In the past 6 months I've read two of my favorite books that happen to be by the same author. They are rather long books, but they were so good I was actually able to finish them in a reasonable amount of time. It helps that the chapters are short so it's easy to sneak in a chapter here and there as your children are occupied. However the books are so enjoyable you'll find yourself neglecting chores to read just a little more!
The first book I read by Melissa Fay Greene was There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children. It is a true story about an Ethiopian lady named Haregewoin Teferra who took in many, many orphans during the height of the AIDS crisis in Africa. Melissa is a journalist who spent a lot of time in Ethiopia getting to know Haregewoin.
The book does a great job sharing some of the fascinating history of Ethiopia! And, I loved the mesmerizing detail the author uses to describe the sights, sounds, scenes, and people of Ethiopia. I was truly sad when I finished the book because while reading it I could almost imagine I was there, on the same continent, in the same city, even, as my little girl!
There will be tears when you read the stories of how many of the children became orphans in need of Haregewoin's care, but the anguish later turns to rejoicing as the children are eventually adopted by loving families and you get to "see" them in their new lives with plenty of food and doting parents.
But, probably the biggest thing I took away from the book was the power one individual can have to bring light to the darkest of situations. And it almost didn't happen at all! When Haregewoin takes in the first orphan she was at an extremely low point in her life. She'd tragically lost her husband and a daughter within just a few years of each other, and she'd decided to leave the real world, to present herself to the Orthodox priest and ask to be taken into seclusion. However, God had other plans for her life! And thankfully Haregewoin agreed when approached about taking in an orphan, because that one decision snowballed into the saving of many lives!
It is a great reminder that God has a purpose for each of us and as long as we are still here on this earth we should be actively looking for ways to be used by Him, even when our immediate life circumstances are sad and seem hopeless.
The other Melissa Fay Greene book I read is her newest, No Biking in the House Without a Helmet. This one is about Melissa's own family. She and her husband had four biological children and then adopted five children, one from Bulgaria and four from Ethiopia. That makes a grand total of nine kids!! The book is hilarious, heart-warming, and extremely entertaining! It is a must-read for parents adopting internationally because she honestly shares the challenges and joys.
Be warned the book may leave you not only thinking it's not so strange to have nine children but that it's actually fun! Seriously, I have so many stories I loved from this book, I think I completely ruined the book for my husband because several times I had to read him passages out loud after I'd read them because they were just that good!
Find more Thankful Thursday here and Things I Love Thursday here.
****I was not compensated in any way or asked to write these book reviews, however I am an Amazon.com affliate and will receive a very small portion of the price should you purchase one of these books through the links in my blog.****