This book and interview dovetails two things of particular interest to me: NPR, particularly the NPR hosts, and adoption.
I have written before about my love for NPR, from my interview with the author of a book of NPR hosts to my letter to NPR when my car stereo was stolen the same day NPR ran a story saying fewer people are stealing car stereos these days to my memoir piece when I once again, recently, was reunited with NPR by having a car stereo after going without for 18 months.
I have not written about my interest in adoption and am not going to do so here — some topics are too private to share — except to say I know families who have adopted children.
Scott Simon is one of my favorite NPR hosts. So when I heard this item on NPR announcing he had written a book about he and his wife adopting two children from China I knew I wanted to get a copy of that book and interview Mr. Simon.
He agreed, and the interview below is the result.
The book is excellent in several ways, both as a must-read for families who have adopted children or are considering adoption and as a glimpse into his own personal life. It has parts that may make you cry for joy and sections that may make you cry for sadness. As with his pieces on NPR he is eloquent and insightful.
He was limited in his time to answer questions, so I did not get a chance to ask him about one interesting New York Times piece that speaks both about his book as well as what sounds like a fascinating documentary, Wo Ai Ni, Mommy (I love you, Mommy). The article is worth reading.
And now on to the interview...
How do you feel about the possibility of becoming, essentially, a poster boy for adoptive families by writing this book?
I don't think that's likely to happen. One of the advantages of writing this book at this point in my career is that I'm known for rather a lot of things by now, hardly just adoption.
Can you talk about the "Adults Say the Darndest Things" part of the book? Everyone I know who has adopted has a few of these anecdotes to tell of people who say things which are perhaps not meant to be offensive or prejudiced against adoptions but, sometimes, are. Why do you think that is? Do you chalk it up, say, to people defensive about their way of life?