Friday, May 1, 2009
When Hearts Conjoin by Erin Herrin & Lu Ann Staheli
When Hearts Conjoin
By Erin Marie Herrin with Lu Ann Brobst Staheli
RPE Publishing, May 2009
Review by Heather B. Moore
“Some people believe angels are real. Some believe they walk among us. On August 7, 2006, on the fourth floor of Primary Children’s Hospital, angels were there to comfort me on the scariest day of my life.”—begins the remarkable true story of the conjoined Herrin twins in the long-awaited memoir, When Hearts Conjoin. The account of Kendra and Maliyah’s birth and subsequent separation has appeared in magazine articles and newspaper articles around the world. So it was with eager anticipation that I read an advance copy of When Hearts Conjoin—the real story, as told by their mother, Erin Herrin.
From the first page, I was swept into the life of Erin and found myself reading the entire book in one day. The rollercoaster of emotions that she and her husband experienced left me breathless and in tears many times. Her pain was my pain, and her joy became my joy. At times, the reality of what Erin underwent in a physical sense and what she and her husband experienced emotionally and spiritually were overwhelming. I could barely comprehend experiencing one of their trials—let alone the combination of a miscarriage, the pending divorce with Jake, a father with stage four cancer, a father-in-law rapidly deteriorating from Parkinson’s, making the decision between the life and death of two children, a series of critical surgeries, a kidney donation, and finally the decision to separate the conjoined girls.
How could Erin and her husband endure all this and still keep their family together? The answer may seem inexplicable: Faith. Yet it was the only way. Their faith, combined with prayers from every corner of the world sustained them through the deepest valleys of despair.
In order to tell her story, Erin Herrin had to revisit the past, oftentimes painful memories, some of which she kept tightly locked in her heart. In a recent interview, co-author, Lu Ann Staheli said, “Probably the most difficult thing about [writing] this book was that Erin had tried so hard to shut out all the fears and bad memories from the past that she had almost blocked out some of the very details we needed to make this story alive enough to touch the hearts of the readers.”
I must wholeheartedly agree with the foreword penned by Richard Paul Evans, “I’m honored to introduce this amazing experience of sacrifice, faith and tender moments of quiet determination that can only come through the purest love. A mother’s love. A mother’s story. This is Erin Herrin’s journey to claim her family and keep them close to her heart.”
You will not be the same person after reading this book. It will change you. It has changed me. For continual updates and photos, or to order a copy of the book, visit the Herrin Family website: http://www.herrintwins.com/