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Foli, Karen J. 1959-

Foli, Karen J. 1959-


Born 1959, in Terre Haute, IN; daughter of Reno C. (a retired professor of economics) and Adele M. (a homemaker) Foli; married John R. Thompson (a child and adolescent psychiatrist); children: Benjamin William, Peter John, Anusree Grace. Education: Indiana State University, B.S. and registered nurse, 1982; Indiana University, M.S., 1985; University of Illinois, Ph.D., 1990. Religion: Roman Catholic.


Home—Bloomington, IN. Agent—Jodie Rhodes, Jodie Rhodes Literary Agency, 8840 Villa La Jolla Dr., Ste. 315, La Jolla, CA 92037.


Writer. Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, faculty member. Formerly employed by Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, IN; formerly worked as a registered nurse; has also worked in clinical and administrative settings, for the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. Public speaker to families waiting to adopt children.


Like Sound through Water: A Mother's Journey through Auditory Processing Disorder, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2002.

(With husband, John R. Thompson) The Post- Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption, Rodale Books (Emmaus, PA), 2004.


Karen J. Foli told CA: "After a fairly active nursing and academic career, I married and started a family. I began writing—at age thirty-four— when my children were young and my older son's developmental delays became evident. I began to explore fiction and then decided to write about my son's journey. Thus my first book was born. The manuscript of Like Sound through Water: A Mother's Journey through Auditory Processing Disorder was auctioned by major houses in New York. Having a book auctioned after six years of trying to be published is beyond compare. I don't think I'll ever forget it. The second book, The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption, was also created as a result of my parenting experiences.

"Writing has now become part of me, and I'm the happiest when I write. I have explored many areas of writing and find them all interesting and challenging and beautiful. I am proud of my books and know they have helped others facing difficulties. Knowing that gives me a great deal of satisfaction with my life.

"I see my writing in terms of service. My first book helped many families understand and cope with their child's struggles with auditory processing disorder. My words offered them comfort and hope. I reached inside myself to place the words in a way that evoke anger, pain, frustration, and joy—a placement that speaks to the honesty I passionately wanted to offer the reader. It is my most personal book and a memoir.

"The second book also filled a void in what we understand can occur after a child is adopted. These words have helped many parents become more selfaware and given them ideas to cope with stressful times. Hopefully by applying new skills, families can use these tools to transform their interactions into healthier, happier patterns of living. This book, while more ‘self-help,’ was based in part on my own experiences as a mother to my daughter.

"Rescued Lives: The Oxford House Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment, my third book, has perhaps the most potential to transform lives. Built upon twenty years of research in the field of community psychology, I have been given a wonderful opportunity to help two talented scholars communicate these findings to a general audience. I feel very fortunate to be involved in this project and indebted to Jodie, my agent, for recommending me to my coauthors.

"My work is sewed together by my philosophy of writing as service to others, strengthening families, and offering hope to those who have lost it."



Foli, Karen J., Like Sound through Water: A Mother's Journey through Auditory Processing Disorder, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Foli, Karen J., and John R. Thompson, The Post- Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption, Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA), 2004.


Library Journal, June 15, 2004, Stephanie Ortyl, review of The Post-Adoption Blues, p. 87.

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