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Baby, We Were Meant for Each Otherby Scott Simon
Synopses & Reviews
In this warm, funny, and wise new book, NPR's award-winning and beloved Scott Simon tells the story of how he and his wife found true love with two tiny strangers from the other side of the world. It's a book of unforgettable moments: when Scott and Caroline get their first thumb-size pictures of their daughters, when the small girls are placed in their arms, and all the laughs and tumbles along the road as they become a real family.
Woven into the tale of Scott, Caroline, and the two little girls who changed their lives are the stories of other adoptive families. Some are famous and some are not, but each family's saga captures facets of the miracle of adoption.
Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other is a love story that doesn't gloss over the rough spots. There are anxieties and tears along with hugs and smiles and the unparalleled joy of this blessed and special way of making a family. Here is a book that families who have adopted — or are considering adoption — will want to read for inspiration. But everyone can enjoy this story because, as Scott Simon writes, adoption can also help us understand what really makes families, and how and why we fall in love.
"Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition and author (Pretty Birds), shares an entertaining and affecting narrative about his experience of 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. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"[A] slim yet wholly satisfying book....Simon has made a passionate, welcome case for opening our hearts to all those around us, regardless of their origins." San Francisco Chronicle."
"A single wise truth emerges from the book: Adoptive families are pretty much like other families, with the same woes and thrills — and maybe with an extra overlay of anxiety. But the anxiety may be beneficial, in the end." The Wall St. Journal
NPR's award-winning Scott Simon tells the story of how he and his wife found true love with two tiny strangers from the other side of the world. It's a book of unforgettable moments: when Scott and Caroline get their first thumb-size pictures of their daughters, when the small girls are placed in their arms, and all the laughs and tumbles along the road as they become a real family.
The NPR Weekend Edition host explores the cultural impact of adoption while sharing the story of how his wife and he adopted two daughters, in an account that also relates the experiences of other prominent figures who were adopted or became adoptive parents.
Adoption is a miracle. I don’t mean just that it’s amazing, terrific, and a wonderful thing to do. I mean that it is, as the dictionary says, “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of divine agency.”
My wife and I, not having had children in the traditional, Abraham-and-Sarah-begat manner, have learned to make jokes about the way we’ve had our family. (“Pregnant Why would you do that? Those clothes And you can’t drink for months ”) Jokes are sometimes the only sensible answer to some of the astoundingly impertinent questions people can ask, right in your children’s faces. “How much did they cost? Are they healthy? You know, you hear stories. So why did you go overseas? Not enough kids here?” But we cannot imagine anything more remarkable and marvelous than having a stranger put into your arms who becomes, in minutes, your flesh, your blood: your life. There are times when the adoption process is exhausting and painful and makes you want to scream. But, I am told, so does childbirth.
We also know that the hardest parts are still ahead.
Raindrops rattled the roof of our small bus, seeped through the windows, and pitted the windshield with great wet gobs. “A sad day,” sighed Julie from Utah, while the cityscape of Nanchang, China, slabs of brown and gray with wet laundry flapping, rolled by our windows. Five sets of strangers were together on the bus, about to share one of the most intimate moments of our lives. We had Cheerios, wipes, and diapers in our hands.
“A happy day,” Julie added, “but also sad,” and then we just listened to the ping of raindrops. A month before, this moment couldn’t have happened fast enough. Now it was here; and we weren’t ready.
We had endured three days of what we had come to call “adopto-tourism” together (“You will now visit the Pearl Museum and Gift Shop Then the Great Wall and Gift Shop Tomorrow, the Silk Museum—and Gift Shop ”), during which we talked about the sundry things strangers do to be companionable. “And what do you do? What kind of crib did you get? Aren’t they impossible? Do you know that little Indian place just off Thirty-second?”
Over careful conversation between stops, we began to make some fair assumptions about the meandering paths of hope, frustration, and paperwork that all of us had navigated to get here. Most of us had probably tried to start families in the traditional manner. For one reason or another, the traditional result was not achieved. There are all kinds of wizardly things that can be done in laboratories these days; most of us had tried one or two. But wizardry does not always deliver. At some point, after all the intimate injections and intrusions, and the hopes that rise and deflate, many spouses look at each other across a field of figures scratched on the back of an envelope and ask, “Why are we doing this? There are already children in this world who need us right now. We sure need them.”
A few weeks before, we had received a few photos in an envelope: a small girl with rosebud lips, quizzical eyebrows, and astonished eyes. She was about six months old at the time of the picture. A dossier prepared by Chinese adoption officials told us that she was
About the Author
Scott Simon is the host of NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. He has reported stories from all fifty states and every continent, and has won every major award in broadcasting. He also hosts shows for PBS and appears on BBC TV. He is the author of the novels Pretty Birds and Windy City, the memoir Home and Away, and the history Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball.
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