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Carla Carlisle

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Journey to the Son chronicles Carla A. Carlisle's eight-year battle with the system to protect the child of her heart from enduring trauma caused by his birth mother, who herself suffers from prolonged physical, emotional and mental abuse. "When I first saw him at 10 days old and held him in my arms, I knew he would be mine forever," said Carlisle, a corporate executive in financial services. "But I had no idea what I had to go through to keep him." For years Carlisle appeared to have it all: a loving husband, a successful career, a beautiful house and two dogs. Privately, she longed to be a mother and struggled to have children due to infertility. Carlisle and her husband spent thousands on fertility treatments and several hope-filled weeks listening to a heartbeat until it stopped. Their numerous attempts grew exhausting and expensive then ultimately became futile. The quest to get pregnant ruined their four-year marriage and ended Carlisle's desire to give birth – but not her desire to be a mother. In 2010, Carlisle became a foster parent to a boy born two months prematurely. However, six months later a flawed system returned him to his mentally ill, drug-addicted birth mother. Carlisle knew this custody arrangement would endanger his life and set out to protect him at all costs. Since her book's release on January 8, 2019, Carlisle has started a movement to bring awareness about trauma and its impact on children who are abuse victims. She is working with private and public sector organizations including Mental Health America of Central Carolinas, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Living Waters, Inc., a nonprofit interchange for faith-based organizations, to educate and empower decision-makers and parents to provide safe and healthy environments to keep at-risk children alive, safe, stable and resilient.