Successful actress Kristen Chenoweth says that she “always known that [she] was adopted.” The Muppets star has never met her birth mother, but she has no ill will for her at all. She has called adoption a “full-circle blessing” because she knows that her birth mother loved her so much that she was willing to do anything to give her a better life. When she was only 5 days old, she moved into her forever home, where she was nurtured and raised by loving parents.
When people ask her if she would ever want to find her parents, her response is always “I already have my parents.”
For most of her childhood, Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson) lived in a constant transition between foster homes. She was never permanently adopted, which meant that she was dependent on the kindness and charity of foster families. Her mother was never psychologically stable enough to take care of her, so her mother’s best friend Grace McKee volunteered to take her in.
Marilyn Monroe was actually abandoned by her biological mother, who had been widowed before her birth. Marilyn spent most of her childhood in various foster homes. When she was 11, she went to live with a family friend, who eventually adopted her. Monroe went on to live an ultimately troubled life, but still became one of the most recognizable and iconic actors of the 20th century.
Born in Canada, Sarah McLachlan was adopted by an American couple shortly after her birth. Sarah's two brothers are also adopted and she has been able to meet her biological mother. Her hit song “Angel” has been used by the ASPCA since 2006, and has raised over $30 million dollars for the protection of shelter animals since the ad went on air. In 1997, her Lilith Fair music festival grossed $16 million dollars, making it the highest grossing festival of the year and the highest growing all-female performance music festival in history.
This five-time Grammy winner was adopted as a young child in Mississippi. She began her musical career early, performing at 7 years old at a 4-H luncheon. Just before her 9th birthday in 1976 she attended an Elvis Presley concert in Jackson, Mississippi which impressed her deeply. She quit school to become a singer when she was 19 and moved to Nashville, but was not immediately successful. She worked jobs ranging from McDonalds to selling t-shirts, none of which she liked. Finally in 1993 she released her first album called “Take Me as I Am,” and her music career was born.
Eleanor’s mother died in 1882 and her father died two years later, forcing her to move in with her adoptive grandmother. When she moved into the White House, she was not as respected and loved as she is today. This was due to her outspokenness and unwillingness to sit silently regarding issues such as race, class, and women’s rights. She redefined the role of the office of the president and the first lady, and led the way for more women in the White House to feel that they can take a stand and make a difference. Eventually she became the United States’ first delegate to the United Nations, and after her death was described as “the object of almost universal respect” in her obituary in the New York Times. She now takes 9th place in Gallup’s List of the Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.