“I’d like a donor who looks like me.” We hear this often at Creative Love from couples or individuals seeking an egg donor. It’s a delicate topic for some to open up and talk about. After struggling with the pain and heartbreak of infertility, this request sometimes seems like a small comfort – a way for a women to see parts of herself in a child with whom she won’t share DNA, who may feel rightfully exhausted from waiting for a baby of her own, and who would rather not add to that by putting herself in a situation in which she’ll have to field questions from nosy strangers at the grocery store who stop to ask her from where her adorable son was adopted.
Still, though different for every family, it can be a fun experience to cultivate new and interesting hobbies or interests through those of our children, however we came to be their parents. A man we know with twin daughters who weren’t biologically related to him used to delight in the inside joke he got to share with his girls whenever they were out and someone payed them a compliment. At a school assembly, a teacher would gush, “Your daughters are so bright,” or at a community play, a neighbor would lean in and whisper, “The girls are so talented up there,” and always, their father would reply with a smile, “Yeah, they get that from me.” It’s a cute joke even if your from the same gene pool, but when his girls were within earshot, he would sneak them a quick wink and they’d cover their mouths behind their hands and snicker – they shared his sense of humor.
And that they did get from him. The same way, at least in part, they got their academic drive and their love of theater. He spent evenings reading to them after dinner, double-checked their homework each evening before bed, made little games out of memorizing state capitals as the gatekeeper to their weekly allowance, took them to see musicals and shows, and acted out dramatic monologues with them at the dinner table.
Some kids might have rolled their eyes and begged off, preferring to play softball or to hang out at the science museum, but that’s a possibility even if the kids were biologically related. After decades-long debate, most psychological research points us pretty directly to a combination of nature and nurture being the driving force behind nearly everything that makes us who we are. This means that whether or not you’ll share the same genetic makeup, it’s still completely reasonable to lay awake in bed at night and wonder if your future son will share your serious dislike for pickles, your sometimes dorky dance moves, your predilection for French, or your adoration of all dogs the world over, because there’s a pretty good chance he might. You see there is definitely more to being a parents then the biology!Return to Blog