“What makes a family is neither the absence of tragedy nor the ability to hide from misfortune, but the courage to overcome it and, from that broken past, write a new beginning.”
― Steve Pemberton, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
A few years ago, I came across this book. The Cover image grabbed my attention. A red tricycle and a ball set next to the title: A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
It was in an independent bookstore on Amelia Island, Florida. The story is a memoir. It is one that touched me on may levels. This story, the author Steve Pemberton story, is told in narrative form starting from a memory of a three or four year old little boy. A boy, a child, who is thrust into the foster care system and a life unlike I could ever imagine or wish on anyone. He is entrusted to a family that keeps him more as a servant and for the money the system gives them. He is not feed, he is abused both physically and mentally. It was difficult to read. But there is a silver lining. as the quote above indicates. Thanks to inner strength and character, obvious intellect and the help from others he was able to overcome his circumstances.
A few wonderful people take interest in I’m and little differences make big impacts. A woman notices him and gives him a few books and the seed was sown tat later grew and blossomed.
I don’t even know if Levin was her real name, but that was the name penned inside the covers of many of the books she gave me. For the rest of my childhood, however, she would walk beside me. And as an adult I have found I cannot forget her…..
…a fleeting thought entered my mind, one I had first learned from the pages of Mrs. Levin’s books: There are other ways that people live in this world. And I would now get a chance to discover them for myself. – Steve Pemberton, A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home
The bible is filled with references of overcoming and feeling overcome. It is just a fact of life that we will have seasons and circumstances that are not what we had hoped for. We often search a path, a guide toward our goals and a straight path. When it come to children too often they are victim to circumstances that cannot yet be overcome alone. However, each of us can make a small gesture or take interest in a child in need. we never know what seeds will be successful and witch will not. But we can be intentional in planting those seeds of encouragement. You never know if those are the only encouraging words that are heard by that child.
One story Steve told was from wen he later began searching for is family and uncovering lost pieces of his life. One foster person had written in his file, “This child doesn’t have a chance in the world.”
Thank God he was able too prove that line wrong, but it has always haunted me when I see young kids. I will always give them a smile, I will always have a soft spot, especially kids in foster care, for kids in my path. I will be placing books in kids hands as much as I can. It is the very least I can do. Steve Pemberton taught me:
“Those stories helped me realize that, although tragedy and loss are regrettably commonplace, we aren’t measured by what happens to us but rather by how we respond to it.”