Castaway Kid: One Man's Search for Hope and Home

Castaway Kid: One Man's Search for Hope and Home

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by R. B. Mitchell
     
 

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Abandoned by his parents when he was just three years old, Rob Mitchell began his journey as one of the last “lifers” in an American orphanage. As Rob’s loneliness and rage grew, his hope shrank. Would he ever find a real family or a place to call home?

Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant, this true story shows how, with…  See more details below

Overview

Abandoned by his parents when he was just three years old, Rob Mitchell began his journey as one of the last “lifers” in an American orphanage. As Rob’s loneliness and rage grew, his hope shrank. Would he ever find a real family or a place to call home?

Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant, this true story shows how, with faith, every person can leave the past behind and forge healthier, happier relationships.

Now, Rob’s story has been turned into a compelling audiobook narrated by Paul Rothery. Listeners will be encouraged to find hope in every situation as they follow Rob through his life journey.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Mitchell is a respected financial consultant and a dedicated youth advocate, but what's not well known is that he had a tumultuous childhood. His memoir reveals his life in an orphanage after his mother abandoned him at age 3, as well as his struggle to find love and acceptance and learn to trust. Mitchell knew his mentally ill mother, who once kidnapped him from the orphanage, but had no real memories of his father, who attempted suicide but ended up brain damaged. His maternal grandmother was the boy's anchor, but she couldn't raise him, which only added to his confusion. He teetered on the edge of disaster as he matured, but at age 17 he prayed, "Jesus, if You are real, come into my nightmare. Forgive me of my sins and change me." Mitchell's story is inspiring both for its spiritual dimension and its conventional Horatio Alger narrative. The facts of his case are also verifiably true, which Mitchell and the publisher take pains to ensure in part through the Web site www.amillionlittleproofs.com, which offers .pdf versions of documents from Mitchell's past. His memoir will appeal to adults with difficult pasts, those who work with troubled kids and anyone who revels in seeing God change a life. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604827880
Publisher:
Focus on the Family
Publication date:
01/12/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
366,151
File size:
790 KB

Read an Excerpt

Castaway Kid

One Man's Search for Hope and Home
By R.B. Mitchell

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 R.B. Mitchell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-58997-434-0

Contents

Is This Story True?......................1 1. Cast Away.............................5 2. Little Boys...........................11 3. The Tornado...........................19 4. Different.............................25 5. Kidnapped.............................33 6. The Doctors...........................45 7. Gigi's Gift...........................51 8. The Choice............................55 9. Atlanta...............................61 10. Is There Room?.......................71 11. Why?.................................81 12. Earning Power........................89 13. Reunion..............................95 14. A Few Good Men.......................103 15. The Rebel............................111 16. A Losing Season......................117 17. The Lifeguard........................123 18. Are You Real?........................129 19. A New Beginning......................135 20. The Freshman.........................145 21. Home.................................149 22. Revelation...........................155 23. Into Africa..........................163 24. Forgive?.............................173 25. Pauline..............................179 26. Father...............................185 27. Mother...............................193 28. The Lost Boys........................201 29. Seeking Susan........................207 30. The Relationship.....................215 31. Separated............................221 32. Fear of Family.......................225 33. Full Circle..........................231 Epilogue.................................239 A Note to Educators......................243 For Further Reading......................245

Chapter One

moving, but I don't hear the words. When it finally sinks in that Mother has left me, I begin to whimper.

"Stop that, Robby," the woman commands. "Play with the toys."

"I want Mommy!" I scream. "I want Daddy. I want Grandma Gigi. I wanna go home!" The screams turn to loud sobs as I run toward the door. I try to open it, but can't turn the handle.

"Stop that crying, Robby, or I'm going to spank you!" the woman warns.

"I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" I cry, throwing myself on the floor and kicking my feet.

The tantrum pushes her to the end of her patience. Yanking me off the floor, she spanks me again and again. Finally I clamp my teeth together to keep the cries inside.

She stops, but I can't quit sniffling.

That night, the other kids ignore me.

When morning comes, I wake up in a wet bed. The woman scolds me.

After breakfast she puts a brown rubber cover over the mattress and a brown rubber sheet on top. She makes me lie between them all morning.

The rubber sheets are hot. They squeak when I move.

"Pee-pee baby," some of the boys chant. "New kid is a pee-pee baby." I'm ashamed, but too afraid to say anything.

The squeak of brown rubber sheets has tagged me as being bad, different.

Different from the other boys at the place where Mother has abandoned me.

* * *

In the weeks and months that followed, I heard nothing from Mother. But I did hear from Grandma Gigi.

I don't know how or when she found out where I was. But once she did, she took the train from Chicago every Saturday to visit me in the little farming town of Princeton, Illinois.

Gigi was in her 60s, divorced, and poor. Living alone in a tiny apartment, she worked as a clerk at the big Marshall Field's department store downtown. My mother, Joyce Mitchell, was her only child; I was Gigi's only grandchild.

Visiting me wasn't easy for Gigi. It meant leaving her apartment on the north side of the city early in the morning, walking four blocks on Ridge Boulevard to Howard Street, and catching a bus to the Howard station-then taking the Red Line elevated train to Belmont, changing to the Purple Line to Adams and Quincy, and walking several long blocks to Union Station. There she caught the train known as the California Zephyr and rode for two hours to Princeton. Arriving about 10 A.M., she'd face five more blocks to the Covenant Children's Home.

When she finally saw me, Gigi would kneel and wait for me to run to her. Somehow she stayed on her feet as I threw myself into her arms. Hugging me close, she smelled good. She always looked like a lady-a modest but flattering dress covering her medium build, along with earrings, a necklace, nylon stockings, heels, and a hat with short, dark curls peeking out from under the brim.

"What new things have you learned since last I was here?" she'd always ask. I'd tell her all I could think of, then proudly tug her to the playground to show her my latest trick.

I was proud, too, when she said "Hi" to some of the other boys and called them by name. Kids like us felt special when someone remembered who we were.

Toward noon Gigi and I would walk to a small restaurant nearby. She ordered coffee, but rarely ate a meal. She let me look at the menu, then said, "How about a hamburger and a nice glass of milk? We'll have ice cream for dessert." That always sounded good to me.

But 2:00 P.M. would come much too soon. Gigi had to say good-bye and leave to catch the 3:00 train back to the city.

"Gigi, take me with you," I would beg. "Please, Gigi, please take me with you!"

That's when she would kneel again, tears in her eyes, saying the same thing she always said. "Robby, darling, you're my precious grandson. I'm sorry I can't keep you with me. I'm sorry your parents are too sick to keep you. Keep my love in your heart. It will always be there."

I didn't understand what she meant. All I knew was that love seemed to fill me up each Saturday when she was with me. When she left, I felt empty and alone.

Time after time, standing outside the front door of the Children's Home, I watched her walk away. Arms crossed and hands tucked into armpits, I rocked slightly left to right.

Why won't you take me home with you? I cried silently. I'll be a good boy, Gigi. I promise. I won't eat much! Please, please don't leave me here.

Finally she would disappear from my tear-blurred sight.

And the only one left to hug me was ... me.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Castaway Kid by R.B. Mitchell Copyright © 2007 by R.B. Mitchell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story of a man that triumphed over years of parental rejection, suffered in an orphanage for 14 years, and still did not let his childhood define the man he became. Grab a box of tissue and read!!! This story will gave you hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author struggled with so much during his young life. It is a testament to the power of God. What an awesome story of hope and forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book captured me in its first word. The author's journey with God and Jesus Christ will help anyone whom is searching for the meaning in their own lives. Reading the reviews on the back of the book - - the backstreet boy's one - made me feel like the story was going to be cheesy,but he review wasn't false. Rob humbles you. Makes you want to do something. Be something. What an inspiration. Everyone should read this book. It changes lives.
Keith-S More than 1 year ago
The book is honest and well written. It offers a great understanding of the life of a child that is forced to ask themselves hard questions about their past, future and familiy.
It helps you understand the struggles and pain that young kids can have when forced to try to understand their life and the reasons they don't have a "normal" life
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a powerful story about a person's ability to rise above such significant abuses and neglect in life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most moving and amazing books I have ever read. I highly recommend this outstanding book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding story. It is a great message of hope and how one man was able to rise above difficult circumstances.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good thought provoking book especially if you know any castaway kids
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can learn a lot by reading this book. We struggle in life with many problems, but knowing that there is hope no matter how hard life can be, we will find peace in your heart. A good book for young and adults. God Bless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uh mazing! Uplifting and eye opening
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a vary good book shows what you really can do when life sometimes seems so unfair great read but also vary sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I read almost the whole book in one night. Couldn't wait to finish it the next night.
harstan More than 1 year ago
This may be the memoir of the year as no one will get through it without crying at least once especially with the provided proof ay a web site and within the bio supporting everything that R.B. Mitchell claims. When financial guru Mr. Mitchell was three years old his mother abandoned him. He was placed in an orphanage as a ¿lifer¿ distrusting everyone. As he got older he wondered why she dumped him as he began to question whether anyone could love him. His mom tried to kidnap him from the orphanage his father tried suicide, but lived suffering from brain damage. His grandmother showered him with the little love he received as a child, but always left him behind in the orphanage, making him feel further rejected and unworthy of being loved. Finally at seventeen when he appeared heading down a path to self destruction, Mr. Mitchell turned to Jesus to help him overcome his nightmare of a life. That was the beginning of the turn around as he found Jesus loved him. Without preaching, the CASTAWAY KID is inspiring, encouraging the young that they can make it as he did it. Mr. Mitchell provides a gripping account of overcoming being dumped and turned into a lifer once he found the Lord. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a heart-wrenching book.  I have a couple of male friends that grew up in situations very similar to Michael's. this book helped me to understand some of their actions, life choices and behavior. Both men are what I consider over-comers and now I have a more clear picture of what their life was really like as a  child.  
Phyllis_377 More than 1 year ago
This true story is a real rags to riches tale that is touching as well as motivating. It is a story of one of the last "lifers" to live most of his childhood in a orphan's home. The story will make you laugh and cry as well as make you want to shake some sense into the adults in this boys life. It was a story that will stay with you the rest of your life. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! A must read! Can't put it down!
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stingzgrrl More than 1 year ago
I just.. wow. I literally could not put this down and read it in like 4 hours. This was amazing. I cried at the end. It's amazing what we can accomplish with a little determination, even if you're not entirely sure *what* you're determined to do except survive. Also has me thinking about relationships in my own life - perhaps I need to do some forgiving of my own in order to fully move on and let old wounds heal. It's so sad and scary to think that this was someone's real life, but, wow, what great writing, and really, what an uplifting and incredible story! Also, definitely make sure you have some tissues ready.
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