Sometimes it is easy to forget that adoption has a large impact on our society and the people around us. It is important that we recognize that adoption gives people the opportunity to become who they were meant to be and that our world is changed because of it.
Can you imagine how different the world would be if these five people had not been given the chance to live?
1. Eleanor Roosevelt
One of the most popular First Ladies the U.S. has ever had, Eleanor Roosevelt certainly played a large part in shaping the nation in the last century. Having lost both of her parents at an early age, she was then adopted and raised by her grandmother, Mary Livingston Ludlow. It is possible that Eleanor’s adoption shaped her passion for human rights and her influence in the world.
2. Nelson Mandela
The sometimes controversial, but also well-loved leader of South Africa, Nelson Mandela certainly made his mark on the world by bringing apartheid to an end. At a young age, Mandela was adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo. Dalindyebo raised Mandela alongside his other children and guided him in his Christian walk.
3. George Washington Carver
The man who gave us peanut butter, George Washington Carver was an excellent inventor, scientist, and scholar who has helped to form the American way of life as we know it. Carver was a slave from birth, but was later adopted by his former master upon the abolition of the slave trade. Moses and Susan Carver, once slave owners, became loving parents who invested in George’s education and supported his scientific pursuits. Adoption provided George Washington Carver an amazing opportunity to engage in his passion for learning and inventing and enabled him to reach his potential.
4. Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens is best known for his popular Christmas stories such as ‘A Christmas Carol’ and for his strong stance on social justice issues. He played a key role in shaping the conscience of his generation and in changing British literature forever. What is not as known about him, however, is that when he was a child his parents, John and Elizabeth Dickens, were detained in a debtor’s prison, and so he was adopted by an old family friend named Elizabeth Roylance. This part of Dickens’ personal story had a large influence on his writings later on, particularly David Copperfield, his most autobiographical book.
5. John Hancock
Famous for his bold signature on the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock was a prominent founding father and leader of the American people. Not as known as his signature, is the fact that he was raised by his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Lydia Hancock, who took him in in lieu of having children themselves. The influence of Hancock, whether recognized or not, lives on in the independent spirit of the American people even today.
What are some adoption stories that inspire you?