An American mother recalls the arduous process of adopting a child from Ethiopia.
In 2004, debut author Lindberg had an unusual dream in which she held a newborn black baby in her arms, and a voice informed her it was hers. She interpreted that voice as God’s, and the dream as a premonition, or a command that adopting an African baby was her divinely ordained mission. The author became obsessed with the future adoption, and researched it like an investigative journalist, reading books about African culture and history. She also incessantly pursued her husband Mick’s reluctant agreement, his hesitancy based on the impracticality of adopting a child from such a remote place. He eventually relented, and they began the Byzantine process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. They ultimately cleared a series of bureaucratic hurdles to legally adopt their daughter, Eden, and Mick flew to Ethiopia to collect her. Eden was in rough physical shape, suffering from diarrhea, severe diaper rash, dehydration, a noticeable lack of strength, and worrisomely awkward movements. But Mick managed to get her back to the United States safely, and the couple began the long road to rehabilitating her health. Much of the memoir is devoted to the physical and legal challenges of adopting Eden, but Lindberg also thoughtfully reflects on the emotional trials of integrating a new child into culturally and racially unfamiliar environs. She also affectingly writes of the paradoxical combination of hope and squalor in Ethiopia: “The devastation and the beauty of the people are overwhelming. The tenderness in the way they care for one another is inspiring.” Lindberg returned to Ethiopia to find Eden’s mother—a potentially dangerous and costly mission—and that section of the book reads like a thriller, exhilaratingly related. At the heart of the remembrance is the author’s faith, which had been long neglected before the dream that inspired the whole journey. This is a poignant memoir for anyone considering adoption or the recommencement of a spiritual life waylaid.
An edifying look at adoption, parenting, and faith.