Nature or nurture?

I’ve finished my first book in the Her Stories Memoir Challenge, and I’ll finish the second one tonight. This is an activity that’s supposed to be one book per month from January to April. (Do you think I’m too goal oriented?!)

At the moment I’m almost obsessed with the second book Identical Strangers. It is the story of identical twins who were adopted by different families and who were reunited as adults. In addition to the story of how they met and came to know each other, is a parallel theme of whether their genes or their environment played the greater part in forming the women that they became.

As an adoptee, I am extremely interested in this discussion. I can’t help but speculate as to whether my personality traits (both positive and negative) were inherited from my birth family, or if my adoptive family had more to do with shaping who I am today.

It’s an interesting thing to think about. Who would I be had I remained with my birth-mother and/or birth-father? Would there be a different person sitting here right now? Would my passions for books and writing still have been a part of who I am? Would I still have made the same choices I had made along the way, or would I have been wiser and been able to avoid some of the heartache along the way?

Since I have been fortunate enough to have connected with my birth family and to learn much of the history, I am able to recognize that some parts of my character must be due to the genes handed down to me by my family. At the same time, much of who I am I attribute to the family I grew up in.

It’s really a dilemma, and possibly not worth spending too much time speculating about. Still, I can’t help but wonder…..


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Anything about twins fascinates me since I am one. Happy pondering to you, sweet friend.

  2. It’s a fascinating question, that’s for sure. And all I know is I’m glad you’re who you are. 🙂

  3. I saw an article the other day about two brothers who found each other after 80 years. They were both lawyers and both left handed and both were very healthy! SO the genes really played into it. Also they lived six blocks apart and never knew.

  4. I've heard a lot of good talk about Identical Strangers. And what fascinating questions you pose about yourself, which in and of themselves must give you a deeper understanding of self & life. But I second Janna, too. I'm glad you are who you are.

  5. I think we are not too unlike seeds. And the way we are nourished affects our growth, spiritually etc. Great post and question.

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