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A Paean for Adoption

41vHCqK-1sL._SL160_Scott Simon writes openly and lovingly about the adoption process that he and his wife went through in order to bring their two daughters home from China in Baby, We Were Meant For Each Other: In Praise of Adoption (Random House, 180pgs). The author, known on the airwaves as the host of NPR‘s Weekend Edition, and his wife Caroline, had tried for years to conceive before deciding to adopt a child from overseas. Simon tells of their first “adopto-tourism” trip to China, anxiously seeing the sights with a group of adoptive parents, nervously waiting for the big moment when they’ll finally meet their child. The fulfillment of a dream, becoming parents, is both joyful and terrifying. At first sight, they immediately fall in love with the little girl they name Elise, though the euphoria is tempered with moments of panic and fear. “What have we done? What were we thinking? We’ve ripped a baby away from the only place she’s ever known, to bring her some place on the other side of the world that might as well be the moon. What kind of people are we?”

Along with his own family’s story, Simon shares the stories of other adoptive families, to illustrate the joy that this process can bring to a home. There will always be challenges and heartaches, and perhaps insensitive or intrusive questions from friends and family, with any adoption. But the chance to give a child a loving home is one of life’s true gifts. Five years after the Simons brought Elise home, the family travelled back to China to bring home little sister, Lina. In an interview with NPR, Simon admits that, at 50, he came to parenthood late in the game. Yet, he feels his maturity works to his advantage. “I think I’m a much better father than I would have been when I was younger and I think everyone who knows me would probably agree.”

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