Thursday, September 30, 2021

Farewell Gabri....

Gabri and his host brother, Bailey

On Monday afternoon, Gabri headed off to his permanent family, Ashley and Mike DeRouche and their 3 kids.  I wrote the following to his parents, Federica and Giovanni: 


Yesterday, Gabri jumped in the car of his host mom and headed off to his new family. Immediately, they were heading to the oldest daughter's field hockey game at a high school one hour away. 

Living in an American family of 5 (!) will be an adventure for your son. He will get a wide range of experiences. As we say in America, I wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch his adventures. 

I wish you well. Thanks for sharing your son with us. 

Warm wishes, 

Later, I received thoughtful notes from his parents: 

Hi Rich,

I would like to thank you for everything and I hope we'll keep in touch because I feel you are a special person.

I think Gabri keep you in his heart 

I will follow your adventures with Bailey in your blog

A big hug for now

Hi Rich. 

No, WE are the ones who wish to thank YOU.
It's been an important month for Gabri, and you made it great for him. In fact, you made this whole experience POSSIBLE for him.

I've always had a sweet tooth for the things in life that are not for sale. The things you just can't buy, no matter how rich you may be.
And your ability to feel for these kids you'd never met before, and step in for them, is just one of thise precious, unbuyable things.

I hope we can still stay in contact and look forward to it.

Good luck finding a placement for Azi too, and fare well on your trip to California.

Big hug.

Especially kind words. Ciao, my friends. 

The next afternoon in the parking lot of the school, I saw Gabri and his host sister, a 9th grader, walk to Mike's truck. He caught a glimpse of me and broke into a big smile. I'm sure he's happy with his family. Later, I saw him play in a soccer match against Carrabec High School in Anson. The Italian boy played lights out in defeat. He had great energy and skill on the pitch.  


The Last Sunday: I'll call it "Junk Food Day."

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