#34 – Steve Jobs

October 28, 2011 at 10:36 am | Posted in adoption issues, Identity issues, Steve Jobs | Leave a comment
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First of all, I need to apologize for the delay in entries.  I try to do one each week, but the last two weeks have been taken up with items that needed to be attended to with the publisher of my next book, “Searching for Abby”.  Everything is going smoothly and the book should be released in January.  This book is the story of a young woman coming to grips with her adoption and her cloudy identity.

I imagine some of you were fascinated, as I was, that in all the information that came out after Steve Jobs died, his adoption was mentioned prominently.  Walter Isaacson already had written a biography of Steve Jobs and its completion coincided with Jobs’ death.

After hearing an hour long interview with Isaacson about Steve Jobs I was struck with the fact that Jobs was typical of adoptees in some areas and atypical in other areas.  I think this is always the case.  No one fits perfectly into a category or is the “typical” adoptee.  We are all individuals.

One issue that came across clearly was the importance of genes and heredity.  Job’s birth mother wanted him to be raised by college graduates because of her high educational background and that of his birth father.  However, Jobs was placed in a family where neither parent had gone to college, one adoptive parent graduated from high school and the other parent was a high school drop-out.  I found it interesting that the media spent more time discussing his birth parents than his adoptive parents.  The mystery element seems to fascinate the public.

Steve Jobs was told he was special and he took this so much to heart that he didn’t think he had to follow rules and laws like other people had to.  As a small boy Jobs told a friend he was adopted, and the friend said words to the effect, “Oh, your parents didn’t want you and gave you away”.  Jobs ran home crying and his parents comforted him by saying he was wanted, he was special, and they chose him.  Now, many adoptees hear this, but the fact they were relinquished by birth parents appears to be a more important factor.  Jobs took his parents’ words to heart and lived much of his life thinking he was more special than others.

However, the flip side of this is that Isaacson said in his many interviews with Jobs, abandonment issues were obvious , and Jobs admitted he was sensitive to being abandoned.

It also was interesting that Jobs wanted a reunion with his birth mother and his full biological sister, but didn’t want to meet his birth father who said he would welcome a reunion with his birth son. It is more usual for a searcher to want to meet everyone in his birth family, starting with the birth mother and eventually meeting the birth father.  Jobs chose his birth mother and sister, but rejected his birth father.

Most people would agree that Steve Jobs was a genius in many ways, but like everyone else, including our children, he was a human being with good and not-so-good qualities. He had feelings and thoughts that were unique only to him.  He couldn’t be pigeon-holed by a simple description.  Each of us is an individual, as is each of our children.  We may not be a genius like Steve Jobs, but all of us have something we offer to the world, and we need to recognize the gifts our children bring to us and nourish their uniqueness.

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