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Hearts Stretch to Make Room for Blended Family in Award-Winning Memoir by Niki Tschirgi

“Stretch-mark My Heart” is the latest book released by Dog Ear Publishing to earn the company’s Award of Literary Excellence. The memoir describes one couple’s experience of building a family through adoption.

Spokane, WA, April 09, 2018 --( Going through the process of adoption and foster parenting can be difficult, uncertain, rewarding, frustrating, lonely, deeply satisfying and lots of work. A new memoir by an adoptive mother of six relays all these feelings and has earned a Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence.

Niki Tschirgi’s “Stretch-mark My Heart” tells the story of she and her husband Matt’s journey to build a family through fostering and adoption. They share how they chose to become a blended family in this inspirational story of trials and triumphs with help from family, friends, and their church and faith.

“A lot of people do not realize the magnitude of love, time and commitment that goes in to foster care or adoption,” Niki Tschirgi said. “I hope this book becomes a platform to help many children – to help children all over this country find their permanent homes. Maybe this book is the encouragement someone needs.”

Dog Ear Publishing’s editorial team determines Award of Literary Excellence winners. The managing editor, editorial services manager and publisher review recommendations.

“I give ‘Stretch-mark My Heart’ 5 stars. It's incredibly touching, and I was alternately amazed and in (happy) tears while reading of the Tschirgis' experiences as they continually asked for and followed God's guidance in the building of their family,” wrote managing editor Stephanie Seifert-Stringham. “This is an outstanding book sure to help anyone considering fostering or adopting as a means of growing a family.”

Niki believes she earned the award “because of the emotional connection of the book to the reader. That has been my constant feedback so far ‘Niki, this book was so moving.’ ‘Niki, I cried like...nine times.’”

She said the award validates and encourages her. “I truly did pour my heart and soul in to this book, and to have it recognized was so rewarding. The credibility it lends my book as I launch really means so much to me.”

Matt Tschirgi told Niki he “couldn’t be prouder” and noted her memoir “Growing up Alaska” also won an award. “He shouted, ‘Two for two, baby!’” she said.

Niki, who studied creative writing at the University of Idaho, has written articles and published blogs like Rock a Childs World, which raised adoption awareness in Texas.

She is deeply satisfied she did what she was supposed to do with both her book and family. “Every single child in our home was meant to be our child. They are all Tschirgis through and through. When I see it all written out, a visual of our life over the past 15 years, it humbles me,” she said.

“We stumbled along, learned by doing, leaned on God, and did our best, and here we have this amazing family blended together. My husband and my kids were behind this writing project 100 percent. From the cover art from my 13-year-old son to the multiple unique stories each person brought to our home, this book is wholly us.”

The title practically wrote itself. “When we were coming to terms with our infertility and pursuing adoption, I had a lot of well-meaning women approach me and say, ‘At least you won’t have stretch marks!’ trying to make me feel better about not being pregnant. I almost always responded with, ‘I may not have stretch marks on my stomach, but I most certainly have stretch marks on my heart.’

“The way our hearts grew from adopting an infant, to adopting toddlers, to adopting teenagers … the title truly does speak for itself. We, as a human race, have an enormous capacity to love, and often are more capable then we think we are.”

Niki will launch the memoir at a bookstore in Spokane and craft fairs, and she will give author talks April 14 and May 22 at her library. She is working on events in western Washington and Utah. She will have a table at a national adoption conference this summer in Minnesota.

She thanked Dog Ear Publishing “for believing in my book and honoring the story it told. There are over 425,000 children in foster care in America, and over 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted. We need safe, loving, and committed homes for these children.”

Anyone can help families care for children. “We need people to bring dinner for foster parents, tutor children in foster care, pray for families, donate clothes, buy a crib, drive kids to visits with their birth families, volunteer as CASA workers (Court Appointed Special Advocates), donate to local nonprofits that help these children, and the list goes on,” she said.

Stretch-mark My Heart
Niki Breese Tschirgi
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5958-7 118 pages $12.95 US Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6215-0 118 pages $24.95 US Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4575-6219-8 $9.99 US eBook

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.
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Dog Ear Publishing
Ray Robinson

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