Failing at Fatherhood

A Book for the Imperfect Father

Non-Fiction - Biography
166 Pages
Reviewed on 07/15/2015
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Author Biography

Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees at Johnson University, and their graduate degrees (Jack M.Ed. Regent University, M.Sc. Canisius College/ Jana M.A. Lee University) they flew to Bangkok for the first time.
For the past nine years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand.

Three years ago, Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan. Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”?

Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan. They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions.

Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel. Jack also wrote his first book, Failing at Fatherhood, which has been endorsed by Bob Russell, S.A. Bodeen, and Woodroll Kroll.

Jack and Jana had a simple plan for their future, but God has forced them to trust in HIS plan.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Samantha Gregory for Readers' Favorite

Failing at Fatherhood: A Book for the Imperfect Father by Jack Barr is the story of the birth of Jack's daughter, Marley, and her diagnosis of Down's Syndrome. Jack shares his feelings about the diagnosis and how it affected him in the early part of his daughter's life. He becomes angry at his wife, Marley, and God over the diagnosis, but instead of talking to anyone about it, he bottles it all up. As the book goes on, Jack begins to accept his daughter's diagnosis.

Jack Barr has written about a difficult event in Failing at Fatherhood, but in the early chapters you don't really have any sympathy for him. His reaction is completely selfish - he is only worried about himself and how everything is affecting him. He has already written off his daughter before she has a chance to prove him wrong. Children with Down's Syndrome can live very full lives. Gradually, Jack learns to accept it and comes to terms with it. He tells us about his own childhood and the experiences he had with his own father and how they shaped him.

There is a strong Christian influence in the book and Jack works in Thailand teaching people about God. Many parents of Down's Syndrome children will tell you that, while it can be difficult at times, they wouldn't change their child for anything. Having Down's Syndrome does not define a child, it is just a part of them. I think the book is interesting to read for parents of children born with a disability.