Irene Garcia’s inspirational memoir, co-written with Lissa Halls Johnson, releases February 1st with an account of foster parenting, faith and trust that began so differently the narrative reads like two stories in one. It’s also a compelling tale of teen pregnancy, early marriage, abuse, addiction and a DUI arrest as well.
A normal reaction after ten years of alcohol-fueled abuse would be divorce, an action Irene seriously considered when her husband was sentenced to five days in jail for drunk driving. Even though she didn’t want a divorce she no longer believed in his promise to change. Was change even possible after all these years.
Although not likely, Domingo’s time in jail with time think was life-changing. The first day he was filled with self-pity. The second day he blamed the police. The third day he blamed his brother, uncle and family. The fourth day he realized alcohol and beer helped him forget “horrible childhood” memories. By the fifth day he knew he only had himself to blame. Even worse was realizing he treated his sons like his father had treated him.
Domingo’s prayer-fueled remorse gave him the courage to call Irene and say: “I’m a new man…and will never drink again. If you leave now, you’ll have only had my worst years…” instead of my best years. “…will you forgive me?”
Irene no longer trusted or loved her teenage sweetheart yet felt she had to agree. She too had changed since meeting weekly with the friend who led her to say yes to a “personal relationship” with Christ. Reading the Bible, trusting and turning to Him in prayer gave her a closeness she’d never experienced growing up Catholic.
In the years to come Irene would call this time their “honeymoon years,” when the “unthinkable happened” and she fell in love with Domingo all over again as God healed their marriage and Domingo’s relationships with his sons. In time they wanted more children but Irene’s ectopic pregnancy made that impossible. Then they considered adoption and foster parenting, however, this is only one piece of their amazing story.
The rest of the Garcia’s story is a genuine, heart-warming account of God’s intervention not only in the lives of Irene, Domingo and their sons, but in the lives of thirty-two children, many of them special needs kids the Garcia’s would foster or raise in the next thirty-two years. A story Meredith J. Graham writes about in Chico News.
Many children’s accounts, the lives they lived before the Garcia’s welcomed them into their home, aren’t easy to read and all stories don’t have happy endings. Yet their inspiring accounts shine with extraordinary examples of faith, trust and love that reveals God uses ordinary broken people when they surrender and submit to God. Just ask the Garcia’s.
For a preview of Irene and Domingo’s encouraging book: YouTube interview.
‘Rich in love: When God rescues messy people’ by Irene Garcia & Lissa Halls Johnson, David C. Cook—releases February 1, 2014, 272 Pages, 978-1434706881, $14.99
Midwest Book Reviews Jan 2014 “Gail’s Bookshelf”
LinkedIn: Gail Welborn
FaceBook: Gail Welborn
Rich in Love: When God Rescues Messy People, by Irene Garcia & Lissa Halls Johnson
One Step of Obedience Led to Thousands
Irene and Domingo Garcia began their married lives at sixteen, already expecting a baby. Their first ten years together included Domingo’s alcoholism and abuse, and Irene’s desperate prayers for answers. Then a miracle happened: Domingo pleaded for forgiveness. As God healed their marriage, Irene and Domingo adopted a little girl. And a new season began for an imperfect couple who were willing to say yes to each other and to God.
Over the past forty-five years, the Garcia’s have birthed, fostered, or adopted thirty-two children. Their story holds difficult endings as well as promising new beginnings. Above all, their story reminds us what can happen when ordinary people submit to God’s call.
Rich in Love is about a family cemented in hope. About a need to love the orphan. And about a God who never, ever gives up.
Coping With An Alcoholic Spouse-31-Day Plan for Dealing With Your Alcoholic Husband or Wife, by Ashley Rosebloom
Are you exhausted from trying to control your alcoholic spouse? Does it feel like no matter what you try, your husband or wife won’t stop drinking? Are you tired of constantly obsessing over your spouse’s alcoholism? Do you want to learn how to find serenity in the midst of the chaos you’re living in?
This 31-day plan for learning how to deal with an alcoholic spouse will change your life forever. These are proven methods that have helped tens of thousands of people all over the world learn how to cope with family members and friends who are addicted to alcohol.
When you are finished reading this book you will know how to:
· Set boundaries
· Not be an enabler
· Love your alcoholic spouse without conditions
· Detach from your husband or wife
· Stop arguing with your spouse
· Let go of any alcoholic in your life
· Communicate with the problem drinker
Ashley Rosebloom, author of “Coping with an Alcoholic Spouse – 31-Day Plan for Dealing with Your Alcoholic Husband or Wife” has been helping people learn to cope with addicts since 1998. She’s attended thousands of support group meetings designed to keep alcoholics sober and to teach friends and family members how to cope.
Crisis Intervention Strategies by Richard K. James and Burl E. Gilliland
Richard “Dick” James is a Crader Professor of Counseling at the University of Memphis. He is a licensed psychologist and licensed professional counselor. He also is a Nationally Certified School Counselor. He is currently coordinator of psychological assessment at the University of Memphis Center for Rehabilitation and teaches graduate classes in crisis intervention, theories of counseling, and school counseling at the University of Memphis. He trains police officers for crisis intervention with the mentally ill and consults on crisis intervention planning and techniques with schools, agencies, and businesses.
Burl Gilliland was a twice Distinguished Professor Emeritus who taught in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research at the University of Memphis. He was instrumental in founding the Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology in Memphis and served as the program director for more than a dozen years. He was recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Award for his work in race relations and human relations. He was a licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor, and licensed school counselor. He was also a retired Captain in the U. S. Naval Reserve, having seen service in World War II and combat duty in the Korean War. He served in extensive consultative capacities with a variety of agencies, police departments, and medical and educational institutions, including service for 18 years as school psychologist for the Milan, TN School District. He was active in both APA and ACA since 1961.
Without a Glass, by Valerie Skyla
Believing that her love would have the power to free him from the clutches of his internal demons, she declared herself his savior and wedded the boy and his bottle.
For twenty-six years she cuddled him, cried for him and watered his vodka. On the last day of his tempestuous love affair with booze, she froze in horror as shattered glass sprayed around her and hot oil from a frying pan arced toward his only challenger, their older daughter.
A memoir, anonymously authored to protect her family, this story endlessly repeats itself in varying relationships throughout our society. The statistics are frightening: 50% of the children of alcoholics marry alcoholics; more than that number become addicts themselves. But sometimes the chain is broken. Sometimes there is recovery without a glass.
The Impossible Marriage: Walking With God in Overwhelming Circumstances, by Summer McClellan
The Impossible Marriage is a book meant to offer hope to the crushed and hurting. It is the true story of two very broken people put together by God. How He took them by the hand and led them through their problems one step at a time, and never failed them. They experienced God’s help in supernatural ways, through angels, dreams, and many miracles, as God delivered them over and over. It deals with abuse, alcoholism, fear, mental illness, and prison. This book is not for everyone. It is for those who are facing impossible problems and are overwhelmed by life; those who are looking for hope. What God has done for the McClellan’s, He will do for you.
A Craving, by Emily Arnold
“It’s a relief to see you looking yourself,” her best friend said. Polly was shocked- who else had she seemed to be? The truth was devastating: She was a woman drinking around the clock, battling her husband, endangering her children, jeopardizing her career. And yet, there was no other way to get through the days, was there? Her terrible downward slide could stop only when she hit rock bottom and faced the hell of getting up again.
“Startling, compelling, clear-headed, eloquent.” “a rare book…instead of telling one person’s tale, A CRAVING achieves the universality of any good fiction”-Newsday
Living with a Functioning Alcoholic: A Woman`s Survival Guide, by Dr. Neill Neill
Brief yourself on alcoholism, codependency, recovery and the alcoholic relationship.
“Living with a Functioning Alcoholic-A Woman’s Survival Guide” carries a message of hope for women in relationships with partners who abuse alcohol, for women living in the chaos of alcoholic families.
The book guides you to a place of clarity and perspective on what is happening in your life. You will discover signs and symptoms of alcoholism and be able to see alcoholism facts amidst the many myths about alcoholism. The repercussions of alcohol abuse for the entire family may be broader than you think. You may discover new ways to help yourself while caring for your partner. Alternatively you might decide you must end the relationship for the well being of your children or for your personal safety. Each chapter ends with a “reflection” question, something to think about as you apply the principles to your personal situation. Never give up hope.
Broken Promises: One Family’s Journey Through Alcoholism to Reconciliation by Jane Bartels & Tan Howard Blumer
Lost in the pull of alcoholism, Jane Bartels did the unthinkable. She left her five young children in order to drink. This is not only the story of one person’s descent into hell, it is also the story of a vulnerable young family of five children trying to stay strong while their mother continually disappoints and betrays them. While Jane tells her story with searing, heart-breaking honesty, the children provide their own gut-wrenching, emotional response. Their shared story provides a penetrating and unique view of the toll which substance abuse inflicts on entire families.
Our Marriage: Surviving Addiction And Thriving In Sobriety, by Sue Pruett
Karl possessed enormous stubbornness which was both an asset and a liability in his quest for sobriety” – Paul Stuenkel (former counselor at Menninger Hospital and St. Francis Recovery)
“Sue Pruett is living proof that the 12 Steps of Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the loving people in those programs really work for healing. No matter how deep the disease has devastated a person or their family, there is hope, there is help, and there is health available” – Dr. Ronald Lee Cobb (former counselor at Valeo Mental Health Center, Menninger Hospital and current Clinical Director of “Hope, Help, Health” in Holton, KS. )
“I am so honored to have known Karl and Sue. They help me remember why I have spent over 25 years working in the addiction field. Even though Karl was the identified patient, the family needed help and recovery too. I pray that their story will give others the hope and belief that recovery is possible” – Joyce Markham, LSCSW (former counselor, St. Francis Recovery)
As amazing as it seems, I did not know about Karl’s drinking for many years as he was a master of deception. Living with the ups and downs of the roller coaster of addiction was a painful process for all of us. Even once he started facing his problem he had multiple rehab treatments and many relapses. Both family and friends urged me to give up on him thinking he was never going to embrace sobriety. Thankfully a miracle happened, and this man who stumbled so many times found his sobriety. He became the man I always believed in, and shared his lessons unselfishly with others for years. I was naïve and gullible enough to believe everything he told me. When I realized the truth I was stubborn enough never to give up. Oh by the way, I loved him with all my heart. The end was better than any fairy tale. This is our story, and this is our truth.
Hannah Strong, by SJ Matthews
Hannah Strong struggles to keep her marriage intact while dealing with her alcoholic father. Her marriage is on the verge of collapse and her father cannot stay sober. Both issues may impact her plan to attend the equestrian competition of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. This short story leads into the novel Miracle at Santa Anita, which will be published in 2014. The first chapter of this book is included with Hannah Strong.