In my last post I wrote about my early 2019 adventure to the Emergency Room. While that was exciting, as was starting my first corporate cubicle job in decades, and the bathroom remodel, 2019 had more in store for me.
On Saturday night of Father’s Day weekend we were on the couch watching Netflix or something. BTW: When it comes to many shows I am not always fully engaged. Typically, I am messing around on my Kindle or possibly reading a book (yep they still publish paper books) while watching. There are exceptions. The Netflix show Atypical being one. Love the writing! But I digress.
Whatever we were watching must not have been all that interesting to me because I noticed I had a message on Facebook. The woman messaging me was someone I wasn’t friends with on FB. In short she said something to the effect, “I had DNA testing done, connected with distant relative XXXX, and we may be closer than cousins.”
The first thing I thought when I saw the bubble notice circle thing on my screen was, “Not another porn friend request.” Then I recognized her from my Linkedin account. She showed up a few days earlier as someone who had viewed my profile. So my next thought was it was kind of odd a recruiter would try to contact me through FB messenger. On a weekend evening seemed rather bold too.
Nope. Not a recruiter.
Turns out a distant relative had done testing with the same service as my (half)-sister. Being the great researcher she is, which must be a genetic trait, she ultimately found me.
Stalking, I mean research, time. After a brief exchange I let her know I would chat with her soon. I needed a bit of time to process. Told my wife you aren’t going to believe this and showed her the message.
Then I called one of my sisters, I called my other sister the next day. And I called my new sister Father’s Day afternoon.
The background for those curious. My dad thought his vasectomy was good. It wasn’t. (Do your followup check after your vasectomy guys!) He was also enjoying his successful career as a young airline pilot, flying to Asia, on the fast track, maybe a bit too much.
As I have witnessed the fallout from both learning I have another sister and sharing this story I have been fascinated by people’s reactions. For myself a variety of feelings have come up and I have noticed a few things.
- First, for whatever differences and issues between us I am aware now of how much I appreciate growing up with and knowing my two sisters. We have a history I don’t get to share with my third sister.
- Second, people have all sorts of reactions. Old wounds, unresolved feeling, and other issues can surface with DNA testing and matching. How people choose to work with what surfaces varies and is of course up to them. You just don’t know how someone will respond to these kinds of revelations. You might not even know how you will respond until it happens to you.
- Third, the men I have told this story to have mostly nodded and said, yeah I wouldn’t be surprised if someone contacted me. Not that they were cheating on their partners. When young though they were not always concerned with birth control in the heat of the moment.
- Fourth, so many people I know are finding out they have siblings or children they didn’t know about! I don’t think this is a new phenomena. While I have no research on hand to back this up I suspect DNA testing is illuminating the human condition. We humans like sex. A lot. What is new is we are losing the ability to hide or avoid the consequences of our choices. As a side note: we are pretty sure my dad never knew about the pregnancy.
For myself, this experience has been exciting. Of course there has been a number of times over the months where I just stop what i am doing and think, “Weird. I have another sister. WTH?”
My sister and her husband came out to visit in November. We had a good time! We really do look a lot alike. Some of our mannerisms and traits are just so uncannily alike. I am also happy for her having had a really great dad. I wish I could have met him. He sounds like he was an amazing man with a huge heart.