In the debate over “nature versus nurture,” I’ve always been of two minds. As an adoptive mom of two who were not related to each other, both their similarities and their differences were striking. I don’t think they are fundamentally more different from one another than I am from my full-blooded sister, and they are a lot alike. Now that they are young women, I am struck by how alike all our voices are; if we are speaking off-camera on a video tape, it’s not that easy to figure out which of us is talking. I find this completely humbling and amazing. I can see their “natural” tendencies in their response to stress, their talents, their aptitudes, and their delights. Yet knowing quite a lot about one birth family and some about the other, I can also see that “nurture” has had a lot to do with forming who they are, too.
Enter “the Littles,” our sibling group of three. The introduction of the three to our home has turned the tables on my “nature vs. nurture” theories. It is a little weird for me to be raising these biologically related children. They laugh alike, they cry alike, they like the same foods (and not because that’s what I offer), they even snore alike. Now that they have been with us over a year, the younger two are about the ages their older sibling was when they arrived; we can see them going through the same stages. “The Blitz,” now 2, is fully in the throes of fit-throwing; “Tinker,” almost three, has hit a sudden independence I did not expect of this girl who loves to be babied. They are so like their siblings, it’s spooky.
This has turned out to be an unexpected source of delight in sibling adoption. I think my older girls see this and long for that sibling connection, too. I know they are, in some ways, missing out. Of course, their siblings weren’t available for adoption, so there was no choice to be made. I am grateful these three are having the chance to grow up together, even though they are not getting to be with their youngest sibling. I think we entered into the sibling adoption saying “Yes” because it was best for them. Now I am seeing that it is also fun for us!
Photo Credit – Dreena T