“I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion,” he said. “[My mother] was twenty-three, and she went through a lot to have me.” -Steve Jobs
Every adoption is the culmination of countless independent decisions the Lord seamlessly works together. Steve Jobs, the entrepreneurial tech giant who had once declared his goal “to change the world,” is no exception. His powerful story is an example of how profoundly adoption shapes the course of not just one life, but the lives of many.
Below is an excerpt from Chosen for Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World, a new book by Focus on the Family Vice President Paul Batura.
Steve Jobs was adopted against all odds by Clara and Paul Jobs, a bookkeeper and an engine mechanic from Wisconsin. To supplement their income, Paul bought, restored, and sold old cars, making the Jobs’ garage packed with tools and full of potential. At five years old, Steve and his family moved to Los Altos. It was inside the garage of that simple suburban home where Steve Jobs began to sow the seeds of his future destiny.
Although he didn’t embrace his father’s love of automobile mechanics, Steve’s interest lit up when his father first introduced him to electronics, given the critical role they played in the car. “He showed me the rudiments of electronics, and I got very interested in that. Every weekend, there’d be a junkyard trip. We’d be looking for a generator, a carburetor, all sorts of components.”
The location of the Jobs’ home placed the youngster squarely in the middle of the exploding tech boom. “Most of the dads in the neighborhood did really neat stuff, like photovoltaics and batteries and radar,” Jobs remembered. One of those fathers, Larry Lang, who lived just seven houses down, was an engineer for Hewlett Packard (HP). “He would bring me stuff to play with,” said Jobs.
Conversations around the table inevitably turned technical, especially when Steve’s father took a new job with a company that engineered lasers. A young Steve was impressed with his father’s new profession. “Lasers require precision alignment,” he said. “The really sophisticated ones, for airborne applications or medical, had very precise features. It made you realize you could build and understand anything. Once you built a couple of radios, you’d see a TV in the catalogue and say, ‘I can build that as well,’ even if you didn’t. I was very lucky, because when I was a kid my dad made me believe I could build anything.”
Clara and Paul supported and nourished Steve’s creativity and intellectual curiosity, providing him with every opportunity they could to further encourage him. “I’ve always felt special. My parents made me feel special.” Without their supportive parenting and the providential events in Jobs’ life, our world would look very different, for while adoption didn’t necessarily make him successful, it undoubtedly shaped the man who co-founded the company that has changed the way we compute and communicate.
In Chosen for Greatness: How Adoption Changes the World, Paul Batura profiles sixteen well-known adoptees—including Steve Jobs, Nancy Reagan, and Faith Hill—to show how adoption has made the world a much better place. Click here to learn more about Chosen for Greatness.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: November 7, 2016