Foster Profiles: John Lennon

lennon_blogpostJohn Winston Lennon was born in war time England on October 9, 1940 to Julia (née Stanley) and Alfred Lennon in the town of Liverpool.  Alfred, a merchant seaman, was not present for his son’s birth and spent much of his time away from the home but regularly sent money to provide for his family.  In February of 1944, John’s father went absent without leave and the financial support stopped.  By the time he returned six months later, Julia was pregnant with another man’s child and rejected his offer to take care of them.  After Julia’s sister, Mimi Smith complained to Liverpool Social Services about her sister’s actions, Julia handed the care of John over to her.  In 1946 Lennon’s father made another attempt to take custody of his son but Julia intervened and in a dramatic scene, the father asked John to choose between him and his mother.  Lennon initially chose his father but as his mother walked away, John began to cry and submitted to her.  He would not have contact with his father again for 20 years.  Throughout the rest of his childhood, he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith who had no children of their own.  His mother often visited with him and it was she who first introduced him to Elvis Presley and Fats Domino as well as taught him to play the banjo.  In September 1980, Lennon commented about his family and his rebellious nature

“Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic poet/musician. But I cannot be what I am not … I was the one who all the other boys’ parents—including Paul’s father—would say, ‘Keep away from him’… The parents instinctively recognized I was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their children, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend’s home … Partly out of envy that I didn’t have this so-called home … but I did… There were five women that were my family. Five strong, intelligent, beautiful women, five sisters. One happened to be my mother. [She] just couldn’t deal with life. She was the youngest and she had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn’t cope with me, and I ended up living with her elder sister. Now those women were fantastic … And that was my first feminist education … I would infiltrate the other boys minds. I could say, “Parents are not gods because I don’t live with mine and, therefore, I know.”

There are nearly 3,000 children in foster care in Miami-Dade County. Perhaps there is a John Lennon among them.  Help us bring out the full potential in every foster child. Be A Voice by donating to their dreams!

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