"Adopting a Child won't change the world; but for that Child the world will change."

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Genetic vs Environment


vs
I met a lady at a school function today, and after asking the "usual" questions - "how many kids do you have" etc, I always tell the asker about our Mini in China. She may not be physically here, but she's been IN our family for nearly 3 years. The lady was very interested, and asked many questions. I shared with her that we met our sister-in-law 6 years ago, who was adopted at birth (won't go into the long story, coz you probably already know anyway). She asked if families get any "training" about adopting an International Child etc. I said, not compulsary but our Govt Agency holds several seminars. She was concerned if parents knew enough about raising a child from an orphanage etc. I touched on my views regarding our genetic make-up and how our environment shapes us. I tended to think our environment had more impact than our genetics. She disagreed... and she would know... she surprised me by saying she is adopted!


We had a very interesting discussion as to whether we are who we are, because of genetics or our environment. I have had this discussion with 2 other adopted friends, and funnily - one said environment, the other genetics!!! This subject facinates me. My opinions are merely based on what others have told me - not from personal experience, which will change, no doubt, when Mini comes home!


The lady said one very important statement, that has changed my thinking, somewhat - that we are all "genetically" born with our personality/characteristics. And our environment moulds and brings out certain personality traits/characteristics. Different enviroments will bring out different traits. Think of your personality as a seed, different environments give perfect growth for different traits. Very, very interesting - and I believe, very true.


What do you think?
Happy Birthday to my Father-in-Law!

9 comments:

Debz said...

Hummmm very thought provoking. While some of what she says about the seed in different environments may be true if you want to use that metafor I also believe we as parents can control it's fertilizing. The environment is not going to raise our children, we have athority over many things.
I guess she is entitled to her opinion, perhaps her homelife was a bit dissapointing.....sounds like it was an intensly sensitive topic around her.

Catherine said...

She offered much to think about. I beleive we become the people we are based on a combination of genetics and environment.

Both of my brothers are adopted. D has met both his birthmother and birthfather but not his siblings as they've never been told about him. He's a pretty quiet guy when it comes to personal things so I'm not really sure how much he's like either of his birth parents. He likes to keep in touch with them though so that's a good thing.

K, my younger brother, has a full sister and brother as his parents married a few years after he was born and given up for adoption. Meeting his younger brother C is like meeting a younger version of my brother. Very, very similar personalities and C fits in well with our family. They are very close so in turn his brother has become close to our family too. They're different guys, raised with different beliefs, backgrounds and histories but very similar in many ways.

Very interesting question....

Lisa and Tate said...

This really is food for thought. I think that genetic make-up is important but I think environment plays a very strong role on who we are. Something to ponder about today.

Doris & Dan said...

You are making me think. Hmm...I think it is a combo of both. The seed analogy is a good one.

Keep smilin!

Janet said...

I definitely think it's both. I am more prone to think environment is a bigger factor, though.

Emma said...

I agree with the last paragraph, it sums it up nicely. The nature/nurture debate is an interesting one! My brothers and I are so completely different - extremes apart in fact and have been since birth, despite being very close in age and all growing up in the same house with the same parents and opportunities etc. Not just referring to personalities, but attitudes, values, outlook, EVERYTHING! I sometimes wonder how we could have had the same childhood experiences yet be so vastly opposite.

I say work with the things you can control, and accept the things you can't! In all the ways possible we will create a stable, supportive environment for our adopted children - we'll look after the nurture and trust God to look after the nature!

cougchick said...

very interesting. My Dad was adopted after living with a Grandma, then living in an orphanage and finally being adopted at age 7. I wonder how things would've been different if he'd been adopted at birth.
Interesting....

Lisa, Doug & Briana said...

That is very interesting...

My sister-in-law was adopted too!

A Special Family said...

definately both!