Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nature vs. Nurture

  Nature vs. Nurture. This is something the adoption world knows a lot about. I knew nothing of this until I placed my Rose for adoption and her mother mentioned it to me. I think it may have been when we were discussing how it will be fun to watch the similarities and differences between my boys and my Rose. To see how much is nature and how much is nurture between the four of them. I will try to explain what this is.
When I say nature I mean the nature of the child and what qualities they may have received biologically. Nurture refers to the upbringing of the child, the training and education they will receive from their parents. Both of these concepts need to be taken into account when raising any child, adopted or not. I see that every day as I raise my boys. Each child is different and will handle situations in life differently, so I will have to nurture them differently. (I might add that this is the hardest part of being a mother for me.)
  Their nature has a lot to do with the nurture they receive. My oldest son is very kind and has a very soft heart, so he is very sensitive and can at times overreact. (He gets this from me.) When I scold him I need to be careful with the words I choose and he needs to be told how and why he is loved often. My middle son is stubborn and hard headed, (like his father) but is often empathetic and has a willing hand to help. When I scold him it needs to be sweet, simple, and to the point; when I love him I cuddle him and rub his face, or arms, or his back. My youngest is only three months old so I am still learning what his personality will bring to our family. I cannot describe my Rose's nature as well as I can with my boy's, mainly because I am not the one who nurtures her daily. This does hurt some days, but the times I am able to see her help me appreciate her nature.
  I kinda got off track but I hope now you understand the difference, and importance these two elements have in raising children. This had to be explained to tell about the next puzzle piece of my story.
  Which begins with calling my father and my step-mother to tell them of the pregnancy. If you remember from the last post it was my step-father who raised me, the events of why this happened are irrelevant. This did not, however, suppress my love for my biological father but it did hinder our relationship for years as I was being raised. When I considered calling him I did not know what to expect because I has little to refer to. I was not scared, happy, or upset. The little I knew about him I tried to recall from the visits we had when I was young. The memories I had of him were few. I knew he was a quite man and he kept opinions to himself. This is when the nature vs. nurture comes in. I found out years later that we have very similar personalities. I have already explained in earlier posts how quite and reserved I was as a child, and still am as an adult. My father and I have very similar personalities but at the time I did not know just how true this was.
  When I called him he was very soft and spoke with a broken heart. He told me he loved me and  offered me a place to live. I declined. He told me he would not send me money but if I ever needed help with a bill, to send the bill to him. He counseled me to take care of myself and the baby by going to every single doctor's appointment. We talked for a little while about plans and life but before we hung up he again told me loved me. He is a quiet man, a man of few words but the words he said to me that night were sincere and words that I needed to hear.
  Sometimes it's hard for me to tell which has had a stronger effect in my life. Was it my biological father's nature, or my step-father's nurture that influenced my decisions? I do not know how these concepts affected the poor choice I made to have unprotected sex with my boyfriend or the good choice I made to place a baby for adoption. I do know that both men loved me. I know that they both wanted me to be happy and healthy. I know that they both wanted to see me in the eternities happily sealed to a worthy husband.
  I believe that my Rose's parents and I also have the same opportunity. I have given her some of her nature and her parents will provide most of her nurturing. We cannot foresee how either will effect her choices in life and we can only anticipate what kind of women she will be. However we can love her, we can help her strive for happiness, and anxiously await her sealing in the temple. And we can do this together!

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