By most accounts Pete Likins has had a successful life. But his personal
accomplishments are only the backdrop for the real story—the story of his family, whose trials and triumphs hold lessons
for many American families in the twenty-first century.
At once a simple love story and family saga, the book traverses the Likins' history and, consequently, the history of America as it undergoes altering social changes.
–Santa Cruz Sentinel
Likins doesn't linger on tragedy, but celebrates a rich life.
This poignant but ultimately empowering memoir tells the story of
Peter Likins, his wife Patricia, and the six children they
adopted in the 1960s, building a family beset by challenges that ultimately strengthened all bonds. With issues such as inter-racial adoption, mental illness, drug addiction, unwed pregnancy, and
homosexuality entwined in their lives, the Likins' tale isn't just a family memoir—it's a story of the American experience, a memoir with a message. With circumstances of race, age, and health
making all of their children virtually unadoptable by 1960s standards, Pat and Pete never strayed from the belief that loyalty and love could build a strong family.
Both Pete and Pat have
served as teachers, and Pete's long academic
career—holding positions as a professor, dean, provost, and then president—illuminates more than just his personal success. Pete's professional
attainments produce a context for his family story, wherein high achievements in educational, athletic, and financial terms coexist with the joys and sorrows of this exceptional family.