“A parent’s gripping journey of awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of her two boys dealing with significant challenges brought on by autism.”
–Stephen Mark Shore, EdD
When Karla Akins hoped that her autistic sons could learn to read and function independently, doctors warned her that those expectations would never be met. She set out to prove that, despite those warnings, all things are possible through God.
Laced with humor and compassion, A Pair of Miracles is the heartwarming story of her journey rearing adopted twin sons, each diagnosed with autism and fetal alcohol disorder. This is more than a moving biography from a mom on the front lines, however. It is a powerful tool, full of practical help for parents, educators, and church members working with children who have intellectual disabilities, speech impairments, and other limitations on the autism spectrum. It is also a challenge to the church to welcome and celebrate all the members of their congregation, no matter their abilities.
Thanks to Karla’s determination, faith, and unconditional love–and contrary to the doctors’ predictions–her adult twins are now able to function independently in many ways. They help their dad install pools, do carpentry work, and serve in the church as ushers, sound engineers, and children’s ministry workers.
For parents seeking hope, answers, and peace, Karla leads the way to all three down a path she’s already been.
Akins (The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots) tells the riveting story of her experience as an adoptive mother to two autistic boys. Akins was a foster mother before adopting, and she recalls the heartrending pain she and her husband felt when they had to give up their foster son to another family. But she knew she wanted to bring her love to a new child and adopted again, this time welcoming her twin boys. She remembers being asked by people whether she and her pastor husband had gone against God’s will by adopting the boys. Incredulous and irate that anyone could believe she would ever give up her sons, Akins forged forward to understand exactly what the autism diagnosis would mean to her family. Akins candidly shares the boys’ incessant screaming, biting, and feces-smearing that accompanied her strained attempts to communicate with the twins in their early years. This testimonial also works as a primer for parents in similar circumstances. The book outlines the Akinses’ day-to-day life as parents and includes practical educational recommendations for developing the best school and tutoring environments for autistic children. Akins, a special education teacher, includes a hefty amount of resources, reading lists, and lifestyle ideas for creating a flexible, happy home. Christian readers will discover hope, help, and a sense of community on every page of Akins’s excellent explanation of her experiences parenting autistic children. (July)
Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls.
Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth.
Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.
Karla Akins is a pastor’s wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of seven. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin adult sons with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 35 years. You can contact Karla for speaking engagements via her website at KarlaAkins.com.
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