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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nature Vs. Nurture

I remember during my early college days, there were many cases and examples of "nature vs. nurture" in my human development classes.  Never in my wildest imagination would I have predicted that I would live out a case study of "nature vs. nurture."

You see...this past Thursday Luke had an appointment....a BIG appointment at Legacy Emmanuel Children's Hospital "pediatric genetics."  To Luke this was just ANOTHER appointment in a hospital he is all to familiar with.  His biggest worry was "mom...am I going to have to get my heart surgery today?"  Poor baby is worried they are going to operate on him.  Right hospital...wrong office.  But to his credit, pediatric cardiology is only 2 doors away.

After checking in we waited to be called back.  The nurse came out and called Luke.  Mark and I followed him back to the room where they weighed, measured and took vitals on him.  Then into "exam room 5" we went.  I sat down and it ALL came flooding back.  7 years ago almost to the day, I sat in the same chair, with an almost 2 year old "Eugene" and his birth parents.  We sat for nearly an hour as they recounted their entire genetic history and I wished I had a notebook to write everything down.  You see the Department of Children and Family Services wanted this appointment conducted before we moved forward with the adoption.  It was an eye opening experience to be flooded with information about your child's history.  That day I met Dr. Anidiotis, and this past Thursday we met again...only under different circumstances. 

It had been recommended to me by 2 doctors to go and see our geneticist again.  They wanted to know if they could find a link between all of Luke's health issues.  More specifically, was there a genetic link between microcephaly and glaucoma. 




So we sat and I recounted to Dr. Anidiotis Luke's recent health history, his diagnosis' and IEP goals and plans.  After a thorough examination of Luke, the doctor looked at me square in the eye and said, "I CAN'T believe how WELL he is doing!  To be honest, seeing the parents and seeing the genetic make-up, I never thought Luke would be doing as well as he is doing."  He went on to tell us that Luke is the very heart of NATURE VS. NURTURE.  The doctor said that given the "nature" of his genetic make-up it is a MIRACLE that Luke is doing "grade level" work and reading at grade level.  The doctor said that he just can't believe he is functioning so well. 


Luke with his bio sisters (Alysha and Jenna)

Of course, as I have worked with so many different doctors over the years, they always give you the good with the bad.  They are always quick to remind you of the negative and the things that bring you right back down to earth.  The doctor was quick to say that Luke's next year in school would determine how well he will do in understanding "abstract" concepts.  Apparently in the fourth grade learning concepts switch from concrete to more abstract, and the key to Luke being able to live on his own will be how he can handle the abstract concept of money.  Great...the last thing I want to think about right now is Luke living on his own, money, and abstract concepts.  Whatever... Luke has proved his predictions wrong so far...I think I will just side with Luke and his ability to achieve the impossible. 

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