Several months ago I was approached to review a book called Chasing The Cyclone, by Peter Thomas Senese. It's a book I almost passed on because of the subject matter. Since becoming a parent, I have steadfastly avoided giving my attention to any news, programs or publications with harm to children as the topic. It can't be avoided completely, since it seems there is something terrible happening somewhere every minute, but I do my best.
After thinking about it for a few days, considering Mr. Senese's message and his mission, I decided to take on the review. Doing what is right isn't always comfortable. That's a message I want to pass on to my children and to teach it authentically I have to live it. So, here goes.
Chasing The Cyclone is the story of a father who will do whatever it takes to find his son when he is cruelly taken from him. Paul Francesco has a painful relationship with his ex-wife. The child they created together keeps them bound together and Paul and his 7-year-old son, Alex, remain close and have frequent visits even though they live far apart. It's a complicated story of a citizenship, custody rights, shifty attorneys, inadequate courts and communications between a US father and a Canadian mother. It's also riveting.
I read this on my Kindle device and to be honest, for the two or three days it took me to read it, that device rarely left my hands. Senese brilliantly conveys the heartbreak Paul feels as his attempts to reunite with his beloved son are repeatedly blocked. Soon, Alex is not just over a border, but on the other side of the world before he, his mother and her boyfriend disappear altogether.
It's a frightening, frustrating tale, but the fact is that it is a true story and something that happens more often than you can imagine. Thousands of children disappear over borders and seas at the hands of a parent each year and only a handful are ever reunited. Paul's experience, you might guess, is closely based on the author's own. You will turn page after page to find out if he and Alex make it back to the daily life of parent and child that most of us happily take for granted.
You can learn more about quietly growing epidemic at http://www.chasingthecyclone.com/ and right here where I'm privileged to present Peter Thomas Senese and the I Care Foundation's educational series on International Child Abduction http://www.dgmommy.com/2012/10/are-your-children-at-risk-of.html
When you're a parent to one, you're a parent to all. Educating yourself is but one step you can take to save a mother, father or child from ever living through this kind of terror.