After adopting her son from a Chinese orphanage, Chris Prange-Morgan and her husband soon realized that the picture-perfect family life they had envisioned was not to be. Abandoned, severely neglected, and malnourished, their son had suffered profound trauma in his earliest years that no amount of love or affection could remedy. His deep emotional wounds manifested as challenging behaviors that strained family relationships and thwarted well-intentioned efforts to help. Parenting was a daily grind, an energy-draining, never-ending treadmill. Prange-Morgan’s chronic state of stress, fatigue, and burnout contributed to a climbing accident that left her with serious, life-altering injuries, and she faced a long and difficult recovery.
In this achingly honest and harrowing account of her accident and its aftermath, Prange-Morgan recounts the struggles and choices she made to find the strength and momentum to keep going in spite of grueling setbacks. After two years of pain and surgeries with no relief in sight, she reached a crossroads and realized her quality of life could not improve without an amputation. The loss of her limb was not a failure, but a potential bridge to a new and exciting life chapter.
Prange-Morgan’s journey of healing, both in mind and body, paralleled her son’s journey toward emotional health, connection with others, and maturity. Living and working through trauma can give us a unique perspective and teach us grace and compassion. Prange-Morgan’s inspirational story is a testament to the power of human resilience and inextinguishable hope.
Chris Prange-Morgan, M.A., MSW, considers herself a student of all types of trauma. Before becoming a parent to her children, Chris worked for more than 10 years as a mental health professional and social worker with adults in the criminal justice system. She has a Master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago, a Certificate of advanced graduate study in pastoral counseling from Neuman College, and a Master of Arts in religious studies from Cardinal Stritch University. Prange-Morgan has sought to better understand collective and generational trauma and its effect on individuals after she suffered a life-changing accident in 2011 and became a trauma survivor herself. Her story has been featured on The Today Show, The Trauma Therapist Project, CBS, Milwaukee Magazine, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement website, and The Conversation Project. She has been interviewed on numerous podcasts, and her articles have appeared in several publications, including Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Able Outdoors, and Living With Amplitude magazine. She and her husband have coached parents and professionals in the trenches of working with challenging life and family circumstances.Learn More
Chris’ Broken, Brave and Bittersweet is shockingly painful, honest, and raw. In these days of viewing parenthood and life through the lens of our social media “highlight reels,” Chris’ story is one that validates the struggle of motherhood while embodying resiliency and dedication despite overwhelming adversity. Her growth and inner wisdom are the diamonds that emerge in these pages, and Chris’ book is like a balm for anyone that’s endured unrelenting struggle.
—Elizabeth Bartasius, Author of The Elegant Out (She Writes Press)
Chris Prange-Morgan is the embodiment of true courage - not just for what she endured in her recovery from a climbing injury, but for how she honestly addresses the peaks and valleys in her life in this reflective, thoughtful book. Chris brings the reader along as she thinks through the duality of many circumstances in her life. Allow Chris' experiences and knowledge to help you on your journey to better understand yourself, others, and life's challenges.
—Janet Oberholtzer, Author of Because I Can
Chris Prange-Morgan’s, Broken, Brave and Bittersweet, is an unflinching examination of trauma healing as well as recovery from losses both expected and surprising. Prange-Morgan’s busy life is overwhelming but doable until a rock climbing accident changes everything she assumes about her role in the world, her body, and her relationships. Readers will find themselves quickly immersed in Prange-Morgan’s wise, compassionate, and even humorous narrative as she physically and emotionally confronts her life-changing injury while reexamining what it means to parent adopted children with extraordinary needs. Prange-Morgan’s background as both social worker and community minister lends her narrative not only an authority for her topic areas but the additional vulnerability and empathy that comes with truly living what we preach. Life takes all of us down unexpected paths—Broken, Brave and Bittersweet is an excellent guide for the journey.
—Joanne Nelson, Author of This is How We Leave