This was just a great, great book, telling a wonderful story with excellent writing and humor. I liked it so much that I paced myself when reading it - I could have read it a lot faster, but I didn't want it to end.
It is the story of the author and her husband, their 4 biological children, and the additional 5 children they came to adopt - the first from Bulgaria, the rest from Ethiopia, but it is much more, too. There is the day-to-day life of the family, the story of each adoption, stories about each of the children, as well as the stories of the backgrounds of each adopted child, travels to help them see their histories, and even the successful search for the birth mother of one of the adoptees.
There is a lot of laughter, a bit of heartache, but most of all the stories are heart-warming. I ended up falling a little in love with Jesse, Lee, Lily and Helen especially. Lee is the biological son who volunteers at the orphanage in Ethiopia for the summer, AND the one who talks his parents into adopting the last 2 children. They were 2 brothers, the eldest was getting too old to be adopted, and Lee fell in love with him and his younger brother Yosef, and couldn't bear the idea that they would be left in the orphanage until they aged out. The adoption probably wasn't the wisest one because they already had an adoptive son approximatly Daniel's age, which is not supposed to be wise, and I'd say it did cause some problems down the road, but nothing this incredible family couldn't overcome. I was completely impressed by Lee's huge heart...his parents should be very proud.
Of course the parents have a LOT to be proud of - not least of which is their own selves, but also the awards, trophies, etc., and most of all the love that is so obvious in this family.
I am stingy with my stars, and rarely give 5, but this book more than deserved it! I would love to see a sequel or a movie (it would make a great movie if done right), and, well - if the sequel was started on right away, the kids would still be relatively young. I am so glad I was able to spend time with this very special family, and I highly recommend this book!