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Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption

by Theresa ReidBerkley Books; $23.95

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When the author and her husband set out to build a family, they expected diapers, sleepless nights, and all the joys and challenges that accompany parenting. What they did not expect was a multi-year, globe-crossing odyssey that required navigating byzantine bureaucracies at home and abroad—and reaching a level of self-awareness few parents achieve.

In her debut book, Two Little Girls, Reid recounts the adoption stories, as different as the girls themselves, of her daughters Natalie and Lana. Despite some initial doubts, Natalie’s transition from being the darling of her Russian orphanage to being the center of her parents’ universe was relatively seamless. In contrast, Lana’s adoption, from Ukraine, was fraught with uncertainty and fear.

The most striking aspect of Two Little Girls is the author’s unabashed honesty. Reid explores the questions and motives—some valiant, some vain—behind adopting and parenting: Can I love someone else’s child? Will a second child enhance or detract from our existing family? She bares her own foibles, examines them closely, and realizes that they make her less than perfect but wholly human.

Two Little Girls is a wonderful story of the entire adoption journey. With her realistic portrayal of her family’s perils, heartbreak, and happiness, Reid has accomplished what few authors can claim—she’s written a book that is as profound as it is enjoyable to read.

Reviewed by Sue Gainor, an adoptive parent who serves on the national board of FRUA. She lives with her family near Washington, D.C.

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