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Reid, Theresa

Reid, Theresa

PERSONAL:

Daughter of Marshall (a mechanical engineer) and Marian (a teacher) Reid; married; husband's name Mark; children: Natalie, Lana. Education: Attended Ohio State University; University of Chicago, Ph.D., 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Ann Arbor, MI. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), Elmhurst, IL, executive director, 1988-97; Chicago Children's Advocacy Center, Chicago, IL, president of the board, 1999-2002. Has also worked as an independent strategic communications advisor for nonprofit organizations; served as managing editor for the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and as executive editor for the APSAC Advisor, the APSAC Practice Guidelines, and Child Maltreatment.

MEMBER:

Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Board Source, Detroit Working Writers, International Women's Writing Guild, Society for Non-Profit Organizations (SNPO).

WRITINGS:

Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Theresa Reid, daughter of Marshall and Marian Reid, was raised in Noblesville, a small community located in central Indiana. She attended Ohio State University (OSU), where she majored in comparative literature, psychology, and women's studies. After graduating from OSU, she moved to Illinois to attend the University of Chicago, where she earned her Ph.D. in English in 2002. During the time that she was a doctoral student, Reid wrote a book-length manuscript and worked as managing editor for the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Reid left the publication in 1988 to become the executive director for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) where she remained until 1997. Her fifteen years of service in the child-advocacy and nonprofit fields include her positions as president of the board for the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center, from 1999 to 2002, and as a freelance communications consultant. Reid resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Mark, and two daughters, Natalie and Lana.

Reid published, via Berkley Books, Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption in 2006. The story details Reid's experiences throughout the adoptions of her two daughters. Reid contracted a Chicago adoption agency to liaise between Russia, the Ukraine, and the United States. During the course of these extended communications, Reid and her husband were required to make several trips to Eastern Europe in order to meet the girls and file paperwork in person. In several instances, according to Reid's narrative, the family was in danger of financial and emotional impediments, but through their perseverance they completed the adoptions of Natalie in 1997, and Lana in 2002.

Reid begins the story by examining the couple's decision to adopt, including their inability to have their own biological children, their motivations and fears regarding becoming parents, and their ideal child. Booklist contributor Frank Caso remarked that the text "is an excellent primer for those in the early stages of the adoption process." Reid provides many details regarding the measures that were required both domestically and internationally. She then transitions to her first adoption of Natalie, her journey overseas for her second adoption, and then to her meetings with adoption officials in Eastern Europe. She dedicates several chapters to this latter ordeal due to the fact that it was much more complicated than the first, as evinced by the title of her twelfth chapter, "Escape from Ukraine." A California Bookwatch review called Two Little Girls "a vivid, compelling story." Brooke O'Neill's review, featured in the University of Chicago Magazine Online, summarized Reid's story as "an emotionally, financially, and physically taxing ordeal," and O'Neill observed: "Reid discusses America's biological bias, psychological barriers to adoption, and the perfect child."

By biological bias, Reid refers to the prevalent practice of having one's own children rather than taking adoptive measures, and Reid's commentary regarding the "perfect child" refers to the many criteria used in the selection of the adoptee. The text also addresses the emotional insecurities of prospective parents that may impede or cause doubt regarding their adoption decision. Reviewer Roberta Rosenberg, in an article for Blog Critics, claimed that what makes Two Little Girls a unique addition to the adoption memoir genre is Reid's use of "craft, wit, fierce intelligence, and an astonishing candor that will keep the reader engaged and eager to turn each page." Moreover, Abigail Thomas's essay for O, the Oprah Magazine, titled "Take Two—They're Small: Adopting First One, Then a Second Little Girl from Eastern Europe, a Woman Comes Face-to-face with Her Own Flawed Self," stated, "Reid writes with remarkable honesty about what she discovered in herself—prejudice, jealousy, anger, doubt, and an endless supply of guilt."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2006, Frank Caso, review of Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption, p. 11.

California Bookwatch, May 1, 2006, review of Two Little Girls.

O, the Oprah Magazine, May 1, 2006, Abigail Thomas, "Take Two—They're Small: Adopting First One, Then a Second Little Girl from Eastern Europe, a Woman Comes Face-to-face with Her Own Flawed Self," p. 212.

ONLINE

Blog Critics,http://blogcritics.org/ (June 30, 2008), Roberta Rosenberg, review of Two Little Girls.

Reid Writing Web site,http://www.reidwriting.com (June 30, 2008), author profile.

Theresa Reid Books Web site,http://www.theresareidbooks.com (June 30, 2008).

University of Chicago Magazine Online,http://magazine.uchicago.edu/ (June 30, 2008), Brooke E. O'Neill, "Open Mike."

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