I was saddened when I found out that Steve Jobs passed away after his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a visionary with talent beyond measure. Besides being a creative genius, I was surprised to learn that he, like me, was adopted.
I’ve learned over the years there are many, many well-known people who are adopted, like Scott Hamilton, Faith Hill, Jamie Foxx, Debbie Harry, Darryl “D.M.C” Matthews McDaniels, Lee Majors, Melissa Gilbert, Ray Liotta and Faith Daniels, just to name a few. I know this list only skims the surface. There are an estimated 120,000 children adopted in the United States each year. The majority of these do not grow up to be household names like those I’ve listed above.
I was born in Riverside, California (the setting of my novel, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.) on July 29, 1959. I was 2 months premature and stayed in the hospital for about 6 weeks, until I reached the magic weight which meant I could be released. I went home with my birth mother, who was 15 years old. I lived with my mother and grandmother and conditions, I was told, were not optimal. My grandmother was an alcoholic and not a nice woman. My mother was a teenager and had no idea how to care for a newborn child.
Fortunately, I had a guardian angel to watch out for me living down the street. Every day the angel would come over to our house to feed, bathe and change my dirty diaper. Every day she would go home and beg her parents to adopt me. She was 12 years old and longed for a baby sister. Eventually, her parents discussed adoption with my birth mother. My birth mother agreed to let them adopt me. My new family took me home immediately and soon the legal papers were drawn up and I was officially adopted. I was known from that time on as Tami Lynn Kidd.
I had no idea I was adopted until I was 12 years old when I accidentally found the adoption papers. Yes, I was a nosey child and often snooped where I wasn’t supposed to, but that’s another story. Finding out I was adopted left me with many mixed feelings and questions. The biggest questions, who was I? What were my ‘real’ parents like and did I have brothers and sisters? Did I look like my mother or my father?
My adoptive sister gave me the answers to as many questions as she had answers to. She was the 12 year old who cared for me in the early months of my life. She was the one responsible for my adoption. I owe her a debt of immense gratitude. She saved me from a life of abuse. I know this because when I was 30 years old I found my biological family. I have five biological half siblings, four sisters and one brother. Most of them still live in California and all of them still bear the scars from an abusive, alcoholic father.
I met my biological mother and she assured me if I had remained with her I would have suffered most of all her children. Her husband, the father of my siblings resented me because I was not his child. He wanted nothing to do with me. My mother and he were together when I was born and he made his feelings very clear from the start that he would never love someone else’s child. From the abuse he bestowed on his own children I would say he didn’t love them either. His declaration was the deciding factor for my biological mother’s decision to give me up for adoption. Plus, she knew my new family could provide for me in ways she would not be able to.
Steve Jobs and I were blessed. We were fortunate to have had a biological mother who cared enough to want a better life for her child. We were lucky to have been chosen by families who loved and nurtured us. I don’t know where I would be today if it hadn’t been for my sister who came to my rescue. I don’t like to dwell on the possibilities. I am sure; however, Steve Jobs and I were given a gift of love. Steve Jobs was a gift to the world. He gave back to the world with his innovations and insight, which will remain with us forever. I hope to give back to the world, one story at a time.
Oh and one more thing. Thank you, Sis, I love you.
Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked
You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <s> <ins> <strong>