Monday, 15 April 2019

A DNA story

It's been a number of months since my last blog. I know I have been... absent as of late. This has been a really strange, terrifying, exciting, and life changing few months. And I mean that with no hyperbole.

Firstly, everyone is great. My mom is progressing wonderfully. My entire household is working now, which is awesome and gives us a bit more breathing room, in terms of being more comfortable. My animals are good.

The twist was not something I could have predicted. It certainly was not what I expected when I started. I don't think anyone could have predicted the minute my life became a lifetime movie...

It all started in November, when I purchased some Ancestry DNA kits during their Black Friday event. It was meant to be an early holiday gift for the 3 of us and my mom. We spit in the tubes. popped them in the mail, and thought nothing of it until early January when I got an email, letting me know my results are in.

This was super surprising to me. I was certain that I was going to be way more French, since both my my mother's parents are Acadian, and going back generations. But 9% is crazy to me. I expected Scotland as my great grandmother was Scottish, and I expected the Native American as I come from Acadian stock. I did expect some English, but not as much as that. Northwestern Europe includes BeNeLux, France, Germany, Denmark, and the UK, though.

I figured it would be interesting to compare to my mother's. I logged in and saw this:

Wait, what?

I may have mentioned it before, but I never knew my father. My mother thought that he was dead, and I found him in 2011, but the initial meeting did not go well on FB.

The close family listed? His siblings. My aunts and uncle.

Shocked was not a strong enough word to convey my surprise.

After I worked through my initial shock, I reached out. We started talking. Slowly at first, but trying to get to know one another. I found out I have a little sister, just turned 19. I have aunts and uncles and cousins all across the country. My father's wife, my stepmother, reached out to me via email, and we have had a wonderful correspondence back and forth. My little sister reached out to me, and we've been talking back and forth, very slowly. 

So in a few days, I am travelling to the city I JUST moved away from, where my sister is going to school, and I am going to meet some of my family. My father and stepmother. My sister. Possibly 2 of my aunts, their husbands, some cousins.

I am excited, I am terrified, I am a mix of complex emotions. This is a Huge Deal (tm), and I'm still processing and likely will be processing for awhile. It has also been kind of all consuming, which has led to some silence all across the board.

In terms of DNA, interestingly my father is 1/3 Scandinavian. I mean, technically I have Swedish ancestors on that side, which I knew, but I didn't think it would be such a high percentage. I'm really floored by the Iberian Peninsula result- but I guess Spanish and Portuguese folks were just as seafaring as the English, so I suppose that makes sense.

Also, today is my 37th birthday.

I don't really have too many reservations about getting older. It's going to happen. I can bitch and whine about it, or I can just accept it as a thing that happens and have fun with it. I don't feel 37. I don't look 37. But I am, so it is what it is.

This upcoming week is going to be transformative and I can't wait to see how it plays out. 37 is starting with transformation and I am happy for the change.

To another year 'round the sun.