I just finished reading the new book There is No Me Without You, by Melissa Faye Green. All I can say is, I hope everyone picks up this book and reads it! Melissa weaves the story of Haregowin Tefarra, a middle-class Ethiopian woman who begins taking in AIDS orphans, with the history of Ethiopia, the history of AIDS, information about the current AIDS crisis, etc. I could literally not put this book down; it was amazing!
It was really cool reading a book about places I've been to (Layla House, AHOPE), people I've met (Merrily from AAI), the Ethiopian doctor who did some of our sons' medical evaluations over there (Sofia Mengistu), etc. I've never looked into the history of HIV before, or understood the complex issues of the current crisis very well, but because it is something that has obviously touched my kids' lives in a HUGE way, and therefore our lives, I feel so grateful to finally be learning something about it. An entire generation on an entire continent is losing their parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents--my sons included.
So any chance I have to catch a glimpse of Yosef and Biniam's past, their homeland, the common issues that must have faced their family, a greater understanding of where they come from and therefore more insight to give to them as they grow, I jump at. But this book beats all, honestly one of my all-time favorites, DEFINITELY a must-read and also definitely worth owning! (And not just for those interested in Ethiopian adoption, either. The AIDS pandemic is ravaging Africa, tearing apart families, creating millions upon millions of orphans, and therefore something that we should all care about.)
(My first introduction to Melissa, aside from her being on our agency's adoption message boards as she has children from Ethiopia, was her popular New York Times article on AIDS orphans. You can also check out the book's website here.)