Saturday, November 12, 2011

Some of the Coolest People: Famous Adult Adoptees

Recently I've tackled a huge undertaking: writing my first nonfiction book. It's been exhilarating and fun, and I've stood amazed at how God is writing through me. I'll share much more about that in another blog post in the near future. For now, I'd like to continue with my adoption/orphan care series during this month, Adoption Awareness Month.

When Steve Jobs passed away, I couldn't wait to blog about his fascinating life. You can read more about him in my earlier post Steve Jobs: Lessons from His Legacy. I thought I knew a lot about him, but my research led me to some interesting facts I didn't already know. Perhaps the coolest thing I discovered was the fact that he was adopted in infancy. In that post, I mentioned that "some of the coolest people are adopted," thus the inspiration for this post's title. Examining the life of Steve made me think about how adoption can completely change the trajectory of a person's life. It certainly did for Steve.

So, I thought it would be fun to do a little research and find out what famous and influential people in our country's history were adopted. I'm excited to share a few with you here.

Audrey Faith Perry, or Faith Hill as we know her, was adopted when only a few days old by Ted and Edna Perry. Raised in Star, Mississippi, her hometown has become prophetic of her super-stardom as a country music recording artist. Faith grew up as the only adopted child in a loving family, and grew up fully aware of her adoption. She refers to her childhood as "amazing." Later in life, she met her biological mother and has formed a good relationship with her as well.

Actor/comedian/recording artist Jamie Foxx was born Eric Bishop in 1967 to parents who separated shortly after his birth. At that point his mother felt ill-equipped as a single mother, so his maternal grandparents adopted him at the young age of seven months. During his 2004 Academy Award acceptance speech for Ray, he thanked his grandmother for her hard work and unconditional love. Grateful to his grandparents and the blessing of adoption, Jamie has hosted adoption-themed holiday specials and often praises adoption in interviews.

Many adoption-minded people are aware of Dave Thomas' tireless efforts in adoption and foster care prior to his death in 2002. However, we sometimes forget, or are unaware, that he was adopted as well. The founder of fast food restaurant Wendy's, was adopted at birth. Unfortunately his adoptive mother passed away when he was just five, and he dropped out of high school in tenth grade to work full time at a restaurant, a foreshadowing of things to come. After serving in the U.S. Army, Thomas moved to Columbus, Ohio and opened his first Wendy's in 1969. And the rest is history. Later he founded the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to promote adoption law simplification and reduce adoption costs in the United States.

Many of us remember when Scott Hamilton took world figure skating by storm. (And then again, some of you weren't even born!) When just six weeks old, Scott was adopted by Dorothy and Ernest Hamilton in 1958. He won an Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating, making him the first American male to win a medal in the sport since 1960. Today, he produces Stars on Ice, a professional ice show that tours around the world.

Born in 1955 to unwed college graduates, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was adopted as an infant by Paul and Clara Jobs in California's Bay Area. Having recently passed away in October of this year, I hardly think I need to discuss the man with the mastermind behind the iPod, iPad, iPhone and the animated film production company Pixar. His genius will be sorely missed.

I think it's extremely cool to discover prominent people that just happen to be adopted. But then, I don't necessarily believe in coincidence. I think God handpicks every child for his or her family, whether they be adopted or biological children.

Rejoicing in my Spiritual Adoption,



  1. Way to go writing a book, Carla! I'll look forward to hearing about it.

  2. Thanks Barb! Pray for me. I need the prayers!

  3. So proud of you with starting a book! You're definitely an inspiration for all us secret aspiring writers.

  4. Thanks Laura! Pray for me Girl. And start writing yours too! :-)