Just about everyone has a connection to adoption. Quite a few of you following our blog have family or friends that are adopted, and some of you were adopted yourself. It’s pretty cool to hear these different stories, and thank you all for the positive energy you’re sending our way! Also on the note of positivity, we have a couple of new time-trackers on the blog–the first one I added is to the right of each page. It’s a little countdown ticker counting down to March 22nd, the day we sign on with our adoption agency, the Independent Adoption Center. The second one is a timeline on our About page. Not a lot of dates on the timeline yet, but I’m sure it will start filling in after March 22nd. You know, various paperwork deadlines, background checks, homestudy stuff, deadlines for designing our iheartadoption page (one of the IAC’s marketing strategies), our “in the books” date, and all the other stuff that will occupy our springtime.
I gotta say I’m a little impressed at myself for tackling some of this technology–as should those of you who know me (*e*) to be a technology shunning caveman who refuses Facebook (an era I fear may need to come to an end…more on that later.)
Speaking of connections to adoption (in a similar sort-of 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of way), something else *A* & I keep coming across are the stories of famous people who happen to have been adopteed. These folks came from all sorts of life circumstances–some were adopted by family members, some were raised by foster parents, some were adopted traditionally–and while the situation surrounding their adoption might not always be positive, it provides some food for thought about how their adoption stories might have contributed to who they ultimately became. Here are a couple of people we’ve always thought were super-cool anyway, and now even more so for this extra bit of info about them. Warning! Here comes our nerdy side!
Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in South Africa. He was sent to live with Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo after his father died, and was treated as one of the chief’s own biological children. He learned English and African history and rant a peaceful campaign against the South African government and its racist policies for 20 years. In 1994, he became the country’s first black president.
Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, MO, the second child of Carrie Mercer Langston and James Hughes. His father left, later divorced Carrie, and went to Cuba, and later Mexico, to escape the enduring racism in the U.S. After the separation of his parents, while his mother traveled seeking employment, young Langston Hughes was raised mainly by his maternal grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston, in Lawrence, Kansas. Through African-American oral tradition and drawing from the activist experiences of her generation, Mary Langston instilled in her grandson a lasting sense of racial pride.
Sarah McLachlan – one of *e*’s first celebrity crushes. Born in 1968, Sarah Ann McLachlan was adopted in Nova Scotia, Canada, by Jack and Dorice McLachlan, who also had two adopted sons, Ian and Stewart. Oddly, but perhaps because this was the thing to do at the time, her adoptive parents didn’t tell her she was adopted until she was 9. Apparently it never bothered her–she did meet her birthmother a few years later (her birthmother had been 19 at the time she made a plan for Sarah’s adoption). And now we can love her for her accurate but depressing ASPCA commercials. Geez. *sniff*
Let’s see: a politician / activist; a writer / activist; a singer-songwriter / activist—seems to be a trend, here. To lighten the mood, here’s one last hero of adoption:
Of Course! Curious George, a character created in 1941 by H.A. Rey was adopted by the Man with the Yellow Hat! Rey’s story begins with George living in Africa and tells the story of his being befriended by the Man with the Yellow Hat, who takes him on a ship to “the big city” where he will live in the zoo. The second book, Curious George Takes a Job (1947), begins with George living in the zoo, from which he escapes and has several adventures before the Man with the Yellow Hat finds him and takes George to live at his house. The remaining stories tell of George’s adventures while living at the house of the Man with the Yellow Hat. This little monkey’s probably been responsible for tens of thousands of children learning to love books. Made a difference to me, at least.
Looking back I realize this is sort of a higgeldy-piggeldy list, so help us out with your own stories of famous adopted people (or characters) you’ve been influenced by. Comment below!