I can honestly say this is one of the most intriguing, educational books I have read in quite a while. The Birth of Hope is written with passion and intent to educate readers about teen pregnancy. The author's experience in the field has led her to give readers many resources regarding one's birth, family history, and therapy.
Readers will follow Tasha and Justin, two teens who find they are going to be parents - through the initial shock of the news and the foster care system which actually worked with the help of supportive foster parents and case managers. Tasha and her sisters have been in many placements during their young lives and often don't have any good memories of their mother. Justin has been placed with a family that treats him as their own. His foster parents are very supportive of the couple and their wishes, yet still can provide loving guidance as they move through the pregnancy.
In each chapter readers get recommendations of books or websites that will add more valuable information. Different therapy techniques were described in detail, which I really appreciated, as well as exercises to connect with the baby. I found that her thoughts on communication with the teens and families and therapists very important. Readers will clearly see through the author's words that she is very dedicated to her profession as well as those she works with. Her extensive knowledge in this field reveals that even in a not so great system, with work and dedication good things can happen.
Readers will not be able to put this book down. It is one that is full of compassion, love and caring. It opens eyes to the foster care system. I would love to see a follow-up to the story of Tasha and Justin. The Birth of Hope is a book I will certainly recommend to my Psychology students.
Carol Hoyer, PhD
The Birth of Hope an important book revealing many positive possibilities for pregnant teen couples and others expecting their first child. The author has created an engaging story as a foundation for presenting healthy options for pregnancy and relationship. An important element is the setting--a young couple in foster care. This environment may not be well known to many readers outside that world, but it needs to be better known. The unique challenges and opportunities it affords are revealed with sympathy and respect. I recommend this book to teachers, therapists, social workers, professionals in the legal and medical systems, and any others who care about our youth and work for change in our society.
Nancy Burnett, PhD (Carlsbad CA)
Author of Journeys Home: Stories from Grandmother's Lap
The teenage years are no time for parenthood. "The Birth of Hope" tells the story of a teenage couple coping with an unplanned pregnancy. Through their worries and concern for their future child, their future, their hopes and dreams, and more, it is a tale of coming to term with the idea of family and keeping one's hopes up for the future. "The Birth of Hope" is a fine read that is well worth considering.
Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)
I love this extraordinary novel that clearly rises beyond mere fiction to brilliantly illuminate core human vulnerabilities that badly need decoding. Yet I must admit, for me, the novel was so full of charm and suspense that I couldn’t put it down. I was driven to find out how it would end. The novel teaches us volumes about a whole class of early traumas that are actually common (if not epidemic) and while the source remains mysterious the puzzle waits for solution in the mind of the baby. The issues confronted in this clinical tale cut deep and bite hard. The damage tends to go on until the truth is known and healed. The novelist lets us see it all unfold step by step. The littlest star is a baby named Hope, the parents are teens living in separate foster homes, and in the wings are the grandparents on both sides holding the critical secrets.
David B. Chamberlain, PhD
Author, The Mind of Your Newborn Baby now in 14 languages
The Birth of Hope is one of the first books I have read in a long time that seems to reach across all lines of age, gender, even race, and reaches out to each and every one on us. It speaks to our humanity as children, parents, siblings, and friends. We touch one another and are touched in ways that go beyond the obvious. This is a deeply sensitive and healing work.
Patricia Hansen, MA, E-RYT 500, and Certified Ayurvedic Practioner.
Pat has been teaching Yoga Nationally and Internationally for 42 years, and now trains teachers for certification in Yoga, Yoga therapy, and Ayurveda.
Imagine the shock of finding, at the age of fifteen, in foster care and having had your first ever sexual encounter, that you are pregnant. Already been stigmatised by society as a no-hoper following your eldest sister who was already into drugs and on the road to ruin, along with a mother who has been into prostitution, drugs and serving a prison sentence. Scared and feeling lonely, where do you turn? lick here to add text.
Tasha is shocked to find, after their initial despair, her foster parents support her and most of all the boy who got her pregnant, Justin, wants to look after and marry her. Justin, only 17, is also in foster care and wants to protect her and his baby. As the couple are both in foster care there is a lot of involvement with other people and meetings with the governing bodies to find out what is the best course of action for their life changing event.
The pregnancy journey is full of ups and downs, not just having to cope with the growth and development of their baby but also having to deal with the complex issues with other family members as well as their foster parents. The development stages and feelings experienced by the young couple as they go through the process is intensive and emotional.
As you follow the pregnancy you will cry, laugh, feel elation and an air of fear. The book will change your views or make you think a lot more about seeing young girls who are pregnant, it will also give you a good insight into how young mothers feel.
I thought the book was well written, both from a high amount of research undertaken and from personal experience and was very in depth. It took me on the journey with the young couple and I would recommend that any young person should read this book to help them through pregnancy or help prevent them becoming pregnant.