I was uplifted by the introduction to this book which was addressed to parents. It highlighted key areas of concern for many parents including handling painful or missing birth history, an issue of particular relevance to me and my daughter, however the American model of adoption and the concept of children being ‘given up’ by birth families as opposed to being ‘removed’ from them, would possibly make it necessary for many adopters who have adopted within the UK to consider how they can rephrase aspects of this book to make it relevant to their children’s history and sensitive to their needs.
From a personal perspective If I am to claim ‘all parts of my child’ including her birth family, I have to be constantly mindful of developmental trauma, as references to her birth family consistently trigger that trauma, which means I have to hold onto this fact when responding to her questions. For example aunt grace (a character in the book who visits the family, but unbeknown to the little girl is expecting a baby) would not turn up to our house with her big tummy without my daughter having been prepared for that. Pregnant ladies are another big trigger for my little one. In the book, when the little girl sees her she is surprised at her ‘watermelon’ tummy but is very excited at the prospect of a new baby.
From a broader perspective however, I really liked the explanation of how the baby grows in the womb and the lovely illustrations which my daughter would enjoy. It just saddens me that mine and other people’s families have such difficult early histories within them that we cannot simply share a lovely book like this without considering the implications.
I would recommend this book as the premise (that there are very specific aspects to ourselves that are unique but tie us to our birth family) is a really useful one and could be extremely helpful for children adopted within the UK, if introduced by parents and interpreted with the needs of that child in mind.
I think as an age range, age 5 upwards would be appropriate, by then children are using finger prints in play and can distinguish the patterns within them. I imagine older children approximately 8 years plus who have a deeper level of self awareness and have an emerging self identity could gain from this book too. I understand this can be a particularly tricky age for adopted children so the premise of this book could be useful for that age group.
It is a hard backed book and could be revisited many times at different developmental stages and still hold relevance. From this point of view it is worth the price.
Forever Fingerprints is available to buy here.
Today’s reviewer was not paid for this post, but did receive a free copy of the book.