Martin's Must Reads: 'Finding Chika'

Oct 6, 2020

“Chika Jeune was born three days before the earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010.  She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty.  When her mother dies, Chika is admitted to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage which Albom operates in Port-au-Prince.”

So begins the story of Chika Jeune , one which Mitch Albom recounts in his book Finding Chika, a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family.  I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads."  Full disclosure, I can’t review the book without spoilers.

Albom tells two stories.  First is the story of a little girl, Chika, who, while living at an orphanage, is diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, and comes to live with the Alboms. The last two years of the desperate fight against the tumor and Chika’s courage is retold in this book.  The other story is about the life, joy and love Chika brings to the Albom household.  Mr Albom eloquently recounts the positive change living out compassion and love has had on his life.  Only with the Alboms a short time, Little Chika turns a couple into a family.

In the closing paragraph of his book “Finding Chika” Mitch Albom tells of the impact,  “Families are like pieces of art, they can be made from many materials.  Sometimes they are from birth, sometimes they are melded, sometimes they are merely time and circumstance mixing together like eggs being scrambled in a Michigan kitchen.  But no matter how a family comes together, and no matter how it comes apart, this is true and always will be true:  you cannot lose a child.  And we did not lose a child.  We were given one.”