A Missouri hair-salon owner confronts personal tragedy by rescuing at-risk children overseas.
When her 15-year-old son Jantsen died from a heart problem in 1999, Cope’s world came crashing down. An offer from friend Carol to visit Vietnam helped draw her out of her misery. Cope found beautiful countryside marred by a population in the midst of staggering poverty levels. A visit to an orphanage put her personal suffering in perspective as she and husband Randy witnessed tiny babies and toddlers living parentless and alone. They initiated the grueling adoption process after a chance encounter with Van, a small boy curled up on a floor mat. After Van became a part of their family, Cope reflects that “rocking him to sleep every day for his nap was like a balm on my heart.” Back at home, the author solicited donations for a fund dedicated to the betterment of young lives in Vietnam, and she began appearing and speaking at area volunteer groups, social gatherings and churches, garnering varying degrees of interest in her cause. Cope’s humanitarian project truly took off when the author sold her wedding ring to increase the fund’s coffers and gave her project a name, Touch a Life. As the organization grew, other deplorable situations caught her attention: factories recruiting child laborers, young girls working the sex trade and human trafficking. The author’s charitable, compassionate nature saturates the narrative, giving it a smooth, unrushed flow. By 2001, she and husband Randy had further extended their family with other adoptions and expanded cross-cultural outreach efforts to Ghana, Haiti and Cambodia.
Skillfully written account of finding hope after grief.