Lore Cottone’s story is a heartwrenching — the journey of a mother facing the complicated life of a child diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, bipolar disorder and depression. The many problems of her oldest son, Graham, eventually led to addiction and self-harming behavior. He spent his eighteenth and nineteenth birthdays in jail, and his twentieth birthday in a mental hospital. At times he was homeless. Over the years, she and her family struggled to discover how to help Graham. They tried homeschooling, counseling, medication, mentoring, rehab and more — hoping each time that the final piece of the puzzle would fall into place, solving his problems.
Finally, realizing that Graham and her other sons are grown, Lore discovers that as a Christian, the only way to find peace is to give her children into God’s care, to trust him fully. As she puts it:
“They were all young men now. We had done the job of raising them in the faith of our loving God. Now they needed to make choices. They needed to own their faith. I was called to pray but not to worry over their decisions.”
All parents face this dilemma at some point, but how much harder it is when you see your child floundering. Eventually Graham’s life settles down. He moves to California and finds a church. An older man offers to rent him a room in his house and they become friends. He is accepted as an intern in the church’s ministry school and attends community college. Finally, he is medication and drug free and functioning well.
Lore describes Graham’s story as a miracle. Not all stories will end as well. The lesson to take away is not that God will eventually fix all our problems — it is to trust Him and His purposes, even in the midst of our personal chaos. His plan cannot be thwarted. Nothing is wasted.
VERDICT: 3 STARS. This is a very personal memoir that will appeal to parents facing similar issues.
For another book on special needs parenting, see this post: