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Love and Mayhem

One Big Family's Uplifting Story of Fostering and Adoption
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Many people say being a parent is the toughest job there is. John DeGarmo, foster and adoptive parent, tells us just how tough it can be, having parented over 40 children. At times he and his wife, Kelly, have cared for up to nine children at a time, many with severe trauma and learning difficulties.

Love and Mayhem is an honest and open account of the struggles, sadness and joy that comes with the job of being a parent to a traumatized child. From the sleepless nights with babies withdrawing from drug-addiction, to the heartbreak when a child moves on to another home, and the loving chaos that comes with a large and blended family, John DeGarmo fights for the many children who have come through his home.

Ideal for foster families, general readers, fostering agencies and social workers who are looking for a true to life memoir of what it really is to be a foster parent.
  • Published: Oct 21 2014
  • Pages: 208
  • 216 x 140mm
  • ISBN: 9781849057752
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Press Reviews

  • Rhonda Sciortino, author of Succeed Because of What You've Been Through

    Truly inspiring- John and Kelly DeGarmo go to extraordinary lengths to love broken children into wholeness and to teach others how to do the same.
  • Irene Clements, Foster Care Consultant and President, National Foster Parent Association, USA

    So many emotions abound in this book: joy and sorrow, trust and fear, elation and anger, confidence and uncertainty, energy and exhaustion, confirmation and questioning.... all reflect an honest view of foster parenting. Foster parents will love this book as it confirms everything they experience that others do not understand. For others it provides a true picture of the life of a foster family. Kudos to John DeGarmo for this well-written, entertaining and honest book.
  • Paul Mastin, adoptive parent

    John DeGarmo has established himself as an expert on foster care and adoption, yet he calls foster parenting the hardest thing he's ever done. Any foster parent I've ever known or read about would whole-heartedly agree with DeGarmo's assessment. In Love and Mayhem: One Big Family's Uplifting Story of Fostering and Adoption, DeGarmo tells stories from the front lines, as his family has fostered dozens of children through the years. On one level, DeGarmo's experience might discourage potential foster parents from entering the fray. Foster parenting can be full of heartbreak. DeGarmo does not gloss over the pain and ugliness of fostering. Yet the love and healing that foster children can find in families like the DeGarmos' is crucial and undeniable. DeGarmo describes the rewards and satisfaction of fostering in spite of the pain. Would that more families followed the DeGarmos' example and took up the mantle of fostering in cities across the country.