The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
-Buechner

Saturday, November 29, 2008

There Is No Me Without You

Before even applying to begin the adoption process, during my time of research, I asked a lot of questions...seriously, tons. One resource that continually popped up was a book entitled:


Melissa Fay Greene's biographical novel recounts the years of dedication Ethiopian Mrs. Haregewoin Teferra spent dignifying and fighting for the lives of hundreds of Ethiopian AIDS orphans. Greene spent weeks, months, likely years throughout her many visits in Teferra's compound turned orphanage. This multi-award winning Atlantic author tells of this first AIDS orphanage. She follows the lives of a few remarkable children who moved through the orphanage and were adopted out, to the States mainly. She has even adopted a few Ethiopian children, who have completed her large family!

This book is incredible. It is depressingly real while inspiringly moving. 

This one woman's plight for the orphans of her country is truly remarkable. She started out welcoming just one or two young street-living children from her country and quickly found herself surrounded and inundated by hundreds...desparate for unconditional love, warmth, food, education...hope. 

There Is No Me Without You has won many awards including being named "Best Book Of 2006" by numerous publishers including the Chicago Tribute, the Atlanta Journal-Consitution, the Anchorage Press...to name but a few. 

I love Greene's point of view on several adoption-related topics...the least of which is whether or not our adopted children are either real or biological. The argument for whether or not they are our "real" children is irrefutable. Of course they are. What makes them not real? It's a simple argument, really.

However, Greene goes on to beg the question of whether or not they are also our biological children. I love what she has said about this...

Like many adoptive parents, I chafe at the term “biological” to designate only my birth children.  First because all children, of course, are the products of biology.  Second because aren’t my children by adoption also mine biologically?  We breathe each other’s air, prepare and share each other’s food, borrow each other’s combs and socks and pencils;  Helen sometimes falls asleep on my bed twirling her fingers through my hair.  Aren’t these somehow biological processes?  Aren’t our cells intermixing?  Haven’t the years of Berenstain Bears books I’ve inflicted on these children been immortalized as brain cells?


I have a copy of this book and if you are interested in reading it please let me know. I would be happy to share it. I think this is one of those books which, through reading we become better people. 

2 comments:

Diane said...

We visited Haregewoin Teferra's orphanage while in Ethiopia (Feb 08). If you can arrange that when you go to pick up your daughter it is so worth the trip. We brought medical supplies and donations and the children thanked us by dancing and singing. It was heartbreaking as most of those children will not be adopted because they have AIDS. The children were very well cared for by the staff and Haregewoin.

giggles said...

I too have this book and read it. How I wish this book was one the schools would have to read. It would make a big difference in the world I believe. If someone on the east coast wants to read it let me know.

Grandma