Friday, October 7th, 2011
Of course, the adoption boards are buzzing because this brilliant entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was placed for adoption in 1955, has died after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. Much more has been written about the love and support of Jobs’s adoptive parents who also adopted his sister, Patricia, than his little-known birth parents.
But I’ve been wondering about the biological parents and about the child they placed for adoption at birth. Steve Jobs. Whew.
Bio-father Abdul Fattah Jandali was a young Syrian immigrant in Wisconsin, who never even met his newborn son. When the baby was born to the 23-year-old Jandali — now known as John — and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Joanne Schieble, in 1955, there was no chance baby Steve would be able to grow up with his biological parents.
Joanne, born to a white, conservative Christian family, allegedly could not convince her parents to marry an Arab, and a Muslim at that! You can read much about this slim wunderkind of Apple computers and technology as we know it. (Interestingly, Jobs was not ever interested in meeting his birth parents although he was aware of them. Years later his birth parents did marry and raise other children. That’s wild too!)
More than anything, though, when you consider the soaring heights and successes this business impresario has enjoyed, how many people his companies employ all over the world… ya gotta admit both sets of parents did something quite right with this child.
First his young and terrified birth mother (in the 50s!) ran to San Francisco from the Midwest to place her child into a caring nurse’s arms in a hospital. Safe and sound. How amazing and selfless and responsible this decision can be.
Then, consider the childless couple who yearned for him, finally found him and adopted him and then joyously nurtured Jobs throughout childhood and adulthood. Growing up, Steve Jobs lived a kind and beautiful life, he lived in a privileged world to Clara and Paul Jobs in the suburbs of Mountain View, Calif., now commonly called Silicon Valley. They adopted his sister Patricia as well!
Imagine? Imagine the possibilities for children who enter adoption or foster care because they deserve a chance like Steve Jobs had? Imagine the possibilities…
This adoptive son made good. Very good, indeed. What a great story. RIP Steve Jobs, adopted son. Next one might be you!