As many of you know, I am adopted. I shared my adoption story on my last blog post – which you can read here. My adoption was a closed adoption, meaning there was no contact between me or my birth parents.
Because of this I have always had a curiosity about my ethnicity and where my ancestors come from. Although I am still unsure if I will ever reach out to my birth parents, I still had many questions about who I am and my genetic makeup.
Well I finally got the opportunity to take a look at my DNA, to learn a little bit more about what makes me, me.
Kyle surprised me with a DNA test from 23 and Me, after his parents took the same test to learn what their DNA would say about them. Finally I had the chance to learn something I was always curious about!
When the box arrived it came with a tube you had to fill with spit, like a lot of spit. It was gross, but that was the only thing you had to do. We sent it back and within a month or two I had my results delivered to me on my online profile. This is what my results looked like below.
It was no surprise that I would be of European descent, but still so cool to see exactly where my DNA makeup comes from. I am Irish/English, French/German and Scandinavian as the biggest countries my DNA as the top three countries I come from. Now when people ask I can tell them where I am from or what my ethnicity is! Usually I tell them I’m Irish/Scandinavian, because I think those are the coolest places of my ancestry (it essentially means I’m a Viking haha).
The cool thing is that they are always improving the information they have and can always update you with more specific information regarding your DNA. The science behind this is always getting better and there are constant updates.
The coolest part, however, is that 23 and Me will match you up with people who are related to you. Every time someone takes a DNA test and is even remotely related to you, 23 and Me will link them to you. You have a place on your online profile where you can see all your relatives and you can also message them if you want. For me I haven’t had anyone closer than a 2nd cousin be related to me, but still really cool to see people all over the world who are somehow related to me – even if very distantly related. Also crazy to think that if any of my immediate family where to take a DNA test from 23 and Me I would be able to know immediately. So far I haven’t messaged anyone or pursued finding anyone through my DNA test. My sister on the other hand, has connected to a couple of cousins and has had conversations with those cousins about her family. I think it is really cool how something like this can bring so many people together from around the world and also terrifying that I could all of the sudden find my birth family without necessarily meaning to.
Even if you already know your family history these DNA tests can still surprise you. You never know where you come from when it comes down to DNA. It can also help you fill in gaps or holes about your family history or help you pinpoint a more exact area from where you come from.
This was such a special opportunity for me. Im grateful we live in a time where science like this is so readily available for us and can be used for such a good thing. It is cool to be able to finally know something about myself that a lot of other people I think sometimes take for granted. My journey has just started as I learn more about who I am and where I come from and I am excited to see what else is in store for me in the future.