I can think of at least 2 things that are a big part of who I am today that would be different if I had not been adopted.
- I would not have been raised Catholic. While I no longer consider myself Catholic, or more specifically consider myself atheist now, being raised Catholic still has life long consequences.
- I would not be bilingual. Having French as a second language has opened many doors for me over the years in my career. I also identify with the French-Canadian culture because of my French upbringing.
So would I have still been a lesbian if Iris had raised me?
I honestly believe that YES, I would still be a lesbian. For me, being gay was not a choice. I didn't weigh the pros and cons and decide "What the Hell? Let's go meet some girls." I first realized that I was a lesbian when I was 19 and had my first girlfriend when I was 21. When I was 23 I did date (not really date...., but we can call it that right?) men. I think I did it in part to see what all the fuss was about. Would it really change my mind (as straight men will often try to convince lesbians!) ? Ummmm.... NO. Certainly didn't change my mind!
I'm my case there are also some pretty strong arguments for both Nurture and Nature for my being gay. I have 2 gay uncles in my adoptive family. They are only 8 and 10 years older then I am, so we were very close growing up. I started hanging out in gay bars with them when I was 16 (2 years before I identified as a lesbian). Of course, they were male gay bars, so they didn't have much influence in exposing me to the lesbian world.
On the Nature side, since reuniting with Iris I have found out that one of my father's children is also a lesbian. Is there a genetic link to being gay? Maybe..... At the very least, Iris was not at all surprised that I was a lesbian.
Adoption does change a lot of things about who that child will grow up to be. It can change names, religions, languages, countries, financial circumstances and exposures to things around you.
But it does not change the core of who you are.