Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nature vs Nurture

I have heard many arguments in adoption that nature, as in what is a genetic like in the child to their birth families, does not weigh heavily into the person that he or she will become. Documents, studies, polls, so on and so on that say once the adoptive parents take the child into their homes that it is nurturing that will mold the child. I agree that we are so much of how we are raised. However, I also see many genes or characteristics that carry over to the adopted child that convince me it is not a topic to be dismissed.

When I moved to California 17 years ago, I needed a new hairdresser. I went to the local mall to find someone in a shop and that I did. Olive was close to me in age, had blond hair close to the color of mine, she was bubbly and full of life and I considered myself lucky to have walked in when I did because she was not busy and it was a GREAT cut! (and ladies, you know how hard it can be to find someone who will do your hair just how you want it!) After the first visit, I was a regular for her for years to come.

Fast forward to 1999, the year I got married. I went to see Olive for the pre wedding hair trials and sitting in her chair I told her about how blessed I was to have Bella, my daughter I placed for adoption, in the ceremony ... literally walking down the isle just before me. Olive stopped what she was doing and she looked at me. "You're a birth mother?" she asked. "Yes, I am. Sorry I did not tell you before, but how do you work that into a conversation?" She smiled. I could tell she was thinking as she looked at me. It was quiet. "I am adopted" Olive said. Once again, another person who happened into my life that is touched by adoption.

Through the years we would talk about our lives, learning more from each other about the other side. She did not know who her birth family was, she was so very respectful of her adoptive parents and just did not really have a need to know much about her history. Then, an amazing thing happened this past summer.

I had an appointment with Olive and she called me to confirm the day and time. "I can't wait for you to come in, I have so many things to tell you." she said. I was intrigued, but could not imagine her next statement. "I found my birth mother and father, I went to meet her!" I was thrilled for her and could not wait to get there. Her eyes were lit up, she was grinning from ear to ear and started with ..."You will NOT believe what I am about to tell you..." and by the time she was finished, I was amazed!

So much to tell, and so little time to write! Stay tuned for this incredible journey of nature and how it can affect who you are even though the miles are many.


Elizabeth said...

It's so interesting that you posted this just now. I'm in the midst of writing a research paper for my adolescent psychology class and the topic I chose was the "nature vs nurture" debate. I never found it too interesting until I placed my daughter. I'm very curious to see whose mannerisms she will have...the ones built into her, or the ones she is influenced by?

LisaAnne said...

Not fair!! Now I can't wait to hear the story!

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Well then Elizabeth, you will definately want to read the rest of this story. I think you will be blown away as to what influenced her most!

And sorry LisaAnne, I just want to make sure I get everything right when I tell the story. I am a fact checker for sure, so check back in a day or so. It is really worth it! Thanks for reading so far!

Linda Hoye said...

Can't wait to read more! It always amazes me how many "coincidences" we discover on our journeys. When I met my birth sister we found out that we had lived six blocks apart and attended the same school at the same time!

Step-parent's Cove said...

Okay your post today has indeed reeled me in and I can't wait to read more.