RECORDED 1/26/15: I had a great time speaking with Claude Knobler who has published More Love Less Panic: 7 Lessons I Learned About Life, Love & Parenting After We Adopted Our Son from Ethiopia, a book about his adventures in parenting and what he learned when he adopted an Ethiopian child. This is how the publisher describes the story: “Already the biological parents of a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter, Claude Knobler and his wife decided to adopt Nati, a five-year-old Ethiopian boy who seemed different from Knobler in every conceivable way. After more than five years spent trying to turn his wild, silly, adopted African son into a quiet, neurotic, Jewish guy like himself, Knobler realized the importance of having the courage to love, accept, and let go of his children.
In this wonderfully written memoir More Love, Less Panic, Knobler explains how his experiences raising Nati led him to learn a lesson that applied equally well to parenting his biological children: It’s essential to spend the time we are given with our children to love them and enjoy them, rather than push and mold them into who we think they should be.”
Claude and I had a fun and wide-ranging conversation discussing one of the book’s main takeaways: “We confuse panic with good parenting.” We also talked about the heartbreak about having “the conversation” with his son in an age where young black men have been the victims of police shootings and violence. Knobler writes about it eloquently in this Washington Post essay as well.
I really loved this book and read it in one sitting. It has heart and humor and a practical dose of advice from lived experience.
You can listen to the interview here, or download it on iTunes. (Subscribe and never miss another episode.)–Heidi Durrow
Claude Knobler’s essays have appeared in Parenting and on NPR’s “This I Believe,” as well as in one of the radio program’s literary anthologies, This I Believe: On Fatherhood, and in Worldwide Orphans Foundation founder Dr. Jane Aronson’s Carried in Our Hearts: The Gift of Adoption: Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents alongside essays by Melissa Fay Greene, Mary-Louise Parker, Connie Britton and Shonda Rhimes.