The subtitle to this book is "An Eyewitness Account of Haiti's Tragic Earthquake", written by Melanie Wright Zeeb.
As did many others, I followed the news in horror. I knew several people who adopted from Haiti and had met their children. It was terrible to imagine all the families around the world who were waiting somewhere in the adoption process but had not yet brought their children home. The process of adoption was already arduous, but became near impossible once the buildings that held records were reduced to gravel and dust.
The author was employed by God's Littlest Angels, an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince. Children were placed there by parents who either intended to come back for them, or wished for them to be adopted. Ms Zeeb was responsible for updating adoptive families with photos and information about the children. Following the disaster, they were of the few who still had communications, and helped tell the world of the devastation.
The book focuses on the children- all of whom survived- and the difficulties and concerns in trying to keep them safe and alive. Haiti was already a hard country where it was difficult to meet life needs. A good example given by the author is simply water. Before, to have running water, one had to pay a company to deliver it by truck. After, there was no way to know what would happen. Had the owners of the business even lived? Were the trucks intact to make deliveries? Were roads passable? Was the water source clear?
The author develops strong visuals for readers describing the actual earthquake and it's aftershocks. She states the ground was constantly moving to the degree that people experienced motion sickness. It went on for weeks with the earth moving a specific direction, so that some things moved and others did not.
Readers meet many of the intended adoptive families. We learn of the incredible logistics in trying to legally evacuate the children and the constant uncertainties. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll stop here!
The book is highly detailed and concise. The author concentrates on the effect of the tragedy on children of the orphanage, and spends very little time on the horrors many of us saw on TV. I think that makes is a safe read for most people.
Beauty from Ashes: An Eyewitness Account of Haiti's Tragic Earthquake
An Eyewitness Account of Haiti's Tragic Earthquake
Written by Melanie Wright Zeeb
AND since the book was given to me I would like to pass it on! To win this copy, leave a comment with your email address and I will draw a name next week. Hmmm, lets say Wednesday.