As you wait to become a parent, a million questions run through your mind. What will my child be like? How will he or she fit into my family? What challenges will we face? Although no one can predict the future, there is one thing I can assure you: Your child will be a mixture of genes and environment, a beautiful blend of two families — one by birth, another by adoption.
The reason I know this is from experience. Whenever I look at my sweet daughter, I see her birth mom. Those beautiful blue eyes and blond hair are clearly not from me. And neither is her artistic talent or feisty personality. But what I have noticed is that she exhibits some of the incredible traits and interests that we have shared with her. For example, she loves to build with Legos and put together robots like my engineer husband, even spending evenings with him watching Star Trek. She treats others with kindness and compassion, often taking time out to help those in need, much like me. She also shares my love of dance and enjoys shopping. And she’s a good student. Although we can’t take all the credit on that one, since intelligence is hereditary, we have encouraged her to form good study habits and have praised her efforts every step of the way. I know we play an important role in her success and in boosting her confidence, and I am always thrilled to help her reach her goals.
Our daughter is clearly a unique individual, in part influenced by her birth parents’ genetic makeup and in part influenced by our ongoing parenting and nurturing. But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s take a look at what some of the experts have to say about nature vs. nurture in adoption:
“Nature and nurture are two inseparable sides of the same coin, which continues to spin throughout life.” ~ From The Huffington Post article, “Adoption and Genetics: Implications for Adoptive Parents”.
“A culmination of more than half a century of research collected on 14.5 million pairs of twins has finally concluded that the nature versus nurture debate is a draw. According to the plethora of data, both have nearly identical influences on a person’s behavior, which suggests we need to stop looking at ourselves as a result of nature versus nurture, and instead realize we are a combination of both.” ~ From The Medical Daily.
“It is widely accepted now that heredity and the environment do not act independently. Both nature and nurture are essential for any behavior, and it cannot be said that a particular behavior is genetic and another is environmental. It is impossible to separate the two influences as well as illogical as nature and nurture do not operate in a separate way but interact in a complex manner.” ~ From SimplyPsychology.org.
So when your child finally joins your family, he or she will likely be both different from you and similar to you. You’ll appreciate the differences because they teach you to look at the world from a fresh perspective. You’ll relish the commonalities because they are what connect you to your precious son or daughter. Most important, you’ll experience a love like no other: A rare bond that can only be shared between a parent and a child — and that is the best part of all.
For more information on the subject of nature vs. nurture in adoption, check out the following articles: