Our kids are just coming out of the book-eating stage. Where before they were happy to gnaw on the cardboardy corners of the titles on their bookshelf, now they've moved on to running towards their favorite books and bringing them to me, wanting me to read them. I've been a lifelong reader myself- I know that books can educate, entertain, and offer a sense of sanctuary for their readers- and recently, I've been finding myself hoping our children find the same truth as they grow older.
So, when I received Sherrie Eldridge's new book Forever Fingerprints: An Amazing Discovery for Adopted Children (This month only receive an autographed copy by ordering from this link), I was excited at the possibility this book would join our not-yet-full-enough shelf of kid-friendly adoption titles. If you've read Eldridge's other books, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew and Twenty Life Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make , you know she's an adult adoptee committed to helping adopted kids grow up feeling whole by integrating first and adoptive family legacies towards a strong sense of self-esteem and self-identity, and to helping adoptive parents best appreciate and facilitate that. In that spirit, she offers her latest book, this time for the benefit of toddlers and preschoolers.
Adult adoptee and author Sherrie Eldridge shares her insights and thoughts on adoption, families and birthparents in the following personal article.
Forever Fingerprints tells the story of a little girl named Lucie who develops new questions about her first family and her birth story after a visit with her pregnant aunt and uncle. Lucie's parents tell her what they can about her birth and address the scariness and uncertainty in the distance between Lucie and her first mother by pointing out to her that her fingerprints were created while she was snug inside her birth mother's womb. She was so close to her then and can be close to her now and forever by looking at her fingertips. In Eldridge's story, fingerprints become a show of uniqueness, connection, and love. Her birth mother pressed her fingertips against her belly to feel Lucie kick and her adoptive parents plant kisses all over Lucie's fingertips to show her how special she is. In my favorite part of the book, Lucie turns her hands upside down and sees the loops and squiggles of her fingerprints again. Now her fingertips look like ten goooooorgeeeous flowers.
I like that, in addition to the story, this book also provides a foreword and an afterward with great tips for adoptive parents on expecting questions and facilitating discussion. And, a fascinating note on fingerprints for kids to discover!
Forever Fingerprints is likely to become one of those adoption stories you'll want to read over and over again. It'll make you and your kids break out the ink pad, as well as help you have both serious and silly talks about where babies come from, adoption, and how each of us is connected and individual all at the same time.
Violeta Garcia-Mendoza is a Spanish-American poet and writer living in Pennsylvania . Violeta is also a member of Voices of Adoption, an Adoption Community. Read more of her articles at on Voices. She and her husband have completed the Guatemalan adoptions of their toddlers, Maya and Joaquin, and are awaiting the completion of their third child's adoption.
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