Chasing the Merry-Go-Round:

Holding on to Hope & Home When The World Moves Too Fast

By Kelly Bargabos

Witness. Writer. Voice.​​

"Kelly Bargabos’s...honest and unsparing...literary narrative...takes us down the rabbit hole of caring for a special-needs sibling. Despite the dark turns and dead ends that stymie Bobby’s progress, this is a journey illuminated by hope." —Linda Lowen is a former co-host/co-producer of Take Care, a weekly NPR radio show 

Bobby was ten months old when my mom and dad rescued him from birth parents who were slowly killing him. He was adopted into our family after a lengthy custody battle. Instead of that settling him, it set off a lifelong struggle to find a place to belong, a place to call home.

Like an old-fashioned merry-go-round, the world moved at a speed that was just too fast for Bobby. He couldn’t keep up, which prevented him from keeping a job, a roof over his head, and the basics needed to survive. The life he dreamt of was always out of reach.

No one knew why. 

While cultural ideals of what a “normal” life looks like can distort our perspective, Chasing the Merry-Go-Round allows readers to see the world through the eyes of a person with intellectual and physical disabilities, which can often be invisible, especially at first glance. It’s a story about struggle and hope, survival and resilience, and most of all, the gift of acceptance and love.   


Four or five years old: His eyes seem to tell so much beyond his years.

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1976: I love this picture of us—seems so fitting now.

Life moves fast. Too fast for some people.

This is the true story of what it’s like to live in a world where you can’t keep up.