Nature vs. Nature

February 21, 2010
Being adopted can be difficult, however knowing your birth family can be even harder. Ever since I can remember I have known I was adopted; and by the age of eight I wanted to meet my birth mother, Stacy. Although I had no contact with birthmother, Stacy, for the first eight years of my life, I am much more similar to Stacy in personality, skills and interests than I am with my adoptive parents. Most people may argue that your environment effects you more than genetics, I believe that genetics have played a much more powerful role in shaping who I am today.

Born in Wisconsin in 1990, my birthparents Stacy and Jeremy were from rural, poor, non-college educated families. They were teenagers and not able to raise me, so instead they chose my parents to adopt and raise me. My parents flew to Wisconsin on the day I was born, and I have lived with them ever since. When I was eight years old, I was curious about my birthmother, Stacy and asked to meet her. When my mother offered to show me photographs of Stacy, I said, “no”. I said I wanted to meet her and “to smell her”. In second grade my mother and I went out on a three-week road trip to Wisconsin. Ever since, every two years, my mother and I have gone to Wisconsin to see Stacy and my extended birth family: birthfather, three half brothers and sisters, four aunts and uncles, seven cousins and two grandparents. I have learned a lot about them – their interests, skills, personality and physical features. And I have been surprised by how much similarity there is not just with Stacy, but my extended birth family as well.

Growing up in a wealthy, well-educated area was a lot different than if I had been raised with my birthmother, Stacy. Designer bags, clothes, and expensive cars have surrounded me; things you found in suburban areas around Boston. And even though I have been pressured into buying those sorts of things, especially as a child, I always had my own style. I would wear whatever I wanted without a care in the world as to what other children thought of me. While most peers were wearing designer jeans and Abercrombie tops, I loved to shop in Walmart. Like Stacy I was a bargain shopper.

Anger has always been a problem for me; I have always had this “edge” to me that one may be able to notice right after meeting me. Stacy has an edge to herself as well, she’s very quick with things and she likes to “talk back”. If not talking back she may, as some would call it, “vent” or in other words she would be bad talking someone else. I seem to do the same, which scares me because Stacy has been fired from jobs for her attitude and so have I. By being “on edge” Stacy and I are both impulsive as well, which can actually help us out in work times or other situations, such as moving a number of items into another room. We are both extremely hard working and when we plan to do something, it’s going to happen.

Overall, good and bad qualities in my birthmother Stacy and myself we seem to have many more than I could have ever imagined. Since I have discovered this I ask myself the question, is it really better to have met my birthmother? Or would I be better off not knowing that there is someone out there that I feel I could possibly be turning into? For over 4 years now I’ve been wondering about that and I still do not have an answer for myself. I find it amazing how much my environment has also affecting me growing up such as my values. But still, I believe that genetics take control in the end and that is who you become as a human being.

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Walker2 said...
Mar. 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm
Very thoughtful article. Hopefully over time you'll figure who you want to be and take control of your own life.
squeakersx66 said...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm
I misspelled the second word in the title...sorry!! It is Nature vs. NURTURE! (:
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