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Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption Hardcover


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Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption + China Ghosts: My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400068495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400068494
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition and author (Pretty Birds), shares an entertaining and affecting narrative about his experience adopting two daughters from China and his take on what it means to be a father. While he doesn't go into personal whys and wherefores, he animatedly relates the journey that he and his wife, Caroline Richard, took to parenthood: falling in love with the thumbnail photo of the infant who became their daughter, Elise; meeting her in Nanchang; bringing her home to join a French-Irish-Catholic-Jewish extended family in Chicago; and returning to China to adopt Paulina, their second daughter. Almost a prerequisite in any book about adoption is the question of attachment after abandonment, and Simon nimbly acknowledges and dispels Nancy Verrier's concept (from The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child) while guiding adoptive parents toward compassionate awareness. Simon's answer to "Can I love someone's else's child as much as my own?" is a resounding "Yes! Yes! At least as much and more!" - which echoes the tone of his lively, openhearted book. This adoptive parenting memoir is a standout among books on the subject, with Simon on the page much the same as Simon on the radio - informative, enlightening, and enjoyable.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

NPR’s Weekend Edition host Scott Simon and his wife decided to end their already lengthy fertility treatments, coming to the conclusion that “wizardry does not always deliver” a pregnancy. His engaging memoir begins with their visit, along with four other couples, to an orphanage in Nanchang, China, where they have come to pick up their daughter Elise, the first of two daughters they adopt from China. Simon’s memoir touches on the many threads that make up the whole adoption process—from the initial choice to go through an international agency, the endless forms to be filled out, and the exhaustive background checks—to their worries about the birth mother, and the doubts over whether or not they are doing the right thing for themselves or for the baby. Simon weaves into his and his wife’s experience the adoption stories of friends, including sports commentator and novelist Frank Deford and his wife, who adopt a Filipino baby after their daughter dies of cystic fibrosis. An illuminating, heartwarming account of the many facets of adoption, written with Simon’s signature style and wit. --Deborah Donovan

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Customer Reviews

This book is a quick and delightful read.
Steph
I love Scott Simon as an NPR reporter-- and I love this gently written, funny, beautiful and touching tribute to his family and adoption.
Colleen Quinn
I would recommend it to anyone curious about adoption.
G Dewitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Scott Simon has written a beautiful version of the adoption of his two daughters. He and his wife, Caroline, tell us their story of adoption of Chinese baby girls, and the process most people go through to adopt their children.

Scott and his wife married later in life, found that they were unable to have a baby the traditional way. They tried all of the various methods of conception and nothing seemed to work. They looked at each other one day and said "there are so many babies looking for parents, let's go find ours." This led them to friends who had adopted and finally to China. Scott Simon tells the adoption stories of some of his friends, and they are poignant.

In an effort to curb population growth, China introduced a one-child rule in the late 70's. Because Chinese culture values boys over girls, there has been a boon of baby girls abandoned by their mothers, ending up in orphanages. Scott Simon reflects on the agony a mother must feel in leaving her baby in a busy, public place. Hiding across the street waiting and hoping for someone to find her baby. Hoping too that the baby will be safe, and that a good family would adopt the baby.
What torture that must be. We can only imagine. The Simons name their baby Elise, and as they unwrap her multiple layers of clothing, they fall in love. She looked at them as someone new taking care of her. Life in an adoption agency is not easy. Babies are usually fed well, but on the agencies schedule, and when a baby cries not picked up and soothed or loved right away. There is too much to do. So these babies learn at a very early age that they must take care of themselves. They lose a little of their babyhood- how very sad, when we think about this.

Scott Simon discusses his personal life.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alex Veeneman on August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other" is a great read. It is a page turner, I couldn't put it down! Scott Simon's story, in addition with the other stories he included, is inspiring and heart-warming. Additionally, there is insight in the process (with humor also) and it is also thought-provoking.

Simon has succeeded with this book and is a great read for anyone, adopted, those who are considering adoption, or just love a good book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Beckett Gray on August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am particularly grateful to Mr. Simon's accomplishment in this pages of this book. As an adoptive parent from China and also the author of two books on trans-ethnic adoptive parenting, I agree with his perspective. It's compassionate, yet realistic, and spot on.

Beckett Franklin Gray

[...]
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mamochka on August 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book about becoming a family. What makes a parent? Is it just giving birth? Or is it providing a home, food, education, medicine, and an enormous dose of love, through good times and bad? Can we love a child who does not carry our genes? Yes, by caring for that child every minute of every day, until one day, this special child, with her own unique gifts, reflects ourselves back at us.

This is not only the story of Scott and Caroline Simon's adoption of two little girls from China, but of other families formed by adoption both domestically and internationally. We learn about their ups and downs, their joys and tears. This book is a realistic slice of adoptive life from every point of view of the adoption triad (birth parent, adoptee, adoptive parent). Read it, laugh, cry, and see that what connects us as humans goes far beyond blood ties.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Ray on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scott Simon makes his living speaking (whether it's in written word or vocal) to people. He not only reports the news but in commentary and story, he shapes opinion(s). For these two reasons, I felt it was important to take him to task for #1) the title of his new book, #2) his idea that there is beauty in adoption, #3) that his daughters' ethnicity is only a "feature" of their personality*, and #4) his `romanticized' view of adoption in general. Of course to do that I had to read his book.

I started reading on August 31st and finished today (September 3rd) - a read well worth the time.
As I read Simon's book there were times when I just had to stop... walk away... for a while. I'm an adoptee. I have known that I was adopted since I was very young - before I ever started school. I commend Mr. and Mrs. Simon for telling his daughter, Elise (and Paulina when the time comes) that their mothers loved them, wanted to care for them, and wanted to be their mothers but couldn't... I thought, Oh sure let's see if when he speaks of adoption to the rest of us, his daughters' mothers (and fathers) fade to black. You see, the title of this book put the teeth of many in the adoption reform community on edge... how could anyone say `made for each other' when speaking of a mother losing her child?
#4 - yes, Scott Simon is `in love' with adoption. You can feel the glow in his heart on the pages as you read. Not all APs (Adoptive Parents) feel that way and Scott is aware of that and says, "Don't be afraid to ask, Can I love someone else's child..." In the stories he tells of friends who have adopted and are adopted we see over and over what he means - stories that tell of parents (as one set puts it "[we've] had him for more than twenty-five years...
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