A woman throws her baby away in a dumpster. That is what happened to the man above when he was only hours old. His mother was a drug addict. She said she couldn’t stand looking at him for whatever reason she felt that way.
When he was discovered, the police called child services who immediately put him into foster care. His foster parents took in more than 100 foster kids during their lives. He one, of only two, they ever adopted. They were nearing 70 when he came into their lives. Adopting a newborn baby wasn’t part of their plans. However, they didn’t want to leave him in the foster care system.
The poor little boy growing up in a small town where everyone knows everything was bullied in his public school days and called Dumpster Baby. He was 10 years old when his adoptive father told him his origins story. He thought: did somebody really throw me away? Am I trash or a person? It bothered him for a long time but he did overcome it. He had the love of an adoptive mother and father to assist him.
This is the kind of case where adoption makes sense to me. However, his life with these elderly adoptive parents wasn’t all roses and sunshine. His father wasn’t physically able to throw a football around, so he became fascinated with technology. He read encyclopedias cover to cover. He admits, “We grew up in an impoverished environment. We went to thrift stores; we went dumpster diving. In 1989, when I was eight, my father bought me a secondhand Macintosh, for $24 from a flea market. It didn’t work, so I opened it up and noticed some capacitors were burst. My father was a maintenance worker and had a soldering gun. I took parts from the clock radio to put in the computer. After about 50 attempts, I got it to work.”
This $24 gift and a father with some tools changed this man’s life. He goes on to say, “After that, computers were my escape. I was still being bullied and didn’t have any friends. That computer became my best friend. I was in an education program called Children Are Our Future; the director saw a gift in me and let me work in the computer lab. I’d replace hard drives and add RAM. She encouraged me to start my own business repairing computers.”
“At 12, I got my first job, working after school at the city hall as a computer technician. I helped develop an internet service protocol to tie all of the city agencies together. I pushed myself to the limit. I learned everything I could about Windows. By 14, I’d started writing code; after that, I remember sitting at a computer for two days in a row without even being hungry. I loved it.”
He is inventive and developed a tracking software for elderly people with dementia (because he had to do that find his adoptive father when he would wander off. He passed away in 2014). H also developed a meter to monitor glucose levels in diabetics via Bluetooth. Those are just 2 of over 80 custom software programs he has written. Today at 31 years old, he is the CEO of Figgers Communication. He also created the Figgers Foundation to help children in foster care all around the world. For example, this Christmas they’re buying 25,000 bicycles to give away.
He credits his adoptive parents for showing him compassion and the power of having good people around you.