Finding Our Place: 100 Memorable Adoptees, Fostered Persons, and Orphanage Alumni

Finding Our Place: 100 Memorable Adoptees, Fostered Persons, and Orphanage Alumni

Finding Our Place: 100 Memorable Adoptees, Fostered Persons, and Orphanage Alumni

Finding Our Place: 100 Memorable Adoptees, Fostered Persons, and Orphanage Alumni


This unique one-volume reference guide provides positive and empowering biographical sketches of 100 famous and well-known adoptees throughout time, serving to counter the many negative stereotypes that exist that exist about people who were adopted, fostered, or lived in orphanages. This work looks at the lives of people who, despite circumstances in their childhood, were able to succeed in making important contributions to art, music, science, literature, politics, and entrepreneurship. This work answers the call to obtaining difficult-to-find information about well-known adoptees. High school students and general readers who are interested in learning more about positive role models in adoption and children's issues will find this book invaluable.

McCaslin outlines the parameters she used for inclusion in the book, and then discusses the history of adoption from ancient civilization to today's society. Each entry focuses on the early life of the subject, as well as his or her career and achievements. Entries include Aristotle, Edward Albee, Ingrid Bergman, Oksana Baiul, Ella Fitzgerald, Faith Hill, Marilyn Monroe, Dave Thomas, Orson Welles and many more.


This one-of-a-kind book reveals the often extraordinary lives of souls who, in popular culture, are also called adoptees, foster children, and orphanage alumni.

In the curanderismo of my Latino heritage, such souls are also called, “the twiceborn.” To be nacido dos veces, twice-born, means to come to earth with a heart that can love and coexist with paradox and duality—the very traits of artists, peacemakers, inventors, and visionaries.

The twice-born are believed to carry two ways of seeing—in the mundane sense, and in the more visionary sense. the twice-born carry at least two heritages, sometimes more. They often have two families (or more), and two given names, one overt and one hidden.

For all these reasons and more, as much as some layers of society might try to “normalize” the lives of children who have been separated from their natal parents by often highly-charged circumstances—as you will see in the following pages—the twice-born, when young, wander about learning who they are, just as all other souls do but often what they find to be true about themselves and about the worlds and families they bridge, what mettle they are called to develop despite all obstacles—and what they flower into—is anything but ordinary.

Those whose stories are within these pages—and the literally millions of adoptees, orphans, and fostered persons who stand with them—carry dual histories and the subsequent vitalities, gifts, and awarenesses that come from living in and across multiple tributaries.

The twice-born have often, in some significant way, as they have grown from infancy to adulthood, managed to cross many great divides and to have continued on, still spiritually alive and able. Their individual stories, both before and after their early watershed severances and subsequent graftings, are not just prequels or addenda, nor are they postscripts.

That someone sought a child, took a lone child in … often with longing, great love, and altruistic intent, is a part of a considerable number of life stories here. Many adoptees, orphans, and fostered children carry far greater and full life stories, centering often on the mythic journeys, similar to those of the heroes and heroines found in ancient legends.

In the oldest sagas, the child twice born must focus on and resolve myriad issues that are sad, happy, difficult, triumphant, horrifying, rich, cherishable—some, and often, all of the above.

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