I felt so many emotions reading this story. But first, let me start by telling you a bit about this story. Chasing The Cyclone is a story about a father facing this horrible storm of international child abduction. Within the first few pages, the author found a way to capture your attention and never want to put the book down. When the narrator, Paul, realizes that he has lost custody of his child Alex, because his ex-wife, D, had made up all these lies, you instantly feel for him. The storm he faces ahead is every parent’s worst nightmare. It opens your eyes to this important issue that is not talked about enough. To think that there are countries out there that your child can be abducted to and the government there will do nothing to help you! And since Alex is not a US Citizen(he was born and raised in Canada by his mom), there isn’t much the US government can do to help Paul. The way the writer writes this story, you feel every struggle, every heartbreak Paul is going through. You start to wonder, since the author writes so passionately about this issue, as to whether he or someone he knew went through this. And when you read his acknowledgements, you do realize that he has.
One of the emotions I felt while reading this story is anger. Angry that your child can so easily be taken out of the country by the other parent. Angry that the Canadian court system, given the evidence, still let D take Alex out of the country. Angry that D’s lawyers knowingly helped her abduct her child. If that is how Peter’s son got abducted in real life, then I hope those lawyers were not only disbarred, but also charged with the kidnapping as well.
Heartbreak. There was a part of the story that Paul got to see Alex without D knowing. Like any parent would react, the first thing he wanted to do was run to him but couldn’t. At that moment, my heart was breaking for him. Imagine seeing your child for the first time in a long time and not being able to run to him and hug him? And when he finally does, I was waiting for him to just take his son and run but he didn’t. I know I would have. There were many occasions like this in the story that Alex had the opportunity to take his son and he didn’t. His reason? He wanted to do it the right way. He didn’t want to traumatize his son any more than he already is. He knew that doing exactly what D had done to him would not be right and that he may lose his son forever.
Admiration. I admire Paul’s strength. How he was able to do this without falling apart I do not know. You wouldn’t blame him if he did. I know I would have been a mess if this happened to me. But you know what, you have to fight to keep your sanity, your strength, if you ever want to come out of this storm alive. I admire how when the time came in the end, he didn’t press charges against D. His son’s need is what always came first to him and he knew that his son may need his mom in his life one day. You would think after everything she put him through that he wanted nothing to do with her or wanted his son to have any contact with her. I was dumbfounded when I came to this part of the story. But his reasoning made sense. More power to him for doing the responsible thing to do, for doing what is right for his son.
Peter has provided me with so much information on international child abduction. It is an issue that needs to be talked about more. You can’t imagine how much you stand to lose while fighting to get your child back. You stand to lose everything you own, including the chance of you not ever finding your child. To the author I want to say that I am so sorry that you went through this. No one should ever have to go through this. I thank you for opening my eyes to this issue. And to every parent out there, this is a must read. You need to be aware that this is happening more than you could imagine. After I read this book, I held on so tightly to my son. I pray to God I never have to go through this horrible storm.