Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Spin On Nature Versus Nurture

I remember back in the day watching an episode of Sally Jesse (you know, when she was legit and her red specs were all the rage) and being mesmerized by that certain day's topic.. adoptees searching for their birth families. Although not told of their adoption growing up, they just knew waaayy deep down that they didn't "belong" and felt no real connection to the family they grew up in. Their puzzle pieces fell into place when their family finally fessed up and the search for their "real family" began. To this day I remember thinking how empty their lives must have been but come on, their real family was who raised and loved them all those years. It was sad to see them get dissed.

Although the plan from the get go was to tell me of my adoption, a few months after I was placed my parents swore family and friends to secrecy. They had fallen head over heels in love with me and I was their child.. end of discussion. My mom may have been 4'11" and 95 lbs soaking wet (a crazy red head, to boot) but you did not cross her. No doubt, all feared the Hell Fire that would ensue.

Unlike the SJR guests, I never felt unattached from my family or that I didn't belong. I think that is one of the things that really threw me for a loop when I found out. I am so my Mama's daughter (physically and emotionally) it isn't even funny. As an adult I would hold my hand up to hers and marvel at how they were identical (except I could never grow nails and hers were beautiful). I worry like she did, I suffer from "mother hen" syndrome and love to cook and take care of my family and friends like she did.. and I must also admit, I'm a horrible driver just like she was.

I remember the moment like it was yesterday.. Have you ever ridden in a car where the driver taps their foot lightly on the accelerator while cruising along and causes you to lurch forward? I would constantly yell at her I was going to hurl if she didn't stop it and she would declare I was crazy. Fast forward .. my best friend Bren is visiting for New Years and we're headed to LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver) to whup it on and ring in '01. She starts yelling at me that I'm going to make her yak if I don't stop tapping the accelerator. I had to laugh BUT hey, at least I believed her. Now every time I'm the driver and she is the passenger I try to stay on cruise control as much as possible..

Not only do I look like Dad, I act like him, too.

I know the great debate over Nature vs Nurture will rage on forever but my little humble "o" is our personalities are very much the result of who we are raised by. I think we do pick up many character traits (good and bad, obviously) by the people that we are closest to.

That being said, our plan is to let our little ones know they are adopted (if they're too young to remember being placed with us). I'm a firm believer that they should have contact with birth relatives (if it's reasonable and safe to do so) and have no intention of cutting off their family ties if at all possible.

Hopefully we are stronger than Mom and Dad..


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