Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baby We Were Meant for Each Other by Scott Simon

Many thanks to the friends and family who heard the myriad of interviews that Scott Simon did for NPR and alerted me to his new book.  Memoir reader and adoptive parent that I am, I had the book ordered before it was even available for purchase.  I have read so many stories about adoption from China that I was eager to note how he could put a different spin on the story than had already been done.

Jiangxi Province
Simon simply told his own story as a backdrop to tell other adoption stories and make a case for the importance and naturalness of adoption.  He gives a short history of adoption and then interviews and tells stories of friends who were either adopted themselves or adopted children as adults.  Although all the stories were compelling, none were as weepy and lovely as his own.  Perhaps I am a bit biased since we share a very similar story.  His daughters both came from the same province as our lovely girl and we both spent a rainy morning traipsing to the Chinese Bureau for Adoption Affairs in Nanchang, China.

The most interesting part of the book is the  discussion of the ultimate contradiction in my life:  how do I celebrate the culture of my lovely Chinese daugher, but also recognize that it is her culture, because of thier policies and beliefs, that left her on the doorstep of the Yiyang Social Welfare Institute one morning in May?  Simon discusses this part with such passion that I was left breathless.  One day, when she is old enough to understand, I will read her from this book.  By then, we can only hope, the the world's attitudes towards girls will have changed and the orphanges in China are only a footnote in history books. If you are interested in the issue of gendercide, Scott Simon does not reveal anything new, but he states his truth quite eloquently. 

So dear readers, the book was wonderful.  I have written to Mr. Simon and asked him questions about how I can know what is true or not in the vast army of things I hear and am told about China and my daughter.  Since he is a journalist, I hope he has a good sense of the trustworthiness of sources.  I'll let you know if I hear from him.

If you are interested in this topic, the book is a worthwhile Sunday afternoon read.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I saw Simon do an interview at IU last year. The interview itself was great, but Simon was the star. I like his work!