March 23rd, 2006
Posted By:
Categories: Triad Issues

Nature vs. Nurture has been a controversial subject in and out of the adoption community for years. It doesn’t matter to me how many studies there are no one is ever going to resolve the nature vs. nurture debate. The reason I say this is because there is no answer.

In my life, I wonder if my being a night owl is nature or nurture or a combination of both. My adoptive mom is definitely a night owl. She is the only person I know that I can call at 3AM and have a conversation that makes sense. In fact, when my husband asked me to marry him it was in the middle of the night. We called my mom at 3:30AM to tell her and share our excitement.

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On the flip side of this, after finding a grave, through other family members I learned that my birth mother was also a night owl. When I reunited with my sister, was surprised to hear that she liked to stay up late.

When I met my sister for the first time, she brought a ton of photo albums of my birth mother through her growing up years. The resemblance between myself and my birth mother was undeniable. When I met my sister though, I couldn’t help but wonder if we were really sisters. I have brown hair and brown eyes. My sister has blond hair and blue eyes. As we got to know one another, I had no doubt that we were sisters. We had so much in common and yes, some of it has to do with that we are only 19 months apart. There are things though that we do that are exactly the same. We were not raised together and did not know of the others existence until my search was completed. So, how do we explain these similarities? Is it nature? Is it nurture?

I kind of think that nature and nurture work together to shape who we are. My sister and I had a very similar lifestyle growing up with similar experiences. Do I think there is a genetic connection or biological influences? Yes. Do I think that motivation for example is learned? Yes. The thing is that both of our personality traits that are similar or the same could be shaped by the environment and some could be attributed to genetics. If you think about it though, personality is an option. Growing up, children are required and expected to read and write and as they become of age, drive a car. However, children aren’t required to be dominant or submissive. They aren’t required to seek risk or avoid risk. Is that determined by what they come into the world with? Do our surroundings offer resources and challenges and our genes determine who we respond how we respond to these outside forces?

Another example between myself and my sister is intelligence. We both had similar experiences in school and had to apply our selves in similar ways to achieve success. This makes me think that genetics plays a dominant part in our intelligence.

I can’t speak for my sister, but for me these eerie coincidences have deeper meaning. I think it deepened my perception of myself and helped me understand that every person is unique.

One Response to “Nature vs. Nurture”

  1. Jan Baker says:

    You find few reunited birth moms who do not believe strongly in nature. It takes both to make an adopted person who they are. Bugs me when people need to fight over it – about which is most important. They both matter alot.

    Until reunion, I did not believe in nature that much. Meeting my son changed that quickly – we are much alike in many ways.

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