Finding Chika

Finding Chika


Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Mitch and his wife, Janine operate.

Chika's arrival made a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delighted the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika was suddenly diagnosed with a terminal disease that no doctor in Haiti could help with.

Mitch and Janine took Chika to America, hoping that treatment there would enable her to go back home. Instead, Chika became a permanent part of their lives, as they embarked on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika's boundless optimism and humour taught Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learnt that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.

Our Review

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom is one of the most moving books I have read in a long time.

Chika was born just three days before a massive earthquake which killed 3% of the population of her home country. When she was still very young her mother died giving birth to her younger brother and circumstances led to her living in the orphanage run by Mitch and his wife.

When Chika was five, she was diagnosed with a disease that the doctors in her home country were unable to treat so Mitch and his wife took them home to America with them to try and get her help. What followed is a story filled with grief but also love.

“Chika died last Spring. When the trees in our yard were beginning to bud, as they were budding now, as it is Spring again. Her absence left us without breath, or sleep, or appetite, and my wife and I stared straight ahead for long stretches until someone spoke to snap us out of it.”

For someone who claimed to be too selfish to have his own children it is clear he and his wife did amazing job of looking after a girl who came to be their child.

“The most precious thing you can give someone is your time, Chika, because you can never get it back, you’ve given it in love.

I learned that from you.”

The book is filled with lessons he learnt from Chika and from lesson six onwards I cried constantly.

Finding Chika is full of raw grief, of that there is no doubt, but it is also heart-warming and a joy to read. I am going to end the review with my favourite quote from the book as I think it sets the tone well.

“No matter how a family comes together, and no matter how it comes apart, this is true and will always be true: you cannot lose a child. We were given one. And she was glorious.”


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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