Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Change in the World - Pemberton

Some children are born lucky, with families who love them, stable homes, and abounding opportunities in life. Others are not as lucky.

Steve (Klakowicz) Pemberton was one of the unlucky, born without A Chance in the World. Born to an alcoholic, careless white mother and a fly-by-the-night, boxer-turned-heroin-addict black boyfriend, Pemberton was taken into foster care at the young age of three, when his parents were deemed unable to care for him.

Klakowicz found himself forced onto a horrible foster family who used him like a servant, abusing him physically and emotionally, barely feeding him, and openly dissuading him from reading.  With only a box of books from a stranger and the dream that his real parents would eventually come for him, Klakowicz survived for over a decade.

Eventually, faced with the hope of college (his only savior, in his eyes) and his foster family's refusal to assist him, Klakowicz realized he needed take control. After years of getting little help from family services, he finally got lucky and found the help he needed to manage his release. With the assistance of those friends, he attended college and, despite struggles, succeeded.

As an adult, Klakowicz decided that if his family wasn't coming for him...he would find them. But reality is never as good as fantasy. When he finally found his family, he discovered they were not what he had hoped. Not only had both of his parents died as a result of their own demons, his last name was not even his own. It had been forced on him to hide his birth father's identity. His brothers and sisters were separated and fractured, emotionally hurting themselves, due to their own horrors in life.  Only through persistence and true love, was he able to bridge years of pain to build relations with them.

Ultimately, through the birth of his own family, Pemberton (who changed his name to match that of his birth father) discovers that sometimes home doesn't come to you, you have to make it for yourself.

A wonderful, moving read, with a touch of mystery and a whole lot of positivity.  Definitely worth sharing with friends.

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.