May 13, 2013

My Second DNA Test and Why it's NOT Okay

Yesterday, I spent Mother's Day at church and then had lunch with my husband and three children. They aren't children anymore but will always be my babies.

At our Greek lunch...right before we devoured the saganaki

Afterwards, my husband and I traveled to Orlando for church (denominational) business meetings we have the next few days.

The view from our room...
 Amidst all of this the last 24 hours, I took my second DNA test and sent it in.

Yes, this is a vial of saliva.
I hate it. 

I'm not taking a DNA test for fun.

I'm taking it to find out information that is rightfully mine in the first place.

Once I take the FamilyTreeDNA test (the third test I will take) I will have completed every test that I know of that is available. And then it's just a waiting game.

I'm so thankful for technology that empowers adoptees like me to pursue our rights when they are denied. On the flip side, all the while that I pursue, I am angry that I have to.

"You don't have to pursue this. You can just be content with not knowing..." they say.

Oh yes...I can be content in not knowing what others have known their entire lives?  I see how it is.

My friend Laura Dennis says that explaining this to non-adoptees is like trying to explain what it's like to starve to someone who has always had food. It's such an exercise in frustration.

I'm not content to just not know who my father is.

"But you're beautiful. You have an amazing life. You have accomplished a lot with so much to be proud of. Just be happy with what you have..."

I have heard this.

And to that I say, "So, what do you attribute that to?"

I am told: "Adoption afforded you this. It paved the way." 

I resist the urge to lambast the person saying all this. Instead I quietly say, "that's a very interesting conclusion you've come to about my life." I wish they would read this post. 

I tried to explain the cliff notes version of the post.

Knowing I have made valid points and grasping at straws, they switch to attributing my success to the Assemblies of God. I had to stifle the urge to bust out laughing. Not that I don't appreciate and love the AG. But seriously. The AG isn't responsible for my resilience, or my accomplishments although I am grateful for the denomination in which I serve.

"You already know who your father is," they say. "You are God's daughter."


I know I'm God's daughter.
I've fully accepted that/Him for a long time.
And that is a totally different relationship. 

Do you not care about your earthly father at all? Or do you just expect me not to?

At the point of hearing all these pathetic excuses about why I should not care about my identity, parentage or heritage, I feel my blood pressure shoot up.

I have to leave the conversation and remind myself to breathe. As an adoptee, I do that a lot.

I am about seven weeks out from hearing my results from the first DNA test, and eight weeks out from hearing the results of the second one. I am ordering the third one as soon as I am able to. 

I am so grateful for this technology, but angry that I have to actually use it.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Some of us have to resort to DNA tests because we live in a world where secrets and lies are seen as acceptable.

It's not okay.
It's not okay at all.

On the side of the 23andMe box that you mail your DNA sample in, it says, "Welcome to you."

What a crying shame that anybody should have to give a sample of their saliva to find out who they come from.

Seriously people, it's NOT okay.