Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Roots

Us Irish folks are creative souls.

It never surprises me when I learn the talented writers of adoptee blogs such as, Amanda at Declassified Adoptee or Linda at Real Daughter/Adopted Daughter have learned, since reunion, of their Irish heritage.

Whatever it is, whatever is born inside of us Irish men and women, tends to lean us heavily toward the arts, in some form or another.

On the maternal side of my family, the Gradys, I have a grandfather who had several of his short stories published, a mother who is amazing in her glass work and sculpting.

My aunt can paint a picture so realistic, you feel as if you are actually there, in real time, seeing it happen. And my uncle’s success in creating one of a kind snowboards has nothing to do with the hardware but everything to do with the unique designs he paints on the top of each and everyone one.

Some, without ever knowing, may have seen my cousin’s creative work. She’s a costume designer for movies and daytime soap operas. And as for myself, I’m a published fiction (romance suspense) writer and, obviously, the author of this very blog.

It’s true, Irish have a flair for the dramatic. Whether it be by means of drawing or painting, writing or singing, we show the proof of that over and over again.

Even in my oldest son it exists. He may have never known he was Irish until he was almost nineteen years old, but he was a part of his roots in every way through his poems and art. It was a talent he carried that his adoptive family never shared. One he never grasped with pride until reunion. Until learning of the long line of his Irish heritage that became a part of him.

I believe in nurture, I truly do. But I also believe, just as strongly, in the power of nature. In the blood and heritage that makes us what we are today.

To me, nurture comes from recognizing and supporting our children’s talents and abilities. Encouraging them to make the best of it. Believing in them and letting them know, over and over again, how amazing it is they are able to hold such a special trait that so many will never know.

But nature is the reason why, I believe, they have such talents. Nature is why children, perhaps raised in an adoptive family of athletic, competitive-driven individuals, are more prone to pick up a book and read instead of thrive after that next big score. Would rather be the one behind the instrument playing the victory song instead of experiencing the rush of being the one to add three points to the scoreboard.

It’s a part of who we are as human beings. A part of our genetic make-up. We inherit the talents we are so good at from so many ancestors who have come before us. At birth, we are more likely to be an athelete, an accountant, a writer, an artist . . . whatever . . . because of the roots we share with those from our family who have come before us.

And no “blank slate” can change that. There is no such thing as, “if born to” that has the power to take away the very real, very powerful talents we inherit from our German, Irish, Italian, Cuban, English . . . etc . . . relatives.

Yes, adoptees, just like all of us . . . even the non-adopted . . . are a part of the nurture they received during their childhood. Encouragement and support of their talents is a vital part of building their self-esteem. Acknowledging their abilities, those special traits that make them . . . them . . . can give them the confidence to build stronger on such a foundation and realize their true potential in the gifts they carry inside of them.

But even without nurture, I believe, nature has its own way of breaking through and being seen. Even if a child is discouraged from recognizing and embracing their true talents, they still exist within them. Those natural abilities they have inherited continue to exist, continue to be a part of who they are.

Because in the complex world of roots and heritage, of what we gain from the ancestors that have come before us, there is one thing that always remains the same . . .

We cannot change that which we were given through who we are.

We can, or others can, try to hide it, bury it, or ignore it. But none of that changes the fact that we are born with certain talents and abilities that we share with those who have come before us and will continue to share with our own children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren . . . and on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

It’s just simply a part of us, a part of who we are and how we were created. And not even adoption, or any other force, can take that away. Nor should they ever have the power or desire to.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you <3 You're too sweet.

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  2. Great post.

    "But even without nurture, I believe, nature has its own way of breaking through and being seen. Even if a child is discouraged from recognizing and embracing their true talents, they still exist within them. Those natural abilities they have inherited continue to exist, continue to be a part of who they are."

    So true. I am of Scottish heritage, btw. And I have drawn/painted/sang/danced/written my whole life. My adoptive family is mostly insurance sales and accountants. Hmm??? Turns out, my birth grandmother was an ametuer painter. My birth mom played piano. (Which I have always had a strange affinity for even though I have never played.) Etc.

    So - one more example to prove your thought.

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