One year ago this month I received the results from my Ancestry DNA test. Within 24 hours I had found my birth mother. I'm not going to lie, I was in shock. I was part of a closed adoption through Catholic Charities. I was adopted in a state, Minnesota, which does not have open records.
I had attempted to get access to my OBC but my birth mother would have had to filed paperwork to allow me to see it. I tried to go through Catholic Charities but all I could afford at the time was to pay them for my non-identifying biographical information, which was about $65. They did have another option, which cost hundreds of dollars. Through this option Catholic Charities would have attempted to find and contact my birth mother, but if she wanted to have nothing to do with me, I was out of money with no information.
I was already so disenchanted with Catholic Charities that I could not bring myself to give them anything more. I had no faith they would follow through. I pretty much gave up hope of ever finding my birth family.
I pushed everything out of my mind and I went on with my life. Occasionally I would look at an adoptee registry, to see if anyone was looking for a daughter born on my birth date. I registered on all of these sites.
I was contacted by a couple of different birth mothers who were desperate to find their daughter, but nothing resulted from it. This was over 25 years of my adult life. Then, over a year ago, everything changed.
The AncestryDNA commercials were playing constantly and my husband was encouraging me to find my ethnicity. Black Friday came along with a sale, and I decided why not. Spitting into that tube turned into a life changing moment.
Why is DNA the new truth?
DNA didn't force me go through pages of paperwork, networks of lies and government bureaucracy. DNA didn't insist that the information would be too painful for me or my birth family. DNA did not try to hide anything. It simply gave me information. It was up to me to decide what to do with it. It put the power back into my hands. I am forever grateful.
Gina Ates | Lexington, KY
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