My dad is adopted. When I was in college my grandmother, his mother passed away. I was really sad for my dad because he didn’t have anyone left, aside from us obviously. His dad passed when my parents first married, he didn’t have any brothers or sisters, or close cousins. It was like that part of his life was gone entirely and it broke my heart.
It was 1999 and the internet was not remotely like it is now but it was a whole new world of opportunity. So I wanted to see if I could help my dad. I began to search genealogy sites looking for anyone that might be able to help me find my dads’ birth family. I don’t know if it was good timing, a coincidence, or the stars aligned just right, but I received an email from a woman who thought she could be my dad’s sister. Several phone calls and emails later everything seemed to fit and I talked to my mom about it. I wanted to know if this was something that my dad would be happy about or should I not tell him because it would upset him. She said to tell him. It was surreal. In a matter of moments my dad went from being an only child to potentially having 4 sisters and two brothers.
I’m not going to say that this was smooth sailing. The women in that family seemed to accept it easier than the men did even though my dad and one of the men looked very much alike which was hard to deny. My dad went on to have a long distance relationship with several of the sisters (they live on the other side of the country) but I think things like Facebook and seeing them all together as a family hurts him even though he would never admit it, so my mom and I keep out friendships with them on the down-low.
Even before this experience I was wildly curious about my family’s genealogy. I know that my moms’ side is Danish, my dads’ is Swedish but I don’t know what else I have mixed in there or what percent of each I am. I joined Ancestry.ca to try to see if I could build my family tree but it is really hard when one side is adopted and on the other side don’t know a lot of information about your families heritage. The ancestry.ca DNA testing segment was recently released in Canada. It is $149 for the package and I am starting to save for it. Everything you need is provided in the kit, all you do is send back in a saliva sample. I am very, very excited to see what my ethnic breakdown is and to see if I have any long-lost relatives, or if I can find some of my ancestors on ancestry.ca. I have always had this wish that I would find out that my grandparents were from somewhere in the EU and I could get a EU citizenship based on my grandparents lineage. I know it is one of those pipe dreams but it would be like my most fervent wish being granted. I’ll keep you posted once I save enough to buy the kit.
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