As some of you may or may not know, Apple giant Steve Jobs was an adoptee. If you’re a member of the adoption triad, then you know the feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood that it entails. The world lost one of the most important visionaries of our time, a magnificent contributor, and Steve’s family lost a husband and a father and a son.
This post is a tribute to Steve Jobs – fellow adoptee.
Steve’s estranged birth father John, who had given him up for adoption, had been hoping that Steve would call him. John did email Steve, but the emails went unanswered. Pride kept him from calling Steve because, understandably, he feared that Steve would think he was after his fortune. Sadly, pride kept them apart, and now it’s too late.
Steve was born February 24, 1955 to two graduate students, John and Joanne who gave him up for adoption. It’s been said that John did not want to give Steve up for adoption, but Joanne’s family would not approve of their marriage, and they weren’t financially stable. They married in December of 1955 and 2 years later they had another child – Mona Simpson (novelist). I do wonder what changed for them that enabled them to get married 10 months after Steve’s birth.
A snippet from the Wikipedia page on Mona Simpson (Steve’s full biological sister):
She is the biological sister of the late Steve Jobs, co-founder, former CEO and chairman of Apple. Jobs, the eldest sibling, was placed for adoption by their then-unmarried parents (who married 10 months later). Her 1987 novel, Anywhere But Here, is dedicated to her mother and “my brother Steve.” She first met Jobs when they were adults, after she invited him to a party promoting Anywhere But Here where she revealed that they were siblings; Jobs was 32. The two of them forged a relationship where he regularly visited her in Manhattan. Simpson said “My brother and I are very close, I admire him enormously.”
Jobs said “We’re family. She’s one of my best friends in the world. I call her and talk to her every couple of days.” The interactions between Simpson and Jobs, and learning how similar they were, had a major effect on Jobs. Steve Lohr of the New York Times wrote “The effect of all this on Jobs seems to be a certain sense of calming fatalism — less urgency to control his immediate environment and a greater trust that life’s outcomes are, to a certain degree, wired in the genes.” A few years earlier, Jobs was staunch on most of his character having been formed from his experiences, not his birth parents or genetics (Jobs frequently referred to his adoptive parents as “the only real parents” that he ever had). From Simpson, Jobs would learn more details about their parents, and he invited his birth mother Joanne Simpson to a few events.
Steve was obviously very loyal to his adoptive parents, Clara and Paul Jobs.
Quotes from Steve’s birth father:
“Now I just live in hope that, before it is too late, he will reach out to me, because even to have just one coffee with him just once would make me a very happy man”.
“I really am not his dad, he said – Mr. and Mrs. Jobs are, as they raised him. And I don’t want to take their place. I just would like to get to know this amazing man I helped in a very small way to produce.”
How very sad.
We need to take something from this. If you’re questioning yourself, or your dreams, or if you should seek out a parent, sibling or relative – do it.
“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011