top of page

American child of immigrants separated for Christmas reflects on struggles

Pete Gojcevic with his children (L-R) Marash, Martina & Migena

Family struck by literal and figurative earthquakes in past year

In 2018, Albanian immigrant, Cile Precetaj, was unexpectedly taken into custody by immigration authorities and deported. She and her husband, Pete Gojcevic, made the difficult decision to send their three American born children to live with their mother. Their son, Marash, could not adapt to life in a strange country and returned to live with his dad.

This year, their daughters returned to celebrate Christmas with their brother, father and grandmother. What follows is a letter written by Migena, the elder of the two, reflecting on their struggles and homecoming.


It’s good to be home, or what we consider to be our home. It’s been more than hard since going back to Albania - learning the language, the different way of life- the schools are so different. We’ve had to adjust in a place we knew nothing about. The food is different. At the end of the day, we are just kids who were torn from our Father and grandmother, we want our old life back.

We want to go back to school here and be with our friends. We are hoping for a Christmas miracle after all of this. We pray every night for our life to be what it was. And now that Albania had an Earthquake that hit our homeland it’s all messed up, we are scared to sleep and not wake up with the walls shaking. 

In some ways, we have had many earthquakes shake up our lives, but this time it was real and we could have easily been added to the statistics of people who passed under the rubble during the earthquake. 

In the midst of all the stress our own mother endured, she now has to see this and worry. It’s a selfless love of a mother. She is our hero, our angel on Earth. I want my mother to know her worth and what she means to us. We are nothing without her. We were nothing without her in America and we were nothing without her protection in our homeland. 

We want our father and mother back in America. We worry every day about our sick grandmother and wonder if she is getting her medication or if she will make it or if we will see her  the next time. 

If anyone who hears this can help, please let us live in peace and be back together again. We want our old life back. It’s been too much. We know our mom made a mistake, but she made this her home, our home. We just want a second chance at life again. 

bottom of page