It’s easy to accept the inheritance of physical traits because we can see them. Friends tells us, “your daughter looks so much like you.” When it comes to character traits the old nature/nurture debate comes into play. As an adopted child who found her birth mother, I can tell you that our genes play a part in how we approach problems, our resilience in the face of adversity, our inner strength, and our attitude toward life. I lived with my birth mother for only the first year and a half of life yet I have developed many of her character traits, even my extreme determination to walk with as straight a back as possible came from her. Her characteristics that I treasure most were her resilience and her acceptance. They carried her through a tough life, and they have helped me in tough times as well.
Last week, once again we said goodbye to my son David, his wife Joanne and teenage daughter, Jenna. Although I tell myself how fortunate I am that they return home every summer and for most Christmas holidays, saying good bye gets harder every year. I hear my mom’s spirit speak, “You can’t change it. Accept it. Find the goodness in it and carry on.” I know she’s right.
Their travelling life has given them opportunities the rest of us only dream about. Our granddaughter Jenna has been on real African safaris. She understands the need to stop hunting for sport and poaching for greed. She has seen the animals in their natural habitat and experienced the beauty of their freedom. Her last two years in Ethiopia have shown her what true hunger and poverty looks like.
My main desire is that the three of them will find peace and joy in this new part of Africa and that their amazing experiences will strengthen them. I have Mom’s spirit of acceptance, yes. And still, I can’t keep back the flood of tears that are pouring down my face today.