A Kingdom
Far Away

Baby girl, I thought, someday you will see your loving kingdom. Someday you will feel welcomed and loved by everyone. Someday you’ll be forever safe.

About The Book

Growing up, Lauren was a curious, happy, and energetic little girl. However, her mother Kari noticed early on that she also had an extensively anxious, stubborn, and strong-willed side.  As Lauren grew into her teen years, much bigger problems developed. She was having trouble in school and would easily lose control of her emotions. Kari was starting to see the walls of mental illness close in on her daughter, who at age 13 had multiple diagnoses. But Lauren wasn’t the only one living through this nightmare. Her family–especially her mother–were too.

A Kingdom Far Away tells the story of Kari’s battle to raise her daughter and keep her safe despite uncaring institutions, untenable circumstances, and unbearable choices. Lauren’s afflictions were the cause of heartbreak, stress, and countless sleepless nights, but through it all she never lost the love of her mother, who fought time and again to provide her daughter with a brighter future.

Recounted with vivid emotional honesty, Kari’s story of her struggle to help Lauren live the best life possible is a powerful testament to the bonds of family even in the direst of circumstances.

December 7th School of Education, Augustana University

Thank you, Kathleen B Cook, Ph.D., BCBA-D Associate Professor, Special Education at the Sharon Lust School of Education at Augustana University, and students for allowing me to come to speak with your class and share my book and experiences with you. Here are some...

Wilderness Therapy and the Poop Bucket

Kari Blog Wilderness  11/5/21 ***This is my account of how Lauren and our family related to Wilderness.  This is my experience, not everyones experience. *** I was at a parent's weekend at "Wilderness" and was visiting with other parents.  Many of the other girls were...

Residential Treatment -Troubled Teen Industry Reform

I admit, I had no idea how the mental health system worked until Lauren needed assistance and resources. I'm here to tell you, that after living the past 21 yrs with a child that suffers from mental illness, these systems need some change. Lauren struggled in school....

10/12/21 Educators Rising Expo

I was given the opportunity to be the Keynote Speaker at the Educators Rising Expo at the Univerity of Sioux Falls (USF).  Students from the area high schools gathered for a day of learning about future teaching.  Many of these students will go into education.

Upcoming Blog Topics

These are some topics I will be covering in the near future. **Also, I am in the process of working on a children's book series that touches on mental health, families, emotions, and coping mechanisms for kids. Blog Topics Stress and Overeating How to handle...

Reviews from Amazon

"What it takes to survive all of this as a mother is beyond me, but clearly God is with Kari each and every day. The raw pain that is expressed and on full view in this book is almost too much to bear. It is my hope that people read this book and talk a stand to help...

Reviews from Amazon

"This is a heart wrenching and honest account of one mother’s and one family’s struggles with getting help for a mentally ill child".   --Tim What it takes to survive all of this as a mother is beyond me, but clearly God is with Kari each and every day. The raw pain...

Reach Us

If you, or someone you know needs help, visit www.nami.org.

Use the form to the right or reach out
directly at karigusso@sio.midco.net

For interviews and speaking engagements contact

Jeanne Votca Carpenter, Principal
Perception INK

Get In Touch