Finding Out:

Coming to Terms with Adoption

There’s a big circle. A circle big enough to hold 7.6 billion people, which is the approximate number of people in the world as of this writing. In that circle is a smaller one with 22 million, the population of the Philippines in 1952. According to the U.S. Census, there is yet another circle, with 10 million people representing the African American population in 1940. From these circles of millions, somehow by miracle or predestination, the people of the Philippines and the African American circles overlapped, and only three are in that unique set.

The circle for this story includes three individuals, a micro microcosm compared to the billions on earth. Crossing in and out of this small boundary, the count increased at various times. Some that are counted staying longer while others only briefly but their impact in the lives of the 3 remain immeasurable. What you are about to delve into is a journey of space and time. It is a direct trip into the lives of three individuals who would not have crossed each other’s path had it not been for luck or chance – and obviously would not have come to fruition had it not been for determination, steadfastness, and faith. Faith had been the cornerstone of it all. Especially when the circle of three sometimes became the circle of one.

This is the miraculous story of the coming together that includes Fred, Grace, and Paula Hicks. This is their journey – a journey that would redefine them as a family. It is the journey of becoming one as a family. This journey is about how an African American couple became the first American couple to adopt a two-year-old Filipino orphan whose only possession was the tee-shirt she wore to cover her chest and protect her from T.B.

Why Read It?

Finding Out:

Coming to Terms with Adoption

Finding Out… is dedicated to my parents, Fred and Grace Hicks, who in their own right were rock stars in their heyday. The book traces events of a Black airman and his wife, while completing a tour in the Philippines, proceeds with an unprecedented adoption of a Filipino toddler left by a widowed mother in a Catholic orphanage. Most of the work is documented with court filings and transcripts, illustrations of family life, snippets of recollected thoughts from the author, Paula Wilson and memoirs of others.

The views are my own childlike prospective; how I understood and saw differences as well as commonalities in the people and events around me. In my story, being adopted presents reactions and emotions that are most likely different from children who are not adopted. The long-term goal of the book is to serve as a preservation of memories and legacy about my ancestors for the immediate reader and future generations.

Today’s successful adoptees can boast great accomplishments and have inspiring stories to tell about their paths to greatness. Most adoptees my have not experienced such a favored and privileged life. There is plenty of room on bookshelves for these stories too. My adoption gave me an opportunity to be part of something greater than myself. From my humble and uncertain beginnings, I learned appreciation for my parents, extended family and friends. I want to convey a sense of human scale in this book, not just a rattling of facts and events. I provide my story for that purpose.

Book chapters are divided into bits in time, even beginning long before my existence. I need to explain these events to readers so they can see the bigger picture and arrive at a greater understanding of who I am and as well as those who impacted my early years. Readers should not feel they are being lectured. I want them to experience my story as it is being unraveled. As I am Finding Out you are Finding Out…join me on this journey.

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