We hear about it in the news: the tragedy of a mother abandoning her child in or around a trash bin. But we never hear about the childhood, teen years, or adulthood of this so-called “dumpster baby” that survived. We might assume that the bitter beginning of this baby’s life predicts his or her future, but that’s not necessarily so—especially in cases like Freddie Figgers.
The Story of a “Dumpster Baby”
In 1989, an infant was found in Gadsden County, Florida after his mother abandoned him at 2 days old next to a dumpster. Although he was left to die, this “dumpster baby” was found by a passerby who contacted the police.
The baby was then put into foster care, and the foster parents who took him in, Nathan and Betty Mae Figgers, ended up adopting him and naming him Freddie Figgers.
Although Freddie Figgers’ life began tragically, he was quickly blessed by his hard-working adoptive parents. Figgers’ adoptive father, a handyman and maintenance worker, and his adoptive mother, a farm worker, raised Freddie with loving care in Quincy, Florida.
This so-called “dumpster baby” was interested in electronics from a young age, and learned to repair electrical equipment. He became so skilled that he even a broken computer by the time he was nine.
But it was known in his community how Freddie had been abandoned; so Nathan told him directly at age eight about his unfortunate beginning.
As Freddie recalls his dad told him, “Listen I’m going to shoot it to you straight, Fred. Your biological mother, she threw you away, and me and Betty Mae, we didn’t want to send you through foster care, and we adopted you, and you’re my son.”
This information was difficult for Freddie to learn. He explains that he first thought, “I’m trash,” and that he was unwanted, but his dad told him “Don’t you ever let that bother you.”
And that support of his father—and his mother—made all the difference as his personality, ambition, and skills grew.
Check out this photo, Freddie posted to Instagram of himself and his father:
View this post on Instagram
So How Did Freddie Figgers Become So Successful?
Despite having to endure bullying kids calling him the dumpster baby, his parents were his heroes and his role models who encouraged him on in his interests.
That’s exactly how Freddie ended up fixing an old computer at such a young age.
Apparently, Nathan and his son found Macintosh computer at Goodwill one day and brought it home for Freddie to fix.
It’s an old saying, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,’ and I was always fascinated by computers,” Freddie explained. “I always wanted a Gateway computer, but at that time we couldn’t afford one.”
And from there it was all uphill toward Figgers Communication.