I mentioned a while back that an adoption group I am in nominated me to receive a free DNA test. Some kind donor had donated money for several adoptees to receive DNA testing kits, and they chose me as one of them.
For those of you who aren’t adopted, this is a kind of fun thing… and for those of you who are, you’ll know what a pretty big deal it is. I have written quite a bit about adoption, given that I started this blog primarily to talk about my feelings on infertility and my hopes that maybe one day I’d have a biological child. I guess that thinking about your own fertility (or lack thereof) brings up feelings for adoptees about being adopted.
I know that I could start the search for my biological family. I’ve written about it here before… I am more fortunate than many adoptees that I have my original birth certificate and certificate of adoption signed by my first mother. So it’s not like everything is closed off to me. But right now I’m not yet ready to do that, to ask officials in my birth country to search. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like once B is here that I will feel more ready – more complete? I don’t know. I think if you’re not adopted you won’t understand the feeling of wanting to feel worthy and complete before possibly wanting to try and meet your birth family.
Anyway, the money arrived in my account from the adoption group, and I duly sent off for my DNA test. A few weeks ago, it arrived. I ordered two – one for my sister and one for me. And I sent the one to my sister as an early christmas present – I know it’s really early, but I think maybe she might want to process it or think about it or even not do it, so that’s why I sent it early. Mine has been sitting on the coffee table for a few days. I still haven’t opened it.
I know once I open it that I’ll have to produce some saliva and package it up and send it off. But I don’t know if I’m ready yet. This seems crazy really, because I’ve had 30-something years of life to be ready.
What are the implications?
I will find out what my racial makeup is. I’m pretty sure I know, and it’s fairly obvious from looking at me roughly where I come from, but it will tell me the genetic breakdown.
It will tell me if there are any diseases I’m genetically predisposed to. Most adoptees don’t have a medical history. I’ve always had to say, “I don’t know – I’m adopted.”
Maybe – very long shot – it will tell me if I have any relatives (however distant) who are registered on the database. I can even take the DNA data and register it on other databases and it will tell me if I have a distant cousin, or even a sibling.
So, yeah, the box is here, but I’ve yet to open it.