The decision to bring a child into the world is one that most of us probably don’t want to take lightly.
In the best cases, anyone looking to have a child has planned for it, knows when the child is coming and has all the resources to take care of it when it arrives. This is all leaving aside the health of the baby when it’s born, of course! Still, there are plenty of cases when parents are put in a situation where they have to raise a baby they might not have been ready for.
But not all of these stories are as straightforward as others.
It all started on September 2nd, 1955.
Though Dave Hickman now lives in Tennessee, in 1955 he was in the middle of Southern Indiana, hunting with his grandfather. Although it began like any other day, Hickman soon noticed something unusual on the outing. “I kept hearing a very odd sound. It wasn’t the sound of a baby crying, it was more a soft cooing sound.” Shortly after that, Hickman decided to climb a fence to see where the sound was coming from.
When he peeked over, down in the grass he saw a little baby—and she wasn’t in the best condition.
From all appearances, the baby had been abandoned in the grass by parents who didn’t want her or couldn’t care for her.
“She was soaking wet and her lips were blue,” Hickman said. “She was wrapped in a towel.” Shortly afterwards, Hickman and his grandfather called the local authorities to help get the baby all the care she needed to get back to full health. After the doctors restored her back to full health, she was given the name Roseann Wayne. Because of the connection that she shared with Hickman, the hospital even gave him special time to say goodbye.
Although the story happened 58 years ago, Hickman never forgot the face of the little girl in the woods that day.
After they parted ways, Hickman grew up, became a man and thought about trying to track down the little girl.
Though he tried for a long time to find any source of her, all his efforts came up short. Though he was on the verge of giving up, Hickman decided to give it one last shot. He reached out to John Catey, the retired sheriff of Wayne County in Indiana, to help him out with his search. With Catey on the case, the search sped up significantly—and found a promising lead in just two weeks.
After a short phone call, Hickman had a phone number and a name to write down.
The name Hickman got was Mary Allen Suey—and as it turns out, she was the baby he’d found so many years ago.
Suey had been adopted so many years before by a loving couple, she’d been told her origin story and always wondered who the teenage boy was who had rescued her so many years ago. After Hickman discovered her identity, he called her right away. Still, it was hard to contain his emotions even over the phone. “I said, ‘My name is Dave Hickman,’ he said. “And then I lost it.”
Eventually, the two got together in person—reuniting after a staggering 58 years apart.
Even though Suey and Hickman had never really known each other, they still shared a kinship when they met each other. “It’s kind of like Dave’s a big brother I never knew I had,” Suey said. For his part, Hickman still can’t get past that initial day, finding Suey laying defenseless and wounded in the woods. “I see that image of her laying in the weeds and me standing on top of the fence every day of my life,” he said. “At least now I know there’s a happy ending.”
Despite everything, Suey says that she’s not upset at her biological parents—though she’s happy that she and Hickman finally got together.
While the details of this story are absolutely incredible, it still serves as a reminder of the power of family. Even though Hickman and Suey aren’t actually related, the two of them are as close as any two people could be. Because of Hickman’s chance discovery that one day in the woods, Suey’s life was saved and the two of them would never be the same. It also reminds us all just how much we have to be grateful for.
Above all, congratulations to Suey and Hickman for finally reuniting after so many years!
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