Tag Archives: #unansweredquestions

Testing 1-2-3

15 Jun

The wheels started turning. How could I solve this mystery? I was laying in bed, ready to go to sleep and it hit me. The light bulb over my head lit up!!! I whipped out my phone and started to google immediately. There had to be a test for this! There is a test for everything 😉

There is was. In black and white in front of me. A sibling test. A DNA test to specifically determine if two people are siblings, half siblings, etc. This was it! My answer to it all. All we would have to do is convince daughter #1 to take the test and we would know for sure.

I turned off the lights and tried to get to sleep. An act that seemed much harder than normal as my brain was working in over drive. The next morning I began to research the test. I found multiple places that could perform it. I could feel the excitement build. Once you take the test it is just days before you get the results! I was so happy.

Of course the detective in me..the girl that needs to know all the details, ins and outs, all the fine print before ever doing something..came out to play. I poured over the FAQ’s, product information, etc. And then I found it. The proverbial road block. These tests can determine whether you are siblings (or half siblings) but not in the case where the potential fathers are brothers.

Boom, excitement crushed. My easy resolution to solve the puzzle had been blown to pieces. But why? Why wouldn’t it work?

After a few phone calls to a couple of DNA laboratories I better understood. When a child is conceived, they get 50% of their DNA from their mother and 50% from their father. What percentage you are getting from each parent is a free for all. For example: Tom got 50% of his father and 50% of his mother. In his father’s 50% he got a larger percentage from his father’s paternal side. Tom’s Brother Peter got 50% of his father and 50% of his mother. In his father’s 50% he got a larger percentage from his father’s maternal side. This breaks down to the fact that two FULL siblings do not have the exact same DNA.

Now consider half siblings. If you have different mothers and the same father, you already eliminate half of your DNA. The fun fact is, cousins and half siblings share the same percentage of DNA. That means, depending on the Russian roulette of genetics, you can have more DNA with a cousin than a half sibling. Imagine that. So if daughter #1, daughter #2 and I took a a DNA test, the results could come back that daughter 1 is my sister and daughter 2 is my cousin when in fact it is the reverse! The only way to truly know is a paternity test. Yikes! The dreaded paternity test! The one thing that I hoped would not be the be all end all!

 

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Fundamentals

13 Apr

As a child growing up, I always knew what family was. From the age of two and ½ to six, it was me and my mom against the world. When I was six, she married a man who became my dad. At eight and a half my first sister was born and at twelve, my second sister. Sounds pretty simple right? Now that would just make things way too easy!!

When my mother found out she was pregnant with me, she was a twenty eight year old single mom with a six year old son. She had been married to my brother’s father but had since gotten divorced. She and my brother moved to Pennsylvania where she got a job and planned to raise her son.

Somewhere in all of that she was thrown a curve ball……ME! She called her parents, sisters and brother and told them that she was pregnant. People say she sounded happy. I believe I came as quite the surprise but her message to everyone was that the father was not involved and she would be keeping the baby.

I don’t know what made her decide to keep me. She did not even know me yet. Maybe she did not want to go through the process of an abortion. Maybe she was in love with the man that fathered me. It is a mystery. He is a mystery. How they met is a mystery. Why didn’t she tell anyone who he was?

Most children grow up hearing the story about how their parents met, fell in love…and the rest is history. Not me. Not only did the book not come with a story, it came without a name or even a face.

I was born in August. A Leo. What I know of this time is foggy because all I have is snippets of everyone else’s stories. I try to piece them together into a chronological pattern but over the years they have all run together. I think the day I was born my brother was rough housing with my cousins and ended up in the emergency room getting stitches.

Many people look in the mirror and ponder who they look most like. Do I have my mom’s eyes? My dad’s nose? Whose smile did I get? I look in the mirror and just see a face staring back at me. Mine. I don’t have much to compare it to.

When I was four and a half months old, my mother got sick. She was in the hospital with pneumonia. The doctors went to do a procedure to help her with her breathing. During the surgery, she went into cardiac arrest. Sixteen minutes (I think) she was on the table without oxygen. For two weeks she was in a coma, machines breathing for her and keeping her alive. She never came home. She was 28 years old, just shy of her twenty ninth birthday. That is not supposed to happen. A six year old and a newborn at home. She had so much to live for and see. So many things to be a part of. Proms, weddings, grandchildren…just to name a few. But in the blink of an eye she was gone. No time to prepare. No one getting to say goodbye.

My brother went to Florida to live with his father. I had no father to go to. I had no “place.” My grandparents (divorced) had guardianship of me. My grandfather made arrangements for me to stay with a family from his church. But what was to be done with me for the long term?  That was yet to be decided.