A network of adoptive families, birth families, and adoption professionals which exists to improve the lives of children and others touched by adoption through support and education. UFA is actively engaged in community outreach and advocacy to raise awareness of adoption as a loving option.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nature vs. Nurture

The author and her daughter
I was discussing the age-old debate of nature verses nurture as it affects the destiny of our children with a very dear friend, who sided with nature all the way. She believed that who we are and who we become is due mainly to genetics. Obviously we know physical appearance is controlled by genetics based on scientific evidence; but I have to say, my friend was seriously reconsidering her stance on the matter after spending a little quality time with my adopted daughter and me. She had also recently spent a little time with another friend and her adopted son; and between the two of us, we had her convinced that our little mini-mes, who were taking on many of our characteristics and mannerisms, had to be products of nurture seizing control.

Of course, my mom wished on me the fate that most moms do, that I would someday have a child just like me. Well, as fate would have it, I actually do have a little girl who is so much like I was as a child, and yet so very much her own person. For instance, her prissy, sassy little attitude-yep, all me! But her love of science fiction is not me at all. She has a desire and a need to build and create (and I’m talking robots, movies, etc.), while my only need to create is a story on a page or something yummy to eat. However, we both must do whatever it is we endeavor to do absolutely perfect and giving it our all.

I do believe there are certain “traits” that are God given and born within us; but much of who we become is shaped by our upbringing and by society’s response to us. As parents, it is key to communicate and build a loving foundation around the traits and mannerisms we have in common with our children, and to embrace and learn from our differences.

My daughter has picked up so many of my mannerisms because she has been with me since birth. The way our family does things, the way I do things, is all that she knows, so that’s who she’s becoming. I love when people tell me she looks like me, or when she and I give my husband the same “look” at the same moment! And the things she has picked up from him make me smile too! My husband has been a part of our lives for the last 3 ½ years, and nurture has taken over there as well.

All of that said, however, I must say that I do not truly know her birth parents so I cannot know which of her traits and mannerisms may naturally be a part of who she is. What I do know is that God created an amazing little being and charged my husband and me with raising her to be the best person she can be. We are entrusted with this life and we have been called to teach her about love, compassion, kindness, and so much more. We must make sure she has the tools she needs to thrive in this world, and to be a reflection of God’s love to all she meets.
By Andrea Ceely


We want to hear from you. How do you see nature and nurture playing out as your child develops? Are there things you hope your child gets from his/her birth parents and ways you wish they would  take after you? Leave your comments below, or submit your own guest post.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! As an adopted child I think nurture is in charge. I do look like my biological family but you would think I am the spitting image of my adoptive parents. I act like my adoptive mother. We have the same interests and we sound alike. I think you mirror the people who set the example for you instead of carrying all the traits of the birth parents you haven't been around!

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