“It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college” – Steve Jobs (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html)
If I’m completely honest with you I didn’t know who Steve Jobs was until yesterday. The irony is I learned more about him when he passed away than I knew while he lived, and one of the things I found out, with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart, was that he was adopted.
We often find ourselves defending our decision to adopt (across racial lines) to strangers who claim that we won’t be able to give Emma what her biological parents could in terms of language, culture, family, etc. We’ve argued, gotten into ‘healthy’ debates and once (okay, maybe more than twice) told someone to f*ck off with their ignorance and dumb-assness (not very civilized I know, but that’s all I could come up with at the time).
Adoption is not the beginning of the end. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Emma’s adventure is only just starting. She is clever and funny and can talk the hind-leg off of a donkey. Often when I tell people how clever she is, I quickly add that neither Mark or I can take the credit for that…but we can take the credit for how we nurture and encourage her to be the very best she can be.
Emma’s biological mother doesn’t know us. She doesn’t want to know us and that’s fine. But I hope one day, when Emma is president or a Noble Peace prize winner, her biological mom will maybe, just maybe, recognize the twinkle in Emma’s eye or the smile on her face and burst with pride…
With Steve Jobs’ passing I’m sure both mothers are feeling the pain and also taking comfort in the roles they played of the boy becoming the man that became the icon