I'm a homebody. I love being at home. I can always find something to do and like being in my own company. My dog is the same way. He likes to go out but he loves being in his own home. He makes himself comfortable on the couch, in his bed and of course in my bed.
My daughters are just the opposite. And here's where nature and nurture show their effects. My daughters like to be outside. The younger one likes to be out where there is lively activity like down on 42nd Street in New York City or in Las Vegas where she now lives. My older daughter likes to be out in the countryside. She loves taking walks and hikes, riding her horse and spending time running around playing with her dogs.
Their preferring to be outside certainly didn't come from my nurturing them or raising them. Yes we went out to the park, to see friends, to run errands and other events. But the best days for me, were those when we stayed home. They could have friends come over to visit, we could do arts and crafts or cook and bake. We could curl up on the couch and watch a favorite TV show or movie. Snuggling and spending time together was ideal for me.
As the years progressed, there were other areas in which you could see the difference between nature and nurture. They are both very athletic - I am not. They both like to dress up and go out with friends - I do not. They like spicy food- I do not. They like to go out and traipse around in the snow - I do not.
There are areas in which you could see the nurturing. I have a very close-knit group of friends. These are people whom I trust implicitly and who have been in my life for many, many years. My girls have learned that it doesn't matter how many friends you have, as long as you have some really good ones. You may not see them very often, but the minute you do, you can pick up right where you left off and can always count on them to be there when you need them.
And so it is no surprise that as I write this blog, sitting on the couch with the dog close at hand, one daughter is out at the barn, caring for her horse, and the other is out with friends. We learn and continue to learn from one another. We are aware of and respect our differences. We are a family.
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA (March 1992 to March 2015), Head Writer for Adoption.net and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series. She is currently a member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York (including being the 2016 Conference Keynote). She lives in New York City where she has a private practice specializing in adoption and adoptive parenting. She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL