I love books.
I mean it, I love books and always have.
I could’a called myself “bookmom”, but somehow it doesn’t have the same panache as “coffemom,” does it? I didn’t think so either.
To play this out just a bit further: coffee and books go hand in hand, preferably with a nice (bunch of) Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Chantilly cookie (best cookies ever!) in hand too. But, I digress.
Anyhow, this is a roundabout way to say that I love to read, always have, always will. That has lately been supplemented by reading blogs. More than a year ago I started reading the Bottomly’s blog, as we too began the process of adopting from Ethiopia. So I was pretty happy to see that they had turned one of my guilty pleasures, blog reading, into one of my favorite things in general: a book.
So, this is a roundabout way to say that my curiosity got the best of me and I got this book: From Ashes to Africa. I opened it and read the whole thing. And I read it in just over a day, and that’s with standard mom duties (though not school, it was the weekend, full disclosure).
I was surprised in a way (no offense Amy and Josh!), as you just never know, you know (and I’m picky)? But it’s good because it goes deeper and further than most are willing to go. In this blogworld, it’s rare to find a blog that lays it all out on the line. We might say we do, but really, maybe not so much…we all edit. Despite the relative anonymity online, its not total and so we edit – so as not to hurt or embarrass loved ones or ourselves. No one really wants to know how moody I am or that I can yell so loud that my throat is sore, do they? No. (And, no, I’m not going on record…that’s just a ‘for instance’…yeah, that’s it.).
But this book goes further into the back story that drove this couple to the new place they now live: where their hearts a bit shredded, permanently, for these orphans. They have new eyes to see now. But it takes quite a bit to get those eyes really opened. That is what this book is about. They lay out their hard walk through infertility with scathing honesty about the tears it causes in a marriage. I walked that road too. It was some of the most excruciating and lonely times I have lived through, and it was kind of unspeakable at the time, a dark hard lonely place (for each of us). The Bottomly’s open this up to the light; bravo for them, that takes some courage. And it’s this rocky hard road that brings them to their new world, their new eyes, their sweet son.
The purpose of this book is to raise awareness of a bigger worldview, one close to my heart. So I am biased. I’ve been through the excruciating infertility games, and I am a fairly obvious cheerleader for adoption. This is not an academic text, nor a long annotated social history and commentary. It is not a detailed fictional epic a la Dickens. It is a real story. It is personal. It is a memoir with a periscope of the heart.
This book is worth a read for the basic human story of it. That very same central common part of each of us, what makes us human, is exactly what makes it good.
Buy it, support a good cause, and read it, feel your heart stretch a little wider.
Grab some coffee and a cookie; it is a quick short read, and will be time well spent.
It occurs to me, after yapping on about this book, that I might throw out a book here and there. Because I’m all about opinions, they are simply spilling out of me most of the time. So hey, why not post ’em on the blog?
So, more to come later. More books book books!