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Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption Hardcover – August 24, 2010
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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.
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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
Top customer reviews
Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other is a thoroughly positive look at the way that adoption builds families for children (and many couples) who might not otherwise know the joy of a warm and caring family. There is thankfulness for birth parents, including the comments of a man who found his birth mother while in his thirties: "Now, as a father myself--two boys and a girl--I realize what a hard thing she went through to do the best thing for me. She didn't have me `taken care of.' Even if she couldn't care for me as a mother. She had me, and loved me, and did the best thing that she could do for me."
There is also gratitude for those parents who have opened their hearts and homes through adoption. NPR's Steve Inskeep, himself an adopted child, summed up the care he felt as he grew up. "I didn't get their genes," he says of the couple who adopted him as an infant. "But I got their history."
Regular listeners to NPR's Weekend Edition are likely to "hear" Scott Simon's quiet voice as they read this brief but touching memoir. But, just as he does in many of his Saturday morning commentaries, Simon reaches beyond his personal story to make the point that adoption is a beautiful way to give many children the home, history, and loving family they might not ever have otherwise known.
I haven't purchased a book with the haste or conviction that I did this one, thoroughly surprised my wife. And not only did it not disappoint either of us, it surpassed our hopes for what one book could do. I'd give it a plus in addition to the 5 stars. An unequivocal MUST read if adoption is anywhere within your horizon or within the horizon of someone you love.
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.