Meeting Sophie: A Memoir of Adoption

Overview

The baby is screaming again. My baby. I hoist her off the narrow hotel bed—again—and try to cradle her as I rock my torso back and forth in an uncomfortable straight-backed chair.

This baby does not cradle. She doesn't know how to cuddle, to be soothed in anyone's arms. She howls and arches away, squirms and flops, a sixteen-pound fish out of water. I'm not used to holding babies, and she's not used to be being held, but when I try to put her down, she wails. My arms feel ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $14.85   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

The baby is screaming again. My baby. I hoist her off the narrow hotel bed—again—and try to cradle her as I rock my torso back and forth in an uncomfortable straight-backed chair.

This baby does not cradle. She doesn't know how to cuddle, to be soothed in anyone's arms. She howls and arches away, squirms and flops, a sixteen-pound fish out of water. I'm not used to holding babies, and she's not used to be being held, but when I try to put her down, she wails. My arms feel chafed, raw, and my wrists ache from the hours of straining to hang on to her.

Huge tears pool in her eyes. These tears could break my heart. These screams could break my eardrums.

          After years as a temporary college instructor with no real home—her family and longtime friends scattered—Nancy McCabe yearned to settle down, establish a place she could call home, and rear a child there. A tough academic job market led her to accept a position at a church-connected college in the deep South, a move that felt like an uneasy return to the conservative environment of her childhood that she thought she had left behind. McCabe had many reservations about rearing a child alone in this climate, but the desire to become a mother would not go away.
 
            Meeting Sophie tells the story of McCabe adopting a Chinese daughter and the many obstacles she faced during the adoption and adjustment process as she renegotiated her role within her family and fought difficulties in her job. Especially poignant is her struggle to bond with a sick, grieving baby while in a foreign country during political unrest—followed, upon her return to the U.S., by a devastating loss and a career crisis.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Here is a story of a single professional woman adopting a baby from China, losing her father to cancer and moving on after being denied tenure at a conservative Southern college. But it's also a meditation on the meaning of family: blood family, adoptive family and even the dysfunctional family-like structure of a college English department. It begins with McCabe's (After the Flashlight Man) first moment with her new baby in a Chinese hotel. As she gradually fills in the details of before and after, the unlikelihood of this adoption attests to McCabe's near-mystical desire for a child. A feminist liberal at a church-affiliated college, McCabe is ill-suited to her new department, whose members patronize her and hound her to act more like them: "Southern ladies." This attitude strikingly mirrors her role in her own family, where she was cast early on as "the dumb one" and a selfish outcast, despite her good grades growing up in the Midwest and her adult attempts to help out when her father is ill. The family myth shows its effect as McCabe doubts her ability to care for her baby until, seemingly through intuition alone, she guesses, contrary to the opinions of doctors and adoption professionals, her new daughter's allergies (to lactose and antihistamines), which are serendipitously similar to her own. As a new mother and grieving daughter, McCabe struggles poignantly and triumphantly to maintain her own identity as she creates her place within family. Her tale will be familiar and inspiring to those interested in delving into their own family relations, as well as to single women considering adoption. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826214959
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,406,346
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy McCabe’s creative nonfiction has won a Pushcart Prize and been listed in Best American Essays twice. She is the author of After the Flashlight Man: A Memoir of Awakening and the Assistant Professor of Writing and Director of Writing Programs at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Prologue: China, 1999 1
South Carolina 7
China 55
Missouri 101
Pennsylvania 159
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)