Title: Baby We Were Made for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption
Author: Scott Simon
I've read enough of these adoption memoirs by know to know that they seem to follow a format: family doesn't feel complete (in Simon's case, like in most of the adoption memoirs, he and his wife are unable to conceive), they don't really know what they're getting themselves into when they go to China, they pick up a baby who cries a lot until she's introduced to the buffet at the White Swan in Guangzhou where she eats herself silly, family returns home changed forever for the better. All in all, it sounds like a pretty good story, doesn't it? It sounds good enough, in fact, that I've now read half a dozen of these memoirs, trying to prepare myself to have a similarly happy and life-altering experience.
Simon is the host of NPR's Weekend Edition, and I've admired his voice for a long time, so I was excited to hear that he had adopted girls from China and had written about the experience. Simon's story veers off the traditional memoir path just a little bit in the way that it intersperses the stories of other adoptive families in with his own story. We get the story of Frank DeFord's daughter, of the lead singer of a band, and a bunch of other people. It's a nice touch, and it makes adoption feel more universal, more normal, than it first did when I got this crazy idea in my head and couldn't shake it. Like many adoption memoirs, this one is a fast, easy read. It's in the Mitch Albom small hardcover book format (which you know I usually hate) and I read it in about two hours. I like tossing these adoption books in the mix every fourth or fifth book to make the wait go by a little quicker, and this one was a nice, happy pick-me-up in the long months of waiting for our baby girl.