Loving Samantha can be purchased locally at the Heaven and Earth bookstore in Janaf Shopping Center, 5900 East Virginia Beach, Blvd. Norfolk or at Prince Books in downtown Norfolk, 109 East Main Street. It can also be ordered online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Loving Samantha is a collection of faith-filled stories of life experiences raising Samantha, a beautiful, 17-year-old who happens to have autism. Karen F. Jackson is the mother and debut author of this first-person faith-filled special journey.
Loving Samantha is divided into four sections with stories that exemplify moments with family and friends, personal faith and church community. The fourth section is a sampling of stories contributed by other “special” moms, who also share the blessings and challenges of raising children with special needs.
Loving Samantha is an easy read, perfect for for small group discussions. By choosing one short chapter at a time as a jumping off point for conversation, small groups can broach topics such as marriage, sibling support, inclusion in church and more with humor and ease. For this reason, each chapter includes a scripture reading and discussion questions carefully and prayerfully chosen to correlate to each chapter and topic.
Loving Samantha is most importantly a book about hope. Deeply personal and painfully honest, these stories convey the important message that disability does not have to mean only hardship and a challenge to one’s faith. It can also be about growth and assurance that God is there for you.
Karen Jackson has been writing on issues of faith and disability since 2008 with stories shared on FIN’s website and with local organizations, published articles in the Winter 2012 TASH Connections Newsletter and the 2013 Florida publication of The Autism Notebook. She is a wife, mother of three, educator, advocate, writer and Executive Director and Founder of the non-profit organization, Faith Inclusion Network (FIN) of Hampton Roads. She also contributed to Mark Pinsky’s book, Amazing Gifts, Stories of Faith, Disability and Inclusion.
Karen resides with her family in Norfolk, VA and is the band director at The Williams School, Norfolk. She speaks locally and nationally on behalf of Faith Inclusion Network, including presentations at the 2012 Annual Meeting for the AAIDD, the 2013 Accessibility Summit at McLean Bible Church and the 2013 National TASH Conference in Chicago.