Since receiving the privilege of adopting our three sons, my wife, Julie, and I have allowed ourselves to ponder the “What ifs?” surrounding their lives and adoptions. What if their birth mothers had not chosen to courageously carry them to term? What if they had chosen someone else to adopt them? What if they had decided not to make an adoption plan at all?
All of these questions, some admittedly haunting ones at that, led me to start pondering the “What ifs?” of other well-known adoptees.
For example, what if John Hancock had become a pastor instead of a politician? What if Nelson Mandela’s adoptive father didn’t have deft leadership skills that rubbed off on his son? What if Steve Jobs had been adopted by a couple in Florida instead of one in Silicon Valley?
With these “what ifs” in mind, I tried to investigate the circumstances surrounding the providential adoptions of men and women who grew up to change the world. Unfortunately, most of the information about their adoptions was limited to a single sentence in their biographies.
But there had to be more. How could such an emotional, monumental, and transformational moment be reduced to a passing reference? Was their adoption a mere factual footnote in their lives, like their birth date or hometown, or was it one of the driving forces behind the stories of their successes?
This is what led me to write Chosen For Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World. In it, you’ll see that every single one of the individuals profiled didn’t succeed in spite of being adopted or intimately cared for by someone other than their biological parent; they rose to their level of accomplishment in no small part because of their adoption and relationship with their new parent or parents.
In fact, their adoption didn’t just change the course of their lives and the families who embraced and loved them. Instead, you’ll see their adoption has changed—and is changing—the course of your life and mine.
You’ll also see, I hope, that adoption, like life itself, is a gritty and an often imperfect process. It’s nothing like you see in the movies, watch on television, or even read in a bestselling novel.
Indeed, it’s far more dramatic—because the stories you’re about to read are true and involve real people who made and are making a significant difference in the world.
Paul Batura’s Chosen For Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World is in bookstores now.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: October 27, 2016