February 14, 2007

There is No Me Without You

I think over the past 2 days I have completely depressed every relative or friend I have spoken with. Thankfully, we are in the middle of a horrendous storm, so I haven't really gotten out too much. I got There is No Me Without You a few days ago from the library. I've been looking forward to reading it because of the buzz that has surrounded it within the Ethiopian adoption community. When I read a book, (and I'm sure most people are like this) I live in it for a while. This is a book that isn't a pleasant read, especially for a middle class American. The author, Melissa Fay Greene, tells the story of a woman who is attempting to save children who have been orphaned by poverty and HIV in Ethiopia. She goes to great lengths to give an accurate picture of the dire situation and the causes of this crisis.

I should apologize to my sister who called me in the midst of reading it. She bore the brunt of my agitation. My conversations have generally started like this, "I'm reading this amazing book, you should check it out." I'm very congenial about it, but then in attempting to give a brief synopsis I lose control of myself. I'm unable to say anything briefly, I suffer from severe make-a-short-story-long-itis. I should give myself a little credit, I think I've limited my rantings to under 45 minutes. I'm frustrated, and feel inadequate to express what I'm feeling without seeming angry. I guess in a way I am angry. I'm angry with myself for being so poorly informed, our government, my inability (unwillingness) to help... I'll try not to get started again. I don't really know what to do about the suffering of millions of people a world away from me. Any ideas? If not, I will retreat to my plush American lifestyle. Maybe if I wait a while and fill my life with a little bit of meaningless busywork what I've read will fade and I won't feel so burdened. I hope not, I hope I can find some way I can do something. I don't want to be lacking when the children we will bring home ask what I've done to help their friends and family. I'm going to spend some time looking around and hope to share some ideas here. In the meantime-take the time to read this book, it's well written, informative, and absolutely a must for anyone bringing home a child from Ethiopia. And I'll leave it at that!

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