Ms. ELISE SIMON: (unintelligible) funny.
Ms. CAROLINE SIMON: Baba�
SCOTT SIMON, host:
StoryCorps' National Day of Listening is this Friday. Sit down in the holiday week ahead to record someone you love.
Ms. C. SIMON: Momma.
Ms. E. SIMON: Momma, momma�
SIMON: Pictures tickle memories, voices reveal personality. My wife and I talked to our six year old daughter, Elise.
Ms. E. SIMON: (Unintelligible) a name for me.
Ms. C. SIMON: Lena.
Ms. E. SIMON: Lena, Lena�
SIMON: Her three-year-old sister Lena, known as Beany(ph), napped near by. I suppose every parent dreads the day their child asks, where do I come from? My wife and I have an answer that may be even a little trickier: China. Our girls have grown up knowing they were adopted.
Ms. E. SIMON: (Unintelligible) story.
SIMON: So once upon a time, momma and baba wanted to start a family and�
Ms. E. SIMON: Big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big family.
SIMON: Big family. Well, we thought we would�
Ms. E. SIMON: Like 17 people.
(Soundbite of laughter)
SIMON: Well, but we�
Ms. E. SIMON: Just start the story. Okay, it's going to be 100 people.
SIMON: One hundred people.
We figured we'd do it one daughter at a time.
And so we went to all these kinds of meetings and we filled out forms and all that stuff. And then one day in the mail�
Ms. E. SIMON: They saw a little girl and it was me.
SIMON: They sent us a picture of you and we thought it was the most beautiful little girl we had ever seen.
Ms. E. SIMON: (unintelligible) that means yes.
SIMON: We wanted to get over there immediately. So we waited and waited and waited and we finally got to China. And we got to Beijing and we�
Ms. E. SIMON: First you went to Beijing.
SIMON: First we went to Beijing and we�
Ms. E. SIMON: First Chicago, then Beijing.
SIMON: Chicago, then Beijing, you're right.
Ms. E. SIMON: Then (unintelligible)
Ms. E. SIMON: Okay, just start the story.
SIMON: She's like an editor. And then we got to Jiangsu Province. There were what, four other families?
Ms. E. SIMON: Yes.
SIMON: Four other families.
Ms. E. SIMON: (Unintelligible)
Ms. C. SIMON: Polly(ph).
Ms. C. SIMON: Polly and Jasmine(ph) and�
Ms. C. SIMON: And Elizabeth
Ms. E. SIMON: Elizabeth and me.
SIMON: And you.
Ms. C. SIMON: You, of course.
Ms. E. SIMON: I was the youngest.
SIMON: Yeah, you were the youngest.
Ms. E. SIMON: Jasmine is the oldest, she is seven already. In the next year, after or maybe a month of different days, we saw Beany's orphanage and then mine again.
SIMON: That's true.
Ms. C. SIMON: Since you were from the same province, we were able to go back to your orphanage and then meet your foster mother.
Ms. E. SIMON: Hey, foster mother.
Ms. C. SIMON: And we went to Lena's orphanage. Do you remember walking through Lena's orphanage? Do you remember the (unintelligible) there who was showing us how to make their milk?
Ms. E. SIMON: Yeah. They were very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very�
SIMON: Now, this is a conversation we may have every few months for the rest of my life. We don't conceal any details from our daughters. They're cunning enough to catch us anyway. But every few months they absorb a little more. And the older and smarter they get, the more questions they have for which we have no real answers. Who was their birth mother? What happened? Where are they? Not every question could be answered by love, fun or ice cream. So we try to talk about these things now and again so they become matter of fact. Adoption is a miracle, but a miracle that's older than Moses, after all. There are times when Elise gets just a little full of all the talk, then she loves to sing�
Ms. E. SIMON: (Singing) The stars at night, are big and bright.
SIMON: (Singing) The stars at night, are big and bright.
(Soundbite of applause)
Ms. E. SIMON: (Singing) You're in the heart of Texas.
SIMON: Right now she especially loves that �Higgledy Piggledy� song and I think I figured it out. It's because that song gives her the chance to tot up the names of every member of our family, from my wife and I through our cat, our hermit crabs, and stuffed animals.
Ms. E. SIMON: Higgledy Piggledy (unintelligible) want to tell a name for me.
Ms. C. SIMON: Woof.
Ms. E. SIMON: Woof, woof�
SIMON: It reminds me that fathers are here to love, support and protect our daughters and to make them laugh.
Ms. E. SIMON: �want to say your name for me�
SIMON: Rumba(ph), our vacuum cleaner.
Ms. E. SIMON: Higgledy Piggledy (unintelligible) want to say your name for me? Want to say your name for me.
Ms. C. SIMON: Um, Selda(ph)�
Ms. E. SIMON: Selda, Elda(ph)�
SIMON: The song stylings of Elise Sylvie Geomay(ph) Simon.
Ms. E. SIMON: �want to say your name for me.
(Soundbite of song, �Make Someone Happy�)
Mr. JIMMY DURANTE (Singer): (Singing) Fame, if you win it, comes and goes in a minute, where is the real stuff in life to cling to? Love is the answer, someone to love is the answer, once you have found her�
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