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Book Review: Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal

Book Review: Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal

Meet Mildred, a shy single mother of three beautiful children with one on the way, living outside of Guatemala City. Then there is Betsy, a loving woman from Tennessee looking to add just one more child to her already swelling family of 3 biological and 4 internationally adopted children. Finding Fernanda is the exhausting quest of investigative journalist Erin Siegal to find out how a family in the United States could be unknowingly adopting a stolen toddler from Guatemala.

The pages turn easy as you are engulfed in the panic of Mildred, a mother who is desperately searching for her toddler Fernanda and for her newborn Ana Cristina, the baby who was cut from her womb while she lay unconscious.

Siegal explains, at times it seems a little too in-depth, the gaps in the adoption laws in both countries and the corruption that pulses through the U.S. embassy down to local police officials and doctors in Guatemala.

The deceit and fabrications are infuriating as you crisscross Guatemala City with Mildred. Using her meager wages she rides the bus to fill out complaints that are never filed and talk to officials who do not believe her. You tell yourself as you read that you will finish the chapter and then shut off the light and go to bed. But, an hour later you are still standing next to Mildred cheering her on and begging her to search just one more hogar for her girls.

The tedious fight of Betsy, our Tennessee friend, is long and fruitless. Until the internet returns a newspaper article in Guatemala’s Prensa Libre. The consuming nightmare that is child trafficking seems like it will never end, and for many it does not, but the overwhelming love and endurance finally pays off for both women who are searching in Finding Fernanda.

A truly heartbreaking account of the ugly brilliance of international adoption and child trafficking. The details are laid before the reader of how poor countries can be exploited and good people mislead and intimidated. Become aware of the world we live in. Whether you have a child of your own or not, you must read Finding Fernanda.

- Reviewed by Spring Leak.

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