Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Prodigal Father: Daddy's Home - to Stay

Beth is faced with the decision of a lifetime when her estranged husband Scott suddenly returns and asks her to give their marriage a second chance.  She thinks he will change his mind once she tells him they have a daughter, and that their daughter has Down syndrome.  Instead, Scott convinces her to come to the resort he owns in northern Wisconsin and along with their daughter, Risa, take a chance on becoming a real family.  He does his best to adapt to his new role as father, learn about his daughter’s disability and show Beth that they all belong together.  Beth realizes she still loves Scott and wants to stay with him.  She is torn between her desire to create a family, the fear of failure and guilt over past mistakes.   

This book is available in regular and large print

I'm very proud of The Prodigal Father, published by Five Star Expressions. (Hint: this publisher markets to libraries.) As the mother of a child who has Down syndrome, I wanted to share a little of the experience of parenting a child with special needs. Several reviewers praised this aspect of The Prodigal Father. But more than that, I wanted this book be a sign of my appreciation for the Birth to Three Program.

The Birth to Three Program exists to help young children (from infants up to age 3) who show significant developmental delays. My own daughter was born 6 weeks early, two weeks before we were scheduled to move from Illinois to Wisconsin. So there we were, in a totally new town with three kids and a brand new baby that had some very scary health problems. It's not an understatement to say that we were lost.

Fortunately, the neonatal doctor refused to let us take my daughter home until we had a pediatrician lined up in our new town and until my daughter was enrolled in the Birth to Three program.

Theresa, our Birth to Three service coordinator was our lifeline. She went above and beyond the call of duty for my family - helping us get settled, giving us tips on where to shop, getting my daughter into speech, physical and occupational therapy, and even by going with me to our daughter's pediatric cardiologist (a two hour drive) when my husband couldn't. 

Next week is my daughter's 16th birthday. She has grown from a tiny baby struggling to survive into a happy, healthy teen. I can never thank Theresa enough for all she did on my daughter's behalf. The Prodigal Father is dedicated to her and to all the caring professionals who work in Birth to Three programs around the country.


Mrs. Soule said...

Wow, what an inspiring story! I'm adding this to my reading list. Thanks Kara!

joder said...

This sounds super emotional and a story I definitely want to read! As a disabled person, I'm always intrigued by stories with that subject matter.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Virginia said...

What a great story, I would love to read this book. I also had a nephew that was born with a lot of health problems, had several surgery's in his first year. Now he is 24 years old.

Virginia said...

Sorry forgot my email


desitheblonde said...

hi this is
i like the blog and the site contest are great

Caffey said...

Kara, I was moved by your story. I think of my two brothers who each have a child with severe autism and there have been some variety of great help for the children and them. Thanks so much for sharing your story both here and with your book.


Di said...

wonderful premise - it's so important to get information out in many different contexts.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Maggie Toussaint said...

what a nice story, Kara Lynn. I love your cover.

Jean P said...

Sounds like an inspiring and emotional book.
The cover is very sweet.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

Diane Craver said...

Beautiful cover and story!
As you know, we were blessed with two daughters born with Down syndrome.

Tell your daughter Happy 16th Birthday for me!

Kara Lynn Russell said...

Thank you everyone for leaving such wonderful comments!

Diane, good to see you! I will definitely pass on your birthday wishes.

mysticmother said...

I love the cover for this book and it sounds like a beautiful story. I would have loved to hear about the birth to 3 program when my son was one and had brain surgery. He had a seizure the sunday before thanksgiving and surgery the same week to remove a lesion pressing on his brain. My husband already had a job transfer in motion and we had to leave shortly after he got out of the hospital. It would have been nice having help coordinating his follow up care. He's a healthy three year old now, but I know others aren't so lucky and I think it's great you're putting the information out there for children and families in need.

Chicks of Characterization said...

What a wonderful story. My family have a friend whose daugther was born with Down Syndrome and also leukemia. Her family and my brother started a foundation called Chloe's Cause, in her honor. And to help raise awareness all over! Your story is an inspiration to everyone! Thanks so much for sharing.


Kara Lynn Russell said...

Thanks for the encouragement. A friend told me I need to write more stories that have people with disabilities.I thought that was too small a niche but somehow children with special needs keep popping up in my stories. I guess that's because they are close to my heart.

Mystic Mother, so glad to hear that your son is well now. Chicks of Characterization, thanks for telling me about Chloe's Cause. I admire your friend and brother for taking up a worthy cause.