See Where Their Bright Futures Began
At Orchard Fostering, we’re committed to building brighter futures for all our foster children. We believe that greatness lies in every fostering story – big or small. While we’re all about the everyday successes, we do like to keep tabs on some of the bigger fostering success stories out there – namely, foster children who have impacted the world in a meaningful, culture-shaking way.
To celebrate our belief in the power of a great foster care experience, we’ve compiled a list of five impactful celebrities and their fostering stories. Read on and remember – you can help us build a brighter future for children just like those featured below.
John Lennon was born to Julia and Alfred Lennon in 1940 – Alfred was a merchant seaman, who went AWOL when John was four years old. After an acrimonious dispute – during which John was allegedly forced to choose a parent by his father – it was decided that Julia would take John and find him a home.
From the age of five, John – who would grow up to become one quarter of the biggest band of all time – lived with his aunt Mimi, and her husband, George. Mimi encouraged his storytelling mind, buying him short story collections, while George bought him a mouth organ, sparking his interest in music.
While things were sometimes fraught in Mimi’s household – she famously discouraged guitar playing, with a short-sighted “guitar’s all very well, John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” Despite this lack of outward encouragement, there are signs that Mimi and John were on the same level – according to producer Jack Douglas, John would tune his D-string slightly flat, so his Aunt Mimi could hear her boy’s guitar parts on Beatles’ recordings!
Following the death of his father, and the hospitalisation of his mother, Eddie Murphy – star of Saturday Night Live, Coming to America, Dolemite Is My Name – entered foster care at the age of eight, alongside his older brother, Charlie.
While Murphy has been reticent to speak about his time in foster care – he is a famously private person – though he has credited it with allowing him to develop his sense of humour, as he learned to laugh through the hardships he suffered prior to entering foster care.
Born in 1883 to Eugénie and Albert, Gabrielle Chanel (the Coco came much later) had a childhood far removed from her chic, fashion designer reputation. Eugénie was a laundrywoman, and Albert was a street vendor who sold clothes and undergarments.
Albert was a nomadic type, and the family followed suit – often sleeping in rundown lodgings, rather than having a home to call their own. When Coco was twelve, her mother passed away. Albert sent Coco to an orphanage, where she was placed in the care of a religious order.
While this is a different experience to many modern foster stories, Coco was moulded by her time in care – most notably, she learned how to sew, a trait she would spin into an unrivalled and iconic fashion empire.
We’ll close out our look back at the bright futures of foster children with something a little different (and someone a little more modern). Donald Glover – rapper, comedian, actor, singer, and all-around talented individual – grew up in an environment that included multiple foster children. His parents – Beverly and Donald Sr. – were foster parents for fourteen years and adopted two of the children they fostered over the years.
Glover is, like Murphy, a very private person – but he has opened up about his time with foster children. He speaks of the sometimes traumatic nature of his foster sibling’s lives, and how exposure to their stories encouraged him to create his own worlds, so that he and his foster siblings could feel safe – “I wanted to build my own world, because then you get to make the world a little safer.”
All the individuals above were influenced in some way by their time in, or around, foster care – each one took the lessons they learned and applied them to their careers and lives, in ways that have inspired countless others. At Orchard Fostering, we believe in building brighter futures – and we believe in the ability of all our foster children to achieve incredible, inspiring things.