This book tore into the very center of my heart and planted a seed there. At times I found it hard to breathe as I read about these children with little hope – yet they still had a flicker… and I couldnt close my eyes to shut out the vision…. ~ Sheila
Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son’s baseball games, her daughter’s dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.
Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.
Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend’s invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son’s death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called “Touch A Life,” dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.
Pam Cope’s story is on one level a moving, personal account of loss and recovery, but on a deeper level, it offers inspiration to anyone who has ever suffered great personal tragedy or those of us who dream about making a difference in the world
It has taken me several days to put this review into words. When I opened the book to read about Pam Cope’s experience I found her words easy to read and I fell right into the pages on her story. A story that soon had my heart wrenching as I has in Honduras working with kids who lived in a dump – and I was reading about Pam Copes own heartache and how it led her to Vietnam and working in a similar situation, trying to help kids who have nothing…. no home, no food, and looking them in the eye and trying to give them hope.
As I read this book and made me think about why I do what I do… and knowing that my story hits close to Pam’s story. I felt a kinship with Pam… a need to do more. I understood her and appreciated her sense of humor and her heart that held so many. Pam writes in a real tone that lets you know she is just one of us – struggling day to day making choices right or wrong… sometimes goofing it big time and occasionally getting it right. I loved that about this book.
As I came home on the plane I finished this read and the kids that haunt me from this book are the ones who are still out there – the ones who they were unable to save. They are the same kids that cause me to waken in the night. Thank God for people like Pam… As I neared the end of the book I openly wept – and not for the first time during this read. This is an important book for all of us to read. My recommendation could not come higher.
Last week while I was away, Alison guest hosted here and shared her thoughts on this read. She also at that time offered up a giveaway for a copy of this book. Link here for that giveaway that is still open until November 20.
Pam Cope is a frazzled mother of two ten year olds named Van and Tatum and an accomplished, independent 21-year-old daughter named Crista Austin. She is the Co-director, with her husband Randy, of the Touch A Life Foundation.
This book was sent to me for review by Hachette Book Group