A pint-sized powerhouse standing at just 4’11”, Kristin Chenoweth has captivated audiences on stage, big screen, and television. Her many incredible achievements include winning a Tony award for her portrayal of Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, originating the role of Glinda in the musical mega-hit Wicked, and receiving an Emmy for her role of Olive Snook in the ABC series Pushing Daisies. Most recently, Chenoweth has played the boozy but loveable April Rhodes as a recurring guest star on the popular show Glee.
Through all this success, Chenoweth has remembered the ones who chose her and brought her into their family as a baby in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. “It always goes back to my parents who adopted me, who gave me unconditional love and self-esteem,” Chenoweth told Fox News this past Father’s Day. “I don’t think I’d be where I am without them.” At the time of the interview, Chenoweth was promoting the Father’s Day Frosty Weekend to support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Chenoweth has been an active and vocal advocate for adoption throughout her career, particularly adoption within the United States. In her recent autobiography, A Little Bit Wicked, Chenoweth writes, “It bugs me when I hear about ‘Angelina’s adopted son’ or ‘Rosie’s adopted children’ – as if that word will always separate them instead of binding them together. Angelina’s son and Rosie’s kids and I should get a regular apostrophe-plus-s like everybody else.”
Chenoweth discovered her talent and passion for singing byperforming in local churches. At the age of 12, she was invited to sing a solo in front of the entire Southern Baptist Convention national conference. Chenoweth told Metro Family Magazine, “My parents encouraged me in the talents God gave me. I attribute my success to them giving up their own desires so that I could have piano lessons, so that I could go to ballet, the countless hours spent at play practice. Through encouragement, they helped me believe in myself.”
Not every adopted child becomes an award-winning singer and actress, but the inspiring story of Chenoweth’s adoption is just one example of the deep bond of love between parents and their adopted children. It is also a testament of the power of sacrificial love shown by Chenoweth’s birthmother. Chenoweth is deeply grateful to her birthmother, recognizing that she owes everything to one woman’s brave decision. “Love is not about doggedly clinging to what belongs to you,” Chenoweth reflects in her autobiography, “it’s about finding it in yourself to let go, even when letting go breaks your heart.”