I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple Computers, passed away yesterday after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Jobs has been described as a visionary.
What you may not know is that Steve was also an adoptee.
His biological parents were unmarried 23-year-old students. The parents of his birth mother did not approve of the relationship between the two students and pressured the couple to put their baby up for adoption. They did, but eventually married one another and went on to have another baby, a daughter they named Mona who grew up to be novelist Mona Simpson.
Steve Jobs always referred to his adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs, as his “real parents” and believed his character was more the result of nurture than nature.
When he was 27, with the help of a private detective, he found and met his birth mother and sister. Steve enjoyed a relationship with Mona that was such that he once described her as “one of my best friends in the world.”
He never met his birth father, despite the older man’s public request for reunion.
So what can we learn from the life of this visionary man who also happened to be an adoptee?
Well, I think there are a couple of things.
- No matter who we are adoptees have a longing to know where we came from. Steve Jobs used the resources available to him to find his birth family.
- Our “real” parents are the ones who raised us; the ones who cared for us when we were sick; the ones who made sacrifices so we could (fill in the blank). I couldn’t agree more with Steve on this one.