Born Broken


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A must read for prospective adoptive and foster parents as well as those already in the trenches of caring for a child affected by fetal substance abuse, early childhood trauma, abandonment, and attachment issues.

Kristin Berry tells her family’s story honestly, and does not shy away from the challenges she and her family has faced, including isolation and depression. Written with her son’s blessings, in the hopes that others will learn about and understand what it is like to live with FASD...

“Mom you need to write the truth. It is hard to live with FASD. I hate that I have hurt people. I hate that school is hard. I hate that I always make the wrong choice. I hate living like this. People need to know what this is like. People need to know that drinking while pregnant is never okay. People need to know!”

The story began like a dream…

A child is born with all the possibilities of a bright future. Nearby, a loving family waits for the son they have always dreamed of. When they become a family, little league, playdates, birthday parties and college scholarships all seem within the grasp of this all-American family.

But when the fairy tale ended…

The family realizes their precious child is struggling with the most basic developmental milestones, and they vow to love him more. However, the truth of their son’s condition is something that even the strongest family could not undo. His brain has been damaged by alcohol before he was even born. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the leading cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States… and there is no cure.

One family’s powerful story of faith began.

The fight to advocate for their son in a world that did not understand left this family feeling exhausted and hopeless. The isolation of their reality almost destroyed their marriage and their family, until they found strength in a community they never knew existed. They found families that were struggling too. They stepped out of isolation and together they found faith and hope once again.

A Look Inside

Born Broken (372.86 kB)
SKU 754-0
Manufacturer New Leaf Press
Weight (in lbs) 0.50
Title Born Broken
Subtitle An Adoptive Journey
ISBN 13 9780892217540
Contributors Kristin Berry
Binding Paperback
Page Count 160
Publisher New Leaf Publishing Group, LLC
Dimensions (in inches) 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

You look into this beautiful child’s eyes and suddenly realize all the love you have to give, all the hopes you had for them can’t change the damage done to them in the womb before they ever had a chance. This is the heartbreaking reality for some adoptive parents as they realize the lifelong consequences of alcohol use during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder is a leading cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States. What do you do when the fairy tale family you believed in suddenly seems to be falling apart in the face of this harsh reality? Author Kristin Berry:

There is no need to struggle alone or in isolation. Other families know what you are going through. Find strength in not only your faith, but in the community of others who understand your heartache and disappointment, and the desperate need to help these children have a future.

  • Provides an account of real-life struggles and solutions from early childhood to young adulthood
  • Opens a window into their life and family in hopes of encouraging others
  • Reveals understanding, compassionate support for families facing these heart-wrenching challenges.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Heartbeat
  • 2. Bad News
  • 3. Missed Birthday
  • 4. Garbage Bags
  • 5. Daddies Are Scary
  • 6. Cat Scratch
  • 7. Her First Words
  • 8. Praying for a Brother
  • 9. Persistent
  • 10. Prayers Answered
  • 11. An Abundance of Brothers
  • 12. A Sad Happy Sad Homecoming
  • 13. Unexpected Diagnosis
  • 14. Hoarding, Stealing, and Lonelieness
  • 15. Rage Monster
  • 16. Good Life
  • 17. Unexpected Peace
  • 18. Psychiatric Ward
  • 19. Depression
  • 20. Just a Normal Kid
  • 21. Arrested
  • 22. Broken Pieces
  • 23. Born Broken
  • FASD Quick Facts
  • Resources


Kristin weaves threads of hope and humor throughout an authentic representation of the challenges endured on her adoption journey. Kristin’s writing is a perfect blend of authenticity and hope wrapped refreshingly in humor.

Michele Schneidler, Pastor of Orphan Care, Overlake Christian Church

Born Broken is an invaluable resource for anyone who is caring for a child who comes from a traumatic background. Kristin’s reallife examples, heart-felt stories, and practical advice are the perfect recipe for hope on this journey.

Ira J. Chasnoff, MD, President, NTI Upstream

Once I started reading Born Broken, I couldn’t put it down. I felt I was walking through Kristin’s story, and in some small way, she was walking through mine. Kristin would understand my family like very few people can. Kristin weaves a beautiful tapestry of honesty, raw emotion, and hope into a single book. I highly recommend Born Broken to everyone parenting a child with a history of trauma and to anyone walking alongside them.

Lisa Qualls, Mom by birth, adoption, and foster care Writer/Speaker/Encourager at

Couldn’t put it down
Review by Lynette
I started this book yesterday morning and by the evening I had finished it. I could not put it down. This story is an open, raw account of the blessings and challenges that come from being willing to foster and adopt those who need a forever family. What stuck out to me the most was when the author admitted that at the early stages of her sons life she had no support. Before she knew her son had FASD she would gets looks, stares, and people whispering about how out of control her son was and how she needed to do better as his mom. It stuck out to me how much these foster parents need our support. Emotionally, spiritually we should be there for those who foster and adopt to lift them up and we should not be so quick to make judgement calls on what we ‘think’ is going on or should be happening. This book was such a blessing to read. I think anyone wanting to foster/adopt should read this book for more insight as to what it can be like. But overall, this book is for everyone.
Heartbreakingly beautiful
Review by Jo
As an adoptive and foster family, this really hit home. The truth of this book is refreshingly real. So many times it seems people want to tell the “ nice “ stories and these courageous families and kids get forgotten.
Very Informative
Review by Belle
I purchased this book because one of my sons is adopted. I would recommend this book to anyone, but specially to those considering adopting or interested in foster care. Great book.
Great book
Review by Michelle
As an adoptive mom to a child born addicted I was able to relate to much of what written. This book is very imforative and would be a helpful book to read for those that are considering doing fostercare or adopting.
Everyone should read this
Review by Rozanna
I can relate to this book with having adopted siblings. This was a fast read and I recommend reading it to understand those around you. We come in contact everyday with broken people.
Very informative
Review by Christa
This is a great yet heartbreaking book. It shows an up close, personal look at what happens to a baby born to an addicted mom and how it affects them and their loved ones. It also has great information for anyone thinking about foster parenting.

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