What Others are Saying
Read below to see what our readers are saying about Author, David Ingerson's inspirational book of hope in the midst of heartache and betrayal as well as grieving the death of a child.
“David Ingerson has written a very meaningful father's account of the myriad medical problems which confronted him upon the birth of Caleb. His faith in God led him on a heartbreaking journey facing these problems. This book is a great read for any couple who have experienced any complications with the birth of a child. I highly recommend it.”
By J. Brown on March 18, 2016
By Amazon Customer on March 5, 2016
“The Caleb Years is an incredible journal of what REAL Faith looks like. My wife and I both poured through its pages and it touched our souls. It is full of peace and hope for anyone who finds themselves on the rollercoaster of life. Thank you for sharing your courageous son Caleb with us!”
Author of Pulling G's: Fighter Pilot Perspectives on Faith
“The Ingerson family was expecting baby number four. The beginning of the pregnancy was rocky, as there were signs and fears of miscarriage, but as the second and third trimesters progressed, all fears went away and they expected nothing less than a healthy baby. At first cry, they thought they had gotten just that, until Dad had a gut feeling that he needed to inspect his newborn son himself. As odd as it seemed at the time, even to himself, Ingerson stepped in amongst the nurses, busy wiping and measuring the newborn, and checked his newborn son's behind. To his amazement, Ingerson found that his son, Celeb, was born with no anus. After alerting the doctor, who was still attending to Ingerson's wife, of his findings, Ingerson soon learned that such a condition was also usually accompanied by heart defects. And so the whirlwind began!
By LoveBooks83 on March 19, 2015
The Ingerson's faith is clear throughout The Caleb Years, from their prayer through the miscarriage scare, to the Holy Spirit-sent gut feeling to check out his son, and in the hands-on way that their church family supports them from the second they hear the news of Caleb's birth defects. Ingerson is straight forward with his faith in Christ, and his witness to others in the waiting rooms with their own children's health battles. He is also straightforward with the fact that he did struggle at times with fear and doubt and feelings of faithlessness that would swell behind his strong, brave front. It was somewhat refreshing that, though he could have written his story in any way he wished, leaving out many details that may cause some to gasp, "and he says he's a Christian! huh!" he chose to let his readers see himself and his family "warts and all", as they say. Good for him!”
By Amazon Customer on February 29, 2016
As a doctor of Chiropractic and a mother this was a hard read for me initially due to my raw emotional state after losing my mother. With that being said it turns out that this book is so well done that it helped push me past my own grief. Knowing David Ingerson personally I connected with him on different levels and was able to travel this difficult journey with him and come out stronger on the inside and out. What a great job David does with putting his Faith forward and pressing on in the interest of bettering himself by arming himself with knowledge to help his son. Great read by a Great author and an even greater father!!
Dr. Tammie Gibson, Doctor of Chiropractic
Wow! A must read!!!!! Emotional, you meet fear, horror, love, and a connection with God. A true life account of hope and despair, how to cope, and why family, friends and Faith are essential parts of everyone's life.
--Shirley A. Pugh on March 31, 2016
David and Kathleen Ingerson had three normal, healthy children but then Caleb arrived. In a heart-beat this family was in crisis. The details are in THE CALEB YEARS. Clinging to their faith, the Ingersons learned moving lessons in the pages of this book.If we think about it, everyone knows someone in their church or circle of friends who is in crisis. Reading this book can be a comfort and strength to the reader's own crisis. There are nagging questions of why but as Kathy Ingerson writes in the Epilogue, "Humbled, my why questions no longer seemed so important or necessary. I was no longer plagued by my anxious need to understand. I would trust in the One who had sacrificed all for me." (Page 288)There is some challenging reading in this book but it combines with valuable insights about the life of faith for every Christian.”
--W. Terry Whalin
I teared up as I read The Caleb Years. The author and his wife have inspired my life so deeply. To read about as well as witness the faith they shared, the marriage of leadership and submission with strength, these parents of five precious children have left deep impressions on my life. I think about David's family often as God continues to use each of them for His purposes and glory. There was a time after the Caleb years that I questioned God about why these things had to happen to such a young and vibrant child. I was reminded that "Every good and perfect gift comes from God." He made Caleb in His image and used him in such a way that he and the author's entire family was a mighty witness to others. Now with this book, many more lives will be touched and seeds sown for serving our truly Mighty God and Savior!”
-- Joanne Lippincott, friend and sister-in-Christ
The book is gripping. I couldn't put it down. I was flooded with emotions as I walked, ran and pushed with the author and his family each step of Caleb's struggles. I identified with the author in so many areas and heard the cry of his heart echo deep within mine bringing forth many parallel memories from our experiences with our hurt child. The struggle for meaning; the agony of betrayal; the sudden ending in the midst of hopeful expectations, draw the reader in to search with the author to see if God really could be glorified in the Caleb years.
It is to this end that author David Ingerson wrote the details of The Caleb Years. The wonderful interactions of Caleb’s mind at work interacting in their home and with others was a gift that brought glory to God. The biggest statement that gives God glory is the response of the author and his wife to the hardships endured by their dear Caleb. He innocently and despite lacking understanding accepted his 'lot' in life. The world screams out "UNFAIR! What kind of a god would allow a young child to suffer so!" But by God's enabling grace the author fought alongside his little fighter and continued to follow God despite his sorrowing in the midst of his pain and feelings of helplessness.Although circumstances such as the author and his family endured would have driven most parents away from God; the author describes his insistence on remaining faithful and trusting that God is good and that His mercy endures forever. This is the true victory that was won during Caleb's struggles and victories. As I read the book I felt as though I had the privileged of having held Caleb along with his parents and having shared in their hearts’ cry."
-Nancy McGreer, Homemaker mother of 4, Nanna of 11
Ingerson’s poignant debut memoir recounts the challenges and blessings of raising a terminally ill child.
Ingerson was in Okinawa with the Air Force when his fourth child, Caleb, was born. It was immediately clear the child had life-threatening defects, including fistulas and a malformed heart. Indeed, doctors expected the baby to die imminently. Over his three-and-a-half-year life span, Caleb had 10 operations, including open-heart surgery. The family was in constant flux, relocating to be close to the best hospitals. When it looked like things could not get worse, they did in a major way: Caleb contracted HIV from a tainted blood transfusion. Despite the wrenching sadness of his subject matter, Ingerson is a natural storyteller and often emphasizes the humorous side. For instance, driven by an urge to inspect his son’s backside, he was the first to notice anything wrong with Caleb: “Say, Doctor, this is curious; the garage door is closed,” he remarked; that imperforate anus was the first sign of heart problems. Later, after the HIV infection, which placed a stigma on Caleb even within their church, Ingerson appreciated the irony of the unlikely tragedy: “Caleb won the lottery!” For the Ingersons, faith in God was paramount. This is a sensitive chronicle of a journey through pain and doubt, often relying on metaphors of life-giving waves and a solid rock. However, Ingerson fully acknowledges the practical and emotional tolls. Understanding medical jargon and being his son’s advocate were draining, and Caleb’s treatment cost over $2 million. “We had no example to encourage us to have realistic expectations,” he says. “I’d go into my study and would find myself alternating between fierce anger and longing for relief from my lonely agony as well as from my son’s many sufferings.” Pondering why God allowed this suffering, Ingerson toes the interventionist line: “He could have acted to avert it—yet He did not.” Those who beg to differ theologically can still enjoy this thorough, gripping medical memoir, its narrative peppered with journal entries and email updates to friends. Photos of Caleb would be welcome.
A tender tribute to a too-short life.
David, Thank you so much for gifting me your book and the powerful story of Caleb. As we spoke about, I lost my mother unexpectedly and had difficulty forgiving what I felt was a medical error. I can say that I have forgiven and as you told me, It is not okay that it happened but forgiving is what God does for us. I loved the epilogue from Kathy. What an amazing display of FAITH! I have the perfect person to share your book with. She too has lost a child and has a unique story of a special child. She wants to read The Caleb Years and I hope that she finds some peace in the struggle of not understanding. I believe, without a doubt that entering your place of business on the day that you were "CLOSED" was divinely designed!
Again, Thank you so very much!
Recording Charlotte’s testimony given at church in London, England after reading The Caleb Years:
“I began reading and it was quite a very easy read. And obviously I could relate to the family, and it sort of took a different turn, and two days later until three AM actually, I finished reading it. I was blown away, because, all of a sudden, I realized that what I was reading wasn’t necessarily a story; it was a completely new way of life that I didn’t even know existed. The people in this story, particularly this family, they just had some secret, and I couldn’t make it out. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. There was just so much love in this family’s life. People they came across, and I knew they were a Christian family, for that’s basically the moral of the book. It was basically when God doesn’t make sense, you’re experiencing these really really trying times, and you’re asking, “What are you doing? Why are you testing me like this?”
And, so, obviously during the story it’s incredibly emotional, but at this point I’m actually drawn in and you feel so much compassion for what they’re going through. They’re so strong! I’m like, “Wow. I couldn’t work out where it’s coming from.” At the end of the book I just knew I wanted that. Now, this person’s American and I literally just thought, “This is something America has. They’re friendly people you know. It just must be something they have. I need to get myself there.” So I closed the book and went to go to sleep, but before I did I felt compelled to say, “Thank you.” I didn’t know that it was the key. Thank you for showing me that although I’d been shutting myself off from people, there are people out there that I am better off to welcome and people I can trust. But, I’d basically lost all faith in people.
The next day I began typing a letter to this friend at work. After an hour and a half I’d written this letter that contained everything I’d ever thought or felt. And, in this text, I saw the words, “I’ve decided to become a Christian.” And I thought, “Where did that come from?”
And that was the point at which my life changed.”
Real and inspirational--pick this one up immediately!
Kaye on July 13, 2014
"To put it simply: I cannot praise this book enough. This is an amazing story with real and raw emotion, that everyone can relate to in some way. The author has beautifully written their experiences with this book, and it will bring you to your knees yet lift you up just when you need it. I have purchased copies for family and friends, and have received very similar feedback from every single one of them. The Caleb Years is highly inspirational overall, and I recommend it to anyone looking for their next book that they will not want to put down."
The Caleb Years spoke to my heart.
Pat Widener on July 12, 2014
"David Ingerson has written with amazing candidness about holding on to hope when medical challenges sweep over a family like waves in a storm. This story of God's grace is a powerful reminder that often God works in very difficult situations through the hands and words of people. I recommend this book for both the poignant true story and the insightful suggestions which the author makes about how people can make a difference in the lives of those who are in crisis."
tears of happiness and sadness and struggles
Michael Marcum on July 1, 2014
"This is the book to read if you need that boost of what a miracle can be. David and Kathy Ingerson show what it takes to make it happen. This book has it all, tears of happiness and sadness and struggles."
Very Good Book
Richard Bersett on July 24, 2014
"Excellent book. Filled with emotion, honesty, pain and faith. Read it an live--in the sense of having your feelings come alive and find full expression."
Cyndi Teegarden on June 28, 2014
"Incredible Child, Incredible Family, Incredible Strength, Incredible Faith, Incredible Loss, Incredible Gift.
The ripple effect of Caleb on the world is infinite-his story as related by family and now in formal print will reach the world in ways that you will never be able to fully comprehend. Absolutely blessed to have been part of that effect. Thank you for sharing God's amazing love with us all, through your beloved son Caleb."
Amy Slupe on July 9, 2014
"What a beautiful example of how to walk through the hard places in life. The trials of this family struggling to save their son from his heartbreaking birth defects were overwhelming, and David Ingerson's ability to transport me right into the eye of their hurricane was riveting. I couldn't put the book down. The more I learned of little Caleb, the more I fell in love with him. This story is a great testimony to God's sovereignty and how to navigate through the challenges that make us question it. My faith was strengthened with every turn of the page."
Sandy H on July 5, 2014
"The song "When All Around Has Fallen", by Martin Smith of Delirious, describes perfectly the circumstances that David & Kathy Ingerson found themselves in more than once starting before Caleb made his entrance into their family as well as after he rejoined the unbroken heavenly circle. Some who have gone through events like the ones described in this book live the rest of their lives with Dante's hellish sign figuratively posted on the entrance to their home: "All hope abandon ye who enter here".
Not so the Ingersons. They have learned to live and are thriving in that in-between place where belief that God is always good coexists with the loss of their dear son. How to get there is narrated in this no-holds-barred book - it's not a stroll in the park, but a journey of the heart that continues today."
Chandra Bauer on July 3, 2014
"Loved this book!! Beautifully written! I appreciate the raw emotion shared, the way the rock is portrayed, how honest and forthcoming your feelings were displayed. I felt as if I knew Caleb threw your description. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and your incredible faith in Jesus. To God be the glory!"
Posted July 8, 2014
"Within these pages is an incredibly gripping and thrilling yet heart-wrenching story of a man and his family living through the tumultuous life and death of their son. It is a must read for the story alone but also leaves you with the hope to face your own challenges. Get it, read it, and share it."
Posted July 3, 2014
"Loved your book so much! Love your incredible faith in Jesus and your hope threw the unthinkable. Marvelously written and descriptive."
Chandra Bauer Palmyra Michigan
Posted June 10, 2014
"Why could I not put down a book that was so painful? How could any parent endure this much? I know the author personally. They are very real people with a very real faith. No put on god-talk here. They are the real deal. A great read. Well worth your time." Sam Kendrick, Shreveport, LA
Posted June 9, 2014
"Thank you for sharing the Caleb Years and for being so open and honest. Only faith in God could get you thru this."
Posted June 9, 2014
"Wow, the genuine emotions in this book are portrayed in such a way that I was able to connect to the story. Very well written for a first time author."
Posted July 10, 2014
"This was a wonderful book...A roller coaster of ups, downs, and monster curves! Through it all this family was steadfast and unmoveable.
I'm so glad they let us meet such a sweet and handsome little boy. Caleb has touch my life ,and I'm better for it. A MUST READ!"
Posted July 10, 2014
"I just finished reading The Caleb Years. I laughed and cried with the Ingerson Family. The author holds nothing back telling of his emotions and thoughts as the family is rasing a chronically ill child and letting the rest of his children know they are loved. I highly recommend this book."
The Caleb Years Reviewed by Luxury Review
Whenever someone faces tragedy, especially when young children are involved, people like to throw out the question of, "Where is God in this?" It is so painful beyond measure to watch a little one struggle medically, to see the family struggle, or worse, to be a parent who loses a child. How do those parents survive the day to day struggle, especially with their faith in God still intact? The Caleb Years, by David Ingerson, is the personal story of a dad who does just that.
The Ingerson family was expecting baby number four. The beginning of the pregnancy was rocky, as there were signs and fears of miscarriage, but as the second and third trimesters progressed, all fears went away and they expected nothing less than a healthy baby. At first cry, they thought they had gotten just that, until Dad had a gut feeling that he needed to inspect his newborn son himself. As odd as it seemed at the time, even to himself, Ingerson stepped in amongst the nurses, busy wiping and measuring the newborn, and checked his newborn son's behind. To his amazement, Ingerson found that his son, Celeb, was born with no anus. After alerting the doctor, who was still attending to Ingerson's wife, of his findings, Ingerson soon learned that such a condition was also usually accompanied by heart defects. And so the whirlwind began!
The Ingerson's faith is clear throughout The Caleb Years, from their prayer through the miscarriage scare, to the Holy Spirit-sent gut feeling to check out his son, and in the hands-on way that their church family supports them from the second they hear the news of Caleb's birth defects. Ingerson is straight forward with his faith in Christ, and his witness to others in the waiting rooms with their own children's health battles. He is also straight forward with the fact that he did struggle at times with fear and doubt and feelings of faithlessness that would swell behind his strong, brave front. It was somewhat refreshing that, though he could have written his story in any way he wished, leaving out many details that may cause some to gasp, "and he says he's a Christian! huh!" he chose to let his readers see himself and his family "warts and all", as they say. Good for him! Statistics show that many marriages don't survive the stress, isolation, heartache and instances of misdirected anger that come right alongside of dealing with children with medical handicaps. Theirs did, but Ingerson doesn't shy away from the fact that it was not always easy and sweet.
Besides his faith, the aspect that most struck me concerning Ingerson's dealings with his son's medical issues is that he didn't just sit back and let the medical world dictate (or even fail to dictate) to him what approach they would take with Caleb. Ingerson was constantly asking questions, demanding answers and updates, educating himself, introducing himself to every nurse and attendant, arranging his own doctors and appointments, and never just sitting there, blindly trusting that what one doctor said was the only answer. I love this! Perhaps I love it because it confronts the stories that have come to the surface in the last couple of years involving the mistreatment of parents, and their children, who dared to question the doctors appointed to see to the child's medical issues. Parents must be not merely involved with their child's care, but in charge of it. So many parents do not take up this role, but Ingerson would not leave it to anyone else, even for a minute, and his son's time on earth was quality because of it.
Having read a few books that describe a parent's or grandparent's experience of a child with medical handicaps, I find that such memoirs often have a somewhat awkward start, and can have a difficult end. I am sure that it may likely be attributed to having to sort through and relive the experience and emotions in order to communicate the story without getting bogged down in the beginning by the ending that you know, as the parent/author, is coming. The Caleb Years is also somewhat slow to get off the ground but once Ingerson gets the story moving, he does a great job of communicating the struggle without darkening the pages beyond readability or foreshadowing too many of the details to come. I was honestly very shocked by some of the twists their story takes.
No memoir involving the medical struggle of a child is an "easy read". I cannot even call such books "good" reads, really, but Ingerson's The Caleb Years is well done, very real, and touching.