Peter, Kris, Daniela and Harry