Jamie’s DNA Surprise


Welcome to the season 6 finale of DNA Surprises. In this week’s episode, Jamie bravely shares her DNA surprise journey, which began 5 years ago with a 23&Me test.

Jamie’s story encapsulates many parts of the DNA surprise stories we hear. She shares how her NPE came as a complete surprise. Her story includes an ethnic shift, from Italian to Portuguese, rejection AND acceptance, family estrangement, secrecy, and openness. and mental health issues. She also touches on her experience as a recipient parent of an egg donation and how her NPE has reaffirmed her commitment to be transparent with her daughter. 

Jamie acknowledges that while her journey ebbs and flows, she’s living life on her own terms now and is dedicated to welcoming relationships that nourish her.

Thank you for sharing your story, Jamie.

Before we wrap up for the year, I want to thank everyone who joined me in Season 6: Rikki, Jules, Kendall, Eric, Michelle, Pam, Gerard, Nina, Lily, Patrice, Michelle Tullier, Lawrence, and Jamie. Thank you for trusting me with your stories and helping others feel less alone.

And thank you for listening. We’ll be back in January with a new season of DNA surprise stories. Until next time.  




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Episode Transcript

Transcripts are AI-generated and may not reflect the final published episodes.

[00:00:00] Jamie: Every day that goes by that, you know, I think about my mom waited like 40 years to tell me or like 30 something years to tell me and even when I asked her about it still waited another year and 11 days or whatever, like I count every one of those days and say you had the chance.

[00:00:16] Jamie: to tell me that and you still didn’t

[00:00:24] Jamie: My name is Jamie. I am 43 years old. I am from

[00:00:29] Jamie: eastern Massachusetts, but I now live in Honolulu, Hawaii.

[00:00:32] Jamie: My story really started with probably a lot of people start with um, and seeing the 23andMe kits for half price. Um, thIs is in 2017. And I had been trying to conceive to get pregnant for about five years. I had done IVF for a couple of years.

[00:00:54] Jamie: I had done five unsuccessful cycles and ended up on my final cycle succeeding with donor eggs. So I was pregnant. I was happy. Um, And I was really preparing for, how to tell my daughter that she was donor conceived before she was born. Because I was all about, reading everything about it and making sure.

[00:01:19] Jamie: This was something that she could handle growing up and I never wanted to hide any secrets from her. I never, ever, ever in my life ever would have guessed that I would have an NPE story or that my father, my birth certificate father was not my birth father. This was nothing I was even thinking about at the time.

[00:01:41] Jamie: I just was thinking, okay, this is where my DNA ends, so I kind of want to see, like, I’ve been told I’m half Italian and part Portuguese and mostly Irish my entire life. I even studied in Italy, got it tattooed on my body, studied in Sicily, I was just obsessed with being Italian, grew up in an Irish Catholic Italian, part of, south of Boston. I was really full of pride if a lot of people from Massachusetts are full of pride from being from Boston, from being, you know, of their family, of their roots, of the Italian heritage, the Irish heritage, especially where I’m from, the Portuguese heritage which I felt never really that I should participate in because I was only like 2 percent Thank you.

[00:02:25] Jamie: Portuguese, as I am told. So anyway, I’m like, yeah, let’s, let’s figure this out. That’d be kind of fun. This is half off. I’m going to do it. Send off my husband’s too. My husband is from Hawaii and you know, he knew that he had some native Hawaiian. And of course a lot of people I think want to see, Hey, am I part, you know, Native American or indigenous or, and he knew he had some of that and never had the full story, especially.

[00:02:51] Jamie: You know, Hawaii, there’s a lot of immigration here. So we just decided to do it for that reason. I got it back. And this was in 2017 before my daughter was born. At first I was like, this is weird, but it didn’t seem out of the ordinary because it said I was half Irish, like I had thought, but then it said I was very Portuguese, like 40 percent Portuguese, and like 2 percent Italian or something, and I was like, this is really weird, you know, like it, but then I’m thinking, well, you know, I’m from a very Portuguese community, things could have been lost in translation.

[00:03:31] Jamie: I mean, we actually have the largest Portuguese festival in the world outside of Portugal in my small hometown. So, that’s, I’m like, you know, that’s not really weird, there was a lot of Portuguese people in my family So I didn’t find it totally weird I did find it weird about the italian thing though, because I did have my great grandfather’s immigration papers from naples I could track that so my birth certificates father’s side of the family I released the results in like a little family facebook group we had and I was like, hey, you know, I did 23andme Anyone wants to see the results of our family, this is what I found, and like I just thought it was kind of weird that I’m not really that Italian, but maybe grandma didn’t really know how Italian she was, I don’t know, and my grandparents had been dead for a while, so I couldn’t ask them, and only my uncle from my birth certificate father’s side kind of chimed in and was like, no, you’re more Italian than that, that’s not right, you know, but nobody else really said anything. But what also showed up and, you know, when you do these things and you don’t have, especially, at the time, 2017, it’s, it was actually quite a long time ago. And that first really started picking up When you do them and you have no, no clue or no inkling that there might be some bad thing that comes out of this or some secret or some family secret, they make you agree to it.

[00:04:54] Jamie: Like, okay, you might find out awful things. Do you still want to proceed? And so I was like, of course, like, there’s nothing to find out, I know who my family is. And of course it showed up that I had a half sister. And her name was Michelle. I thought, this makes no sense.

[00:05:10] Jamie: Like, you know, this absolutely makes no sense because my parents were super young when they had

[00:05:16] Jamie: me. This Michelle was like five years older

[00:05:19] Jamie: than me.

[00:05:20] Alexis: So at this point, you are still in denial, for lack of a better word, that,

[00:05:25] Alexis: that the results are proving anything other than, I’m less Italian than I thought I was.

[00:05:32] Jamie: Yes. But then when I start to see the name, I’m like, something’s not right. But I had no clue. It had to do with me at the time, 23. And me, their algorithm and what they had in there said that she could be a half aunt or a half sibling.

[00:05:49] Alexis: Hmm.

[00:05:51] Jamie: So, of course, I was really intrigued. I asked everyone in my family, Do you know this person?

[00:05:58] Jamie: You know, and do you know this name? I’ve never even heard this name before. You know, it’s So, of course, I start doing my investigating on social media, through the internet. I’m pretty tech savvy. I was there breaking ground with like Microsoft and Facebook back in the day. So, I did everything I possibly could and And I couldn’t even find this person on social media, I’m like, this person doesn’t exist, you know, this is, this must be a mistake,

[00:06:24] Alexis: yeah,

[00:06:25] Jamie: so I brought it to my family and I said, hey, do you know this Michelle person, she is quite a few years older than me, and my mom and dad had me when they were 19, they’re both 19 years old, so it wouldn’t make any sense that, My mom would have had another child before me and I’m like, this makes no sense, and they’re like, oh, I have no idea who that is, you know, and my parents are now divorced They’ve been divorced since I was 14.

[00:06:50] Jamie: So I had to ask them separately and they both had no idea. And I had already, I’ve been through a lot of trauma my entire life with my mother. My mother I grew up with, she was an alcoholic, she was an addict. So we already had a kind of a strange relationship. And I had a closer relationship with my birth certificate father.

[00:07:09] Jamie: And so I trusted him more. So he was still like, I have no idea, you know,, so I was like, okay, it’s a new thing. I worked in tech. I know that sometimes the algorithms aren’t quite there yet. All I can do and all you can do at the time is through the site, contact this Michelle person via 23andme, the website, and just hope that she checks it one day.

[00:07:31] Jamie: I did that. And who are you? It says you’re my half sister. No response. A few weeks go by and, I’m super pregnant at this point. I had gone through IVF for years I had already been through a lot and this is kind of where like this cascade of trauma begins to happen to me that kind of put me in a very precarious position, but I had my daughter, which was amazing, in November of 2017, so I just, like, let it go.

[00:07:59] Jamie: Nobody knows who it is. This person hasn’t contacted you back. Just forget it. You’ve got your daughter now, this is what you’ve wanted. You know going forward how you’re going to approach telling her, and you’re gonna make sure you have an honest relationship with her.

[00:08:14] Jamie: And just let that go. So, I did. During that year, right after having my daughter, 10 days after I suffered a secondary postpartum hemorrhage, which was almost deadly. So, for those who don’t know what that is, is I gave birth, everything was fine. I was in labor a long time, almost, a little over 60 hours.

[00:08:37] Alexis: Oh,

[00:08:37] Alexis: wow.

[00:08:38] Jamie: But I was happy, I was so happy to be, I didn’t care. I had an emergency C section, otherwise my pregnancy was really normal, super healthy, my daughter was very healthy, nine pound baby. Everything went great. I was in a lot of pain after, but I just thought it was normal. You know, and they took me off the pain medication at the hospital and I immediately was crying.

[00:09:02] Jamie: So 10 days after I’m home. I’m supposed to be healing. I’m fine. I stood up and just, you know, trigger warning. I stood up and just started bleeding everywhere, and so, and I was taken by ambulance 10 days after I gave birth to my newborn from my house to the hospital and had to stay there by myself because, you know, my husband had to stay home with my newborn.

[00:09:23] Jamie: I had no family here. So, I almost died. And I went into septic shock in the ER because the doctor in the ER was like, Oh, you just busted a stitch or he misdiagnosed me. So it was a lot of medical trauma that happened. And I ended up having emergency surgery the next day.

[00:09:38] Jamie: So, I was really traumatized. I was,

[00:09:42] Alexis: Yeah,

[00:09:43] Jamie: I was in the hospital for a week. I was released on Thanksgiving, which was my baby’s first holiday. I felt really robbed of the experience I had, you know, just worked so hard for. I had severe postpartum anxiety, severe postpartum depression. I didn’t know how bad it was.

[00:10:02] Jamie: And PTSD, which I had no idea until I knew when I woke up, like from the surgery. Something’s not right. I have a history of mental illness. I had been doing well for many years, but I had a history of it. And I said, look, get behavioral health in here before I leave the

[00:10:17] Jamie: hospital. I know I’m going to need

[00:10:19] Jamie: help, you know, and I knew, and I was very proactive in getting that help.

[00:10:23] Alexis: I was gonna say good for you for like recognizing it and getting support.

[00:10:27] Jamie: Yes, absolutely. Cause I left the hospital and you know, my mother did a lot of damage. She was had anxiety and bipolar disorder and her mother did and her mother did. It was a lot of generational trauma that had to be broken. And I said, I’m not going to do that to my daughter.

[00:10:46] Jamie: I need to get the help now. I don’t want her growing up like I grew up. So I did. And I went. Like, two times a week, back to the Women and Children’s Hospital Behavioral Unit, specifically for postpartum depression. Like, be best doctors in the state. I was like, I’m, I’m gonna tackle this. And I did!

[00:11:03] Jamie: And I was doing great! And they were like, you are off medication, you are at a therapy, you’ve graduated, congratulations. I’m like, yay!

[00:11:11] Alexis: Good.

[00:11:12] Jamie: So I was so proud of myself. I was doing fantastic. I was off all medications and just, you know, finally feeling like I could leave the house and be a mom. This was in August of 2018. My daughter was about nine months old. So it’s pretty good. And then I get an email in September 29th. I’ll never forget it. September 29th, 2018 from Michelle. And she says, Hey, I saw you emails me on 23andme. I haven’t, checked it in a really long time. And I saw you emailed me. My husband really

[00:11:45] Jamie: pushed me to do this because I don’t know any of my birth family.

[00:11:49] Jamie: I was adopted. And I

[00:11:51] Alexis: Oh, wow.

[00:11:53] Jamie: yeah. So I was like, oh my god. And she lives in my hometown, which is very small. And we start going back and forth. I’m like, how old are you? So then I bring it back to my family. I’m like, look. She’s either my half aunt or my half sister.

[00:12:07] Jamie: DNA doesn’t lie. Okay, like now it’s been a year. Now this person’s contacting me back. And she’s not only like, Telling me, Hey, I was adopted. I don’t know anyone, but she’s from our hometown.

[00:12:21] Jamie: Things are starting to happen. There’s no escaping this. You guys are going to tell me what’s

[00:12:25] Jamie: going on.

[00:12:26] Alexis: So at this point, did you realize that It could only be, like, a shared father, or was your mother still a consideration at this point, or,

[00:12:38] Jamie: yes. It was my last, my last, guess that it could be a shared father. I actually thought, because it still said half aunt or half sister, my grandparents had been dead for many years. I actually thought my grandfather had an affair

[00:12:54] Alexis: Mm.

[00:12:55] Jamie: He had six children with my, my grandmother, my mom has five brothers and sisters.

[00:12:59] Jamie: He was a manager in Boston and they lived about 40 minutes south of Boston. And from what Michelle told me, she was born basically at a home in Boston that they sent young girls to, to hide their pregnancies. And then get adopted out of like an Irish Catholic sort of, home in Boston, and it was all anonymous.

[00:13:26] Jamie: I was like, did grandpa have an affair and hide this child, because this makes no sense. I don’t get this,

[00:13:33] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:13:34] Jamie: You know, I should back up and say I do, I grew up with what I thought was my full sibling, my younger sister, she’s four years younger than me, we, we are act a lot alike, we look a lot alike.

[00:13:44] Jamie: So there was never any sort of, wow, we’re so different, So I was like, who’s this other person coming into the picture? There’s no way that, that this person could be my sister. There’s no way that my father had an affair and my mother started gUessing that and in the toxic way that she does things was like, well, well, you know, your dad did date a nurse before he was with me.

[00:14:09] Jamie: So then I’m thinking, she’s trying to

[00:14:11] Jamie: plant it that my father may have gotten someone pregnant, like when he was 15 or something,

[00:14:16] Alexis: yeah.

[00:14:17] Jamie: So she’s trying to plant that and I’m like, I don’t know. So I start digging deeper and I’m asking my aunts and uncles. And you know, at this point, I think stuff’s hitting the fan.

[00:14:26] Jamie: They realize, or my mother realizes she can’t. Live in a lie anymore. I don’t know what’s going on in her head. I still don’t know. And she called me one morning and it was like maybe three weeks after I was like, who’s this Michelle person? It’s been like a year at this point.

[00:14:44] Jamie: So it’s like, you’ve known that I’ve been asking about this for like a year and you still held out on me. So it was just this extra amount of hurt. She called me one morning. I was getting ready to leave for the day. It’s like eight o’clock here. My husband was getting ready to go to work and she said I have to talk to you And I said, well, you know, what is that what’s going on?

[00:15:03] Jamie: I’m getting ready and she’s like your father It’s not your father and I knew immediately what she meant like it all came. Into the picture at that moment and I like I just hit the ground. I threw the phone. I was crying. It was just Heartbreaking. It’s you cannot explain to anyone because I know when you start to tell people stories like this They try to console you by saying things like, but he raised you, and you’re a better person for it, and that doesn’t matter, blood doesn’t matter, and it’s like, that’s, that’s not what you’re feeling.

[00:15:36] Jamie: You know, you’re just feeling. I think the best way to describe it is, Like you suddenly feel like the entire first half of your life before you knew this big secret the first half of your life was something but it was totally not What you thought it was, you know, like,

[00:15:54] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:15:55] Jamie: So I was furious with her.

[00:15:58] Jamie: I screamed I yelled I kind of had an idea who my father might be at this point, but I still didn’t know. And she said your uncle Joe is going to call you and explain everything to you. So my husband stayed home. My uncle called me so back in the day when my mom and my dad were first dating, my uncle, her brother was in a band and the singer of the band was very popular with the ladies.

[00:16:24] Jamie: So.

[00:16:24] Alexis: Mm. Mm hmm.

[00:16:26] Jamie: Apparently, he really got around and he dated my mom. I remember when I was little, her still talking about him all the time, like listening to his records. They were quite popular in the Boston area, listening to the music, being really into it. He had bought her Stevie Nicks, like leather outfits.

[00:16:45] Alexis: Okay.

[00:16:46] Jamie: And I’d like put them on and think I was super cool. Um, sO like I knew who this person was. He’d always been in my life. I, our families grew up together. My my uncle Joe, who was in the band with him, called me and said, this person has my birth certificate. My birth father’s name is Eddie.

[00:17:06] Jamie: He said, you know, Eddie, got his girlfriend pregnant when she was 16. So this is another woman,

[00:17:13] Alexis: Mm.

[00:17:14] Jamie: and she was sent to live in Boston because her parents were ashamed. Sent her away and she gave birth. To this girl they named her Angie after the Rolling Stone song. And at that time it was just like, here’s my baby.

[00:17:30] Jamie: Goodbye. You signed the papers and you don’t know anything. So she knew nothing and she ended up being adopted by a family who was from the same hometown as me, which is weird because it was like 40 minutes away and grew up down the street from me. Literally, we lived on the same street at one point, a tiny side street when I was a little bit old.

[00:17:50] Jamie: We found this out later that when I was like 18 and she was 25, we lived like three houses apart from each other in apartments.

[00:17:58] Alexis: Oh, wow.

[00:17:59] Jamie: Yeah, I mean, this is how close we were our whole lives and never knew. Through figuring this all out, it’s a lot of like, crossing, you know, it was like one of those big like, bulletin boards that the FBI uses, like putting up pictures, like,

[00:18:13] Alexis: Right, like a conspiracy theorist, yeah,

[00:18:16] Jamie: totally right.

[00:18:17] Jamie: I called her, we talked, and I said, I’m her sister, and I found out that my mother had slept with Eddie and my birth certificate father at the same time. Around the same time. And when she got pregnant, He was just not a good person. He was getting everyone pregnant. He was not stable.

[00:18:39] Jamie: She loved my father. My birth certificate father. And she wanted to be with him and she to this day says she thought, 100 percent no doubt that I was Dave, my birth certificate father is Dave, Dave’s baby. And there was like, apparently my dad told me that there was this whole thing where they made her put her hand on a Bible and swear that you know, my grandparents did that. Because they made them get married, they made them get married when my mom got pregnant. And she’s like, I swear, this is Dave’s baby. And she still says to this day, it’s like. What disillusion must you live in? Like, you know, if you’re sleeping with two people that there’s a possibility and you know it’s just it’s so frustrating because to this day she will not admit that So, I found this out.

[00:19:27] Jamie: I talked to Joe. I talked to Michelle next I called my younger sister Allie, she’s the one I grew up with, who’s four years younger, and I was just crying. I was like, dad’s not my dad, you know, and she’s like, what? What’s going on? And, you know, you also got to imagine this is all happening from 6, 000 miles away.

[00:19:46] Jamie: So I’m living in Hawaii without my family. I live here just with my husband and daughter and his family. My family is all still in Massachusetts. So this is happening. really far apart. I have nobody to like put my head on their shoulder and look at that looks like me or anything.

[00:20:02] Jamie: It was a very isolating experience.

[00:20:05] Alexis: Yeah, so you talked to your sister, your raised sister, and what was her reaction?

[00:20:11] Jamie: She always goes into sort of control mode, like how are we going, what’s going to happen next? Who, how are we going to fix this? She was like, does dad know? And I was like, no. And I just did not have the heart to tell him. I was like, I can’t.

[00:20:26] Jamie: I called everyone. And I yelled at everyone. I was like, you had to have known. Somebody had to have questioned that. And let me go my entire life. That is a horrible thing. Because, first of all, it’s just horrible to do to anybody. But secondly, I grew up with mental illness. I went through major depressive episodes, anxiety, I fought it, I beat it, and I, I finally was making something of my life.

[00:20:53] Jamie: It was an awful thing to do for someone who went through so much trauma already. So my younger sister was like, I’m going to tell dad. So she kind of took that on

[00:21:04] Alexis: Okay.

[00:21:05] Jamie: and she sat him down and told him, cause I wasn’t there and he called me. And I just couldn’t even talk and I just cried and he booked a flight to Hawaii and Yeah, it was I had just graduated from the psychiatrist and I called them up.

[00:21:22] Jamie: I’m like, I need you to refill my medication.

[00:21:25] Alexis: Oh my gosh,

[00:21:27] Alexis: well, understandable. Yeah.

[00:21:29] Jamie: What’s going on? And I told them, they’re like, Oh my God. Get back in here. So it was like I had finally overcome all of this and we’re talking within a year span like I gave birth after many rounds of IVF. I almost died in this hemorrhage.

[00:21:43] Jamie: I found out this stuff. I mean, I was just in this awful downward spiral of trauma and my body did what it’s supposed to do and it protected me and it Compartmentalized it and put it in the back of my brain and I just told myself, look, you can’t change your past. You can’t change what happened.

[00:22:00] Jamie: Just move forward. What do you do now? Be happy. You have this amazing child. And that’s really how I got through it. anD my immediate reaction was. Okay, now I know that I have this birth

[00:22:13] Jamie: father. How many other brothers and sisters do I have?

[00:22:16] Alexis: Were you curious about connecting with him?

[00:22:19] Jamie: yes, I, I contacted him immediately.

[00:22:22] Alexis: Okay.

[00:22:23] Jamie: I contacted him immediately, my mother did, and so did my Uncle Joe because they were best friends. And he completely ignored all of us. To this day. I contacted him immediately and I was like, get me a plane ticket. I’m flying to the mainland.

[00:22:37] Jamie: I’m going to meet this man. I want to meet my half sister. She’s this amazing person, you know, like, I found out I had another half sister in Texas, and then I had a half brother. And it’s like, you grew up your whole life without a brother, and you’re like, I have a brother, you know, who is younger than me.

[00:22:52] Jamie: All different mothers.

[00:22:54] Jamie: But all from generally the same area. Lots of cousins that I actually knew. It’s a blessing, but I never, like, hooked up with any of them, to be honest with you.

[00:23:06] Alexis: Right? That’s always something that comes up. Yeah,

[00:23:09] Jamie: it’s, because it’s a small town, and I, we were all part of the music scene, and it was, you know, like that. So, it’s a blessing, but, so, I contacted him, he didn’t get back to me, and he didn’t get back to any of us, my immediate reaction was like, just, I need to go home, I need to like, look at my mom face to face, I need to look at my sister, my father, after a couple of weeks, I was like, okay, that’s not a good idea, that’s not so my daughter was about to turn one, and in Hawaii, like, The first birthday is bigger than throwing a wedding. It is a big deal. You, you go all out for like a baby luau. So I was busy planning that, and so my dad said, I’m going to fly in for that. And he went to therapy with me. So that I could have this conversation with him in front of a therapist. Because my father, he doesn’t really show emotion.

[00:24:02] Jamie: He’s an amazing guy. Like, I love him so much. Like, the rock in my life, and I am really lucky that he’s the one who raised me. But, when I told him, he was just like, Okay. You know, there was no, I couldn’t see his face. I’m like, Dad, what do you know? What do you know that I don’t know? Just please, tell me.

[00:24:21] Jamie: So I had to have that conversation with him in front of a therapist so I could get that from him. And I did. I got what I needed to hear from him. That he had no clue that my mother had promised that he believed her. That he was grateful that he got to raise me and that I would always be his daughter and it wouldn’t change anything and, all of that stuff.

[00:24:44] Jamie: So I got to hear that from him, but my mother was still, still, like, after all this, like, it’s not my fault. It’s not, you know, like, poor me, poor me. So I wasn’t speaking to her at all.

[00:24:54] Jamie: It took a while before I just finally was like, okay, to speak to her again. And that was just like the time I just needed time.

[00:25:02] Jamie: Over the next year, I didn’t hear anything from my birth father. I had already found my brother, my sister on Facebook, all of my aunts and uncles that were his brothers and sisters, cause they grew up with my.

[00:25:24] Alexis: So did they, they knew or?

[00:25:28] Jamie: don’t know if they knew before but I started to get the feeling that a couple of the aunts knew because they still spoke to my aunts on my mom’s side and they told them so I didn’t have conversation with them at that point. I was still giving my birth father the chance to respond. From what I had heard, his wife had cancer at the time, and he was going through a lot, so I was like, I’ll give him grace right now.

[00:25:55] Jamie: It’s a lot to take on. Months and months passed, and I, I sent him a letter. I sent him messages. He started to block me, and I’m like, well, then he knows if he’s blocking me. And he’s just ignoring it. So I’m like, screw this, I’m not doing this anymore. Like, I have to live for me. So I gave him exactly one year. And then I started sending messages to The rest of my family, my brother, I introduced myself, I’m your sister, my other sister, all of his brothers and sisters, so my aunts and uncles I’m your niece, and this is how, and da da da da, and none of them really seem surprised.

[00:26:31] Jamie: To the point that that year… My brother, who I had never met before, um, invited me over because he does Christmas at his house for Christmas. And to meet the entire family at one time and they’re huge Portuguese families and then I find out I’m like so Portuguese and I’m like I missed out on all the Portuguese culture that I was like I shouldn’t take part in because I’m not Portuguese and now I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m like half Azorean Portuguese, you

[00:27:00] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:27:01] Jamie: Anyway, so there’s this huge Portuguese family and he invited me and it was so surreal.

[00:27:06] Jamie: I flew home, I walked in the front door and he was just standing there in like an ugly Christmas sweater. He was so adorable and he’s like one year younger than me almost to the day. And he just put his arms around me and hugged me. The whole family embraced me. And not one person mentioned Eddie the entire day.

[00:27:24] Jamie: He doesn’t live in Massachusetts any longer. I think he’s on the west coast somewhere. They just didn’t mention him. It was like. We don’t care, like you’re our niece, we’re not even gonna, they just acted like nothing happened, it was just like I was there.

[00:27:37] Alexis: Does Eddie acknowledge your other siblings aside from the adopted sibling?

[00:27:44] Jamie: He does not acknowledge me or the adopted sibling he, he acknowledges his other daughter and he very much acknowledges my brother. I think it’s just like he’s trying to, cause he’s a man and he’s just got this, he gives him very lavish gifts. He wasn’t there for my brother either.

[00:28:03] Jamie: My brother did not have an easy life. He’s an amazing person. But my birth father wasn’t a father to any of the four of us kids.

[00:28:10] Jamie: And he has not even acknowledged. Michelle or myself, Michelle and I met in the meantime, I found out I went from having like one nephew to like, five, six, seven, eight, nine, like 12 nieces and nephews.

[00:28:25] Alexis: Oh, wow.

[00:28:26] Jamie: Yeah, it was wild. She has five children, Michelle. You know, Michelle’s just this great person who was like put up for adoption and didn’t know anything and I was able to weave it all together for her, not only for her, but for her birth mother that had to give her up.

[00:28:41] Jamie: I didn’t want to and was forced to. I got to say, Hey, I found your daughter like 40 something years later. She’s still friends, like her birth mother, friends with my mom, you know, so everyone knew each other. So it was easy for me to be like, this is your birth mother. This is your daughter. This is how I found out she is my half sister, I got to put all those pieces together for her.

[00:29:03] Jamie: We’re very close. Cause she’s like, look, like without your big heart, no matter what anyone says. You shouldn’t apologize for having a big heart and wanting to, like, put people in contact with each other. These were adults, that made these decisions that they want to just

[00:29:20] Jamie: pretend, that didn’t happen.

[00:29:22] Alexis: Is she still in contact with her mother?

[00:29:24] Jamie: they have met once or twice. I think, you know, they have a little bit of a relationship.

[00:29:28] Jamie: She’s seen her a couple times. But it is, you know, it’s weird because, like, initially when this all happened, it’s like,, I want, I’ve always been a big family person. Family was everything to me. So immediately, I was like, I have to catch up on, like, 40 years not knowing my sister or my brother or my other sister.

[00:29:43] Jamie: And it has to be the same type of relationship that I have with the sister I grew up

[00:29:48] Alexis: mm, mm hmm.

[00:29:49] Jamie: aNd if because it’s not I’m upset or like am I doing things wrong and am I treating my nieces the right way? Do I hug them? Like what do I do, you know? There’s so much you’re navigating in that way.

[00:30:02] Alexis: ANd it’s, it’s hard. It’s not easy to make up for all that lost time, so to speak, and not everyone is close with the siblings that they grew up with, but having that built in closeness and just that lifetime of relationship building, it can’t be replicated, right? So you’re still close to Michelle. How are you with your other siblings?

[00:30:24] Jamie: So I mean, so my brother and I he’s, he’s really great. You know, whenever I go home, we hang out

[00:30:30] Jamie: and that’s fantastic. I’ve actually never spoken. On the phone with my sister in Texas, but we’re connected on Facebook and we’ve spoken through Facebook and that’s been enough. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to her. She doesn’t want to talk to me. It’s like at the beginning, it was a lot of missed connection.

[00:30:46] Jamie: And for her, I actually put her in touch with Michelle. They are actually full siblings, so she had known, she had known that her mom had given up a child for adoption, but she thought she’d never find her. So at the end of the day, the only one who ended up with a full sibling was Michelle and, and Jen, my other sister.

[00:31:08] Jamie: So They have, they talk a lot and like, I kind of get information about her through Michelle and vice versa. So like, I feel like we’re talking. There’s no, there’s no bad blood or anything. There’s just not really like this, I need to, like, if she was to come here or if I was to go visit, that area, I’m sure we would hang out and everything would be fine type of thing and we’d have a great time.

[00:31:29] Jamie: But it just hasn’t happened and I’m not forcing it.

[00:31:32] Jamie: But unfortunately, like what this all led to and it’s been really hard and part of the reason like I’m doing this podcast is, I talked a lot about the trauma I went through before I found this out because it’s really relevant experiencing trauma after trauma after trauma after CPTSD. And it’s kind of a new diagnosis, and also going through these DNA discoveries, it’s a pretty new phenomenon for most therapists and psychiatrists and psychologists, and they don’t know how to treat it.

[00:32:05] Jamie: So, we’re kind of navigating that water with that, right? That’s where we need to rely on each other in this community, and I’m very grateful for it.

[00:32:14] Jamie: Because when I first found this out, like, there was like one secret group on Facebook I could join, but I didn’t know anyone else who had gone through it, right? and so it was really hard to relate. And so, starting in 2017, and only up until last year, which is 2022, I was essentially in the throes of CPTSD and didn’t know it.

[00:32:36] Jamie: I was just protecting my brain and raising my daughter and doing the best I could. But it just got progressively more difficult to just in my head, I’m like, I must have processed it, you know, because I’m okay, but they just got progressively more difficult to do that. For many reasons. One is that my younger sister.

[00:32:56] Jamie: Whenever I would come home or visit and I would always stay with her. We’re very, we were very, very, very close. She was my best friend. And I always would only go home really to stay with her. I’d stay at her house for 10 days. And my daughter, our kids were like the same age. They only have each other in the family.

[00:33:12] Jamie: Cause our kids are the same age. And so we were very, very tight and it just. really started to slowly push us apart because she started to get a little bit jealous that I wanted to meet Michelle. And it was like a joke that we had. She, you know, I, I, I go and stay with Allie and then I’d be like, okay, I’m leaving to go to Michelle’s.

[00:33:36] Jamie: And I come back and like, you know, Michelle, she has like a garden. So she would give me like flowers or

[00:33:41] Jamie: just different presents and stuff. And I’d bring them home. My sister would be like, well, I’ll get you better. It was like a joke we had, you

[00:33:45] Alexis: Yeah. Sure. Playful jealousy.

[00:33:48] Alexis: yeah,

[00:33:49] Jamie: but I don’t think it was all a joke, you know, and it started that way then she would say, well, I don’t want you saying in front of her son, or anyone else that you have a different father than I do.

[00:34:01] Jamie: And I’m like, Okay, I understand that they’re young, but you know, I’m also raising my daughter. Who’s a donor child and I’m I’ve committed to being honest with her from the beginning and I’ve already been you know We’ve read all the books. She’s five years old. All the ways that they tell you to explain it She knows and she understands for her age and she will continue to know and i’m brutally honest Probably about too much of my daughter because I never want her to ever think i’ve been hiding anything from her But my sister is the exact opposite with her son and, that’s fine.

[00:34:32] Jamie: Everyone raises their child differently, but it was making me have to hide who I was. It was making me over, you know, the four years. That I found this out and was going to visit her every time I felt less and less like I could be myself. That I felt less and less comfortable. I had to continue to lie in front of her son.

[00:34:53] Jamie: And it just made me feel very ashamed to be who I was. And that’s just not fair. It’s

[00:34:59] Alexis: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

[00:35:02] Jamie: and it’s fine if you want to hide things from your son. He’s going to eventually find out so last year I went home. I was about to go home to see her. I had a bad feeling about it for some reason. I was like, I don’t know about this trip. I had a planned the trip. My husband was like, with coronavirus, I hadn’t been home as often. It was tough.

[00:35:19] Jamie: He’s like, go home, you know, visit your family. It was like fall. I was so excited because I never go to New England in the fall. Usually we go in the summer and I missed it so much. And my daughter has never seen the fall. So she was so pumped and I was like, okay, we’ll do it. We’ll do it. We had gotten an Airbnb this time because I didn’t, we were staying for like 20 days.

[00:35:37] Jamie: I didn’t want to bother my sister for that long.

[00:35:40] Jamie: A lot had been built up. I’ve been diagnosed with CPTSD. I was on a ton of medication for like, you know, anti anxiety, anti depressants. And I also, during this time, I was going through a lot. I have two chronic illnesses, so like I have RA, I have lupus, you know, so I, it was just trying to control stress so I wouldn’t have flares and just this awful cycle of like flaring and pain and anxiety.

[00:36:07] Jamie: So right before this trip, I had found out that finally I found out that Eddie had reached out to my brother to talk

[00:36:15] Jamie: about me. My father, my birth father. So it was like, finally, he is acknowledging me right before this trip home. So this

[00:36:21] Jamie: like all contributed to what happened. He told him, look, that was a really bad time in my life. I don’t want to go back to it. I want nothing to do with

[00:36:30] Jamie: her. And like, I knew that, but to hear him say it was a different thing.

[00:36:36] Alexis: Yeah. How did you feel?

[00:36:38] Jamie: I felt completely rejected. I felt not worthy of anyone’s love. I felt like that’s when I started dissociating and was just like, how could an adult You know, this many years later, who was so close with everyone in my family, they were his best friends treat me this way. If he treated all of his children that way, I think it would have been a little easier, but I knew he was leaning heavy into my brother.

[00:37:10] Jamie: And in doing so, he basically told the family that I had created, my new aunts and uncles, my new brother, my new sister, he basically told them all. back off and don’t talk to her. And so I had gained them all and then suddenly I lost them all again. And it was, I was not prepared for that.

[00:37:31] Jamie: Like that’s how I was holding myself up. Saying, okay, well this happened, but you gained this new family and there’s nothing wrong with that. And that’s amazing. You have new people to love and to love you. And then suddenly they all stopped talking to me and

[00:37:45] Alexis: So they just, they honored his wishes to stop. Okay.

[00:37:50] Jamie: So that’s a huge thing.

[00:37:51] Jamie: And I hadn’t told anyone and I was holding that in as well. And I was like, I can’t think about that right now because I have to get through this trip with my daughter. And doing that, I just really screwed myself. You know, I just I was inside my head. Just things got really dark for me

[00:38:08] Jamie: And I’m like, okay, maybe going home will be good. It will ground me and I’m like, I just have a weird feeling. So I actually help out with another podcast. During that time, that I was going to go home, the people that I work for were going to be performing live in New

[00:38:22] Jamie: York, and I’ve become really good friends with them, and I work for them, I actually admin on

[00:38:26] Jamie: their social media and stuff,

[00:38:28] Jamie: they toured last year. And so I was like, okay, I get to see them on the mainland. So, I was like, well, that means I have to have somebody watch my daughter because my husband wasn’t coming with us. So I called my sister Allie and was like, Hey, do you mind just if Mira stays overnight, my daughter?

[00:38:43] Jamie: And just one night of like the 20 years in there. I, I see them like twice a year. If that, if that. If I had my nephew for one night, I’d be like, yes, send him over, you know, so

[00:38:53] Jamie: excited.

[00:38:54] Jamie: And she was like, well, I don’t know more. She was kind of like pushing about it.

[00:38:58] Jamie: And like, like I was inconveniencing her. So I was like, okay, I wasn’t really surprised. Like, she’s kind of like that. I was like, well, then I’m going to ask dad or my stepmom.

[00:39:07] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:39:08] Jamie: and, and she’s like, no, don’t call, don’t ask them because if something happens and she’s not behaving, they’re going to call me and I’m going to, and it just was this very much like, we don’t want to help you.

[00:39:20] Jamie: It was

[00:39:20] Jamie: like, so then I was like, not thinking about it, but then I was like talking to Michelle and I’m like, Michelle, will you watch she’s like, oh yeah, leave her here for a couple days if you want. I, I’d love to, like, she does, and she’s so good with my daughter. My daughter loves her so much and I’ve, I’ve seen how good she was, and I was like, okay, cool.

[00:39:37] Jamie: But then I’m thinking afterwards as I’m flying there. I’m like, you know, like that’s pretty messed up. Like

[00:39:45] Jamie: my sister who I grew up with and then this sister who I barely know is like jumping in to help me when I need it, when it’s only like for a few hours to spend time with their niece. And then my own, it was just a lot had been building up.

[00:40:01] Alexis: Mm hmm.

[00:40:01] Jamie: So I flew overnight, six hour time difference, basically like left Hawaii at 3, got into Boston at 5 a. m. My daughter didn’t sleep the whole flight. We get home and she still doesn’t want to sleep. Did a couple of errands. They dropped us off at our Airbnb.

[00:40:20] Jamie: I’m like, okay, you know, like let’s get some sleep now. Still didn’t want to sleep. And she’s, I want this. I want that. At this point, I had been up for like, 36 hours. I was so biologically dysregulated. I’m on, you know, antidepressants and also hormones because I also had a hysterectomy during this period.

[00:40:38] Jamie: So

[00:40:39] Alexis: Yeah. a lot going on.

[00:40:41] Jamie: yeah, a lot going on. So like your body gets so dysregulated. And I was, in severe panic mode. I know I was dissociating. I was having a really hard time. So I know when this is happening. And I reached out for help and I reached out to my sister, Allie. And I was like, Allie, I’m having a really hard time.

[00:40:58] Jamie: I’m having a lot of panic. I’m disassociating. Her husband works in mental health. And she was like, well, I’m gonna have him come over and I was like, absolutely not. I was like, I just want you to talk to, I do not want him here. That’s the last thing I want.

[00:41:10] Jamie: I don’t want to see a man right now. I have trauma, you know, with men. I don’t need that. I need my safe space right now. Second of all, like, I just need, someone to talk to, I’m just having a really hard time. I was like, I don’t want him in my space.

[00:41:26] Jamie: I don’t want to see him. And it’s a conflict of interest. bEcause he, he does work as a liaison for mental health for the ER in that area.

[00:41:33] Jamie: So she came over anyway with him and it led to them having me sectioned and put into a mental institution, having me institutionalized while I was home visiting.

[00:41:45] Alexis: Oh, wow.

[00:41:46] Jamie: Huh. Here I am in the throes of PTSD, going through more PTSD, not knowing where my daughter is, my husband flying in from Hawaii immediately them taking my daughter, seeing that, and I was just traumatized. It was one of the, it was definitely the worst experience of my entire life and at that moment I was like, I do not want you in my life anymore.

[00:42:10] Jamie: I am done with you. It opened up all of these things. I got to the hospital. They had, Massachusetts law, they had to keep me for a certain amount of time. I got to the behavioral health center. I slept and I woke up the next morning. The doctor interviewed me. He’s like, you don’t belong here.

[00:42:26] Jamie: I talked to your site back home. I can understand what happened. You don’t belong here. You’ll get let go early. And that’s exactly what happened. But it was the worst, like. Not my daughter is my life, you know, she is my life and it was The worst feeling to like be away from her during that time and I really had to come to terms at that time with This family is toxic as hell.

[00:42:55] Jamie: They are toxic. This is not good for me. I am trying too hard to please everybody and like make them feel comfortable with the pain that they inflicted upon me. And they continue to inflict upon me. And I am much more… Emotionally mature. I have done a lot of work on myself. I have seen a lot more of the world and I’m just a different person and I had to detach myself from that and be okay with that.

[00:43:25] Jamie: We spent the rest of the trip, you know, I wanted to. Show my daughter that you can like be resilient. You can get back in the game. You can jump back up. So I was like, we’re gonna continue this family vacation as it’s just a family vacation, and we did that.

[00:43:41] Jamie: But I have not spoken to my sister since

[00:43:44] Jamie: it’s part of my MPE story because it. It made me realize what family really is. After really that happened because I was like, this is time for you to build your family and I’m in a much better place now than I’ve been since I found out that day on 23andMe that I was not Italian.

[00:44:04] Jamie: I am like, today I am like leaps and bounds ahead of that. I have, really focused on my mental health. I have come off my medications and I’ve gone through TMS therapy, trauma therapy, I’m seeing my therapist way less

[00:44:21] Jamie: frequently, like yesterday. She’s like, you don’t really need me anymore.

[00:44:25] Alexis: That’s good, you graduated again. You mentioned a specific kind of therapy was it TMS? What is that? I think people are always interested in learning about different things that might help them.

[00:44:36] Jamie: Yeah. I mean, I’m all about science, medicine not being ashamed of any of that stuff. So I, you know, I first want to say that TMS therapy is essentially, and I’m not gonna explain it, right?

[00:44:51] Alexis: Well, that’s okay.

[00:44:52] Jamie: Like, If you get diagnosed with treatment resistant depression, you can try TMS therapy, which I feel, and I know a lot of doctors feel, is sort of an insurance based thing.

[00:45:03] Jamie: Like, they want you to try all the medication first, which to me is pretty messed up. But um, if you, if none of that really treats, Seek your depression or your PTSD, then you can try TMS. And what it is, is it’s like this magnet that gets, you sit in a chair and they map out your brain and they find the part of your brain that creates the sort of.

[00:45:26] Jamie: Cells that need to be, I think, regenerated or something. It’s, it’s not like pumping dopamine or serotonin into you. It’s actually just trying to bring those cells back to life in your brain and like light your brain back up, essentially, the part of your brain that controls mood.

[00:45:41] Alexis: That’s really interesting.

[00:45:42] Jamie: Was. life changing. And I have been going through, I’m 43 now, I have been going through this since I was 16. I’ve been on and off different antidepressants since then. And I am all about the science and medicine and I do I love, at least bringing like acupuncture into my life and other holistic things and I don’t think that stuff hurts, you know, and even if there’s no scientific proof, but TMS is FDA approved for major depressive disorder.

[00:46:14] Alexis: So you mentioned before you reached out to me, you, came out with your DNA surprise, your NPE, on Facebook. So, since 2017, you’d kept this information private?

[00:46:29] Jamie: My close friends knew. I, I only really kept it private. The only reason I kept it private was my. birth certificate father. I love him. I respect him. I didn’t want to embarrass him. When this all went down, when I was back home, I talked to him. I was crying, you know, when I came out of the hospital and I was mentioned, one of the things was like, My birth certificate father and my mother were still friends with my birth father on Facebook, and I’m like, de friend him.

[00:46:58] Jamie: They’re like, why is that a big deal? I’m like, it’s a big deal! Because you have to cut this person who is toxic out of our lives, because every time I log in, they’re like, you may know this person. You have mutual friends. Hey, it’s your parents! You know, it’s like, it’s a, it is like, Every time it’s like punching me in the gut, he’s like, why he just couldn’t understand why I was so emotional about this and it came out, I was like, I’m protecting you, and he was like, Jamie, you do not have to protect me.

[00:47:25] Jamie: He’s like, do not feel like it’s a big deal. And my dad who never really says this stuff. He’s like, I read that like one in eight people experience this now because of 23andMe and that’s okay. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. And so once he released me from like feeling that way I was like, oh. Okay, then I can’t get this out there and I don’t have to be ashamed of myself and he’s not ashamed. And so I did. I put it out there. My mother messaged me and was just like, I’m going off of Facebook for a while

[00:47:56] Jamie: in like a very passive aggressive way.

[00:47:59] Jamie: I’m like, okay, bye.

[00:48:02] Alexis: How did it, how did it feel to, to

[00:48:05] Alexis: share your story and go public?

[00:48:08] Jamie: It felt fantastic. I’m like a pretty spiritual person. It’s not like religious, but spiritual. I’m kind of a hippie, like in tune with like, just energy. And it was It was New Year’s Eve, and in Hawaii, New Year’s

[00:48:20] Jamie: Eve is a huge thing. The whole island lights up, and it’s beautiful.

[00:48:25] Jamie: It’s just like, it was this moment, and in that moment, I was standing there with my daughter, and I was like, This is it. On your way home, you’re going to write it. And I wrote that post on my way home. Through being like in this very emotional experience and I posted it and then the next day, I had so many comments from people that I haven’t talked to in maybe 20 years.

[00:48:47] Jamie: I can’t believe you went through, you’re so strong, you know, just very supportive. I got texts. I got emails, messages from people who were like, wow, you’re amazing. But in the meantime, my younger sister, who I haven’t talked to, found out about all this.

[00:49:03] Jamie: And, I tried, I’ve tried to email her and message her and be like, we need to open up the communication between our kids. It’s not their fault. They love each other. And she won’t let that happen. And part of it was, she said, you are completely handling this the wrong way.

[00:49:18] Jamie: And that was what put me off. I was like, no, like, I’m not. This is my life, my truth, my story. And I am doing everything I can to be a better person I re enrolled in school, I started a new career, like I’m excelling in it really quickly. Because I finally let go of all this stuff that was holding me back and I’m in the A really good space and she was, she wants me to be brought down again and I just can’t allow that even if it means, , cutting off all communication with her, which is unfortunate and it’s, it’s very sad.

[00:49:55] Jamie: It’s really hard, But I also have to protect myself. And by not protecting myself is how I got in this situation. In a bad situation where, I was trying to protect everyone else and I wasn’t taking care of my own mental health.

[00:50:06] Alexis: What is next for you in terms of your relationships and your NPE journey?

[00:50:13] Jamie: Yeah, so, this was a big deal for me. I, definitely been following you. I’ve listened to your podcast. I was like, I could never do that. I wanted to reach out to you earlier than I did. buT I felt like I’m ready. And that’s, this is a huge thing. I told my husband, I was like, I’m doing this this afternoon, come home with cake.

[00:50:35] Jamie: I want a treat. And I just want to be like cradled. And we know that this is just going to be good for me to let this out to tell my story because What’s next for me is continuing to not live in shame, continuing to grow, continuing to just focus on my family, my core family, and creating importance.

[00:50:59] Jamie: Instead of trying to like, take my daughter, Back home and like force her into my family and be like, you need to be a part of my family. It’s like, no, they can come to me when they’re ready. And they have, some of them have, I have some visiting soon. And just continuing to excel in the things that I love.

[00:51:19] Jamie: So I had a very long career and as a creative director and a top agency I was really good at what I did and then I, was a stay at home mom for many years while I was going through this trauma and it was really hard to pick myself back up and I re enrolled in art school and I’m creating a ton of art and I’m loving it.

[00:51:40] Jamie: It’s just stuff I never thought I’d do. I’m doing printmaking and engraving and just beautiful stuff. I’ve met a new community of people through that who feel right. They feel like my people, finally. I feel like I’ve finally come out of my shell, because I’ve only lived here in Honolulu for like a little over 10 years which seems like a long time, but you know it’s hard when you’re an adult to make friends, like a real, especially here, because there’s a lot of transient people, like army and navy, and you make friends and they get They ship out so it stinks, but I feel like I finally am grounded here and I don’t have to worry about what’s going on 6, 000 miles away anymore because what I finally feel that I can just be in this moment with my family creating this life I have no, you know, I’m not forcing any relationships on any of my aunts or uncles, the new ones if they want to reach out to me they can you know, same with my brothers and sister but we just We keep in touch and it’s casual, but it’s good.

[00:52:39] Jamie: We have really loving relationships. I thank you for this outlet.

[00:52:44] Jamie: I was kind of terrified of doing this. And I, you know, even like a couple hours before I call my friends and I was like, am I gonna What am I doing? And they’re

[00:52:54] Jamie: like, Oh, just just talk to her first. And I was like, Oh, I’m going to talk to her. And if I feel, if I don’t feel comfortable, I’ll just tell her right away.

[00:53:01] Jamie: I’m like, but I’ll know right away if I feel comfortable. So, you know, I thank you for this outlet. It’s about moving forward.

[00:53:06] Jamie: I have no interest in meeting my birth father. I don’t care. I needed to hear that he, he knew I was existing. And now that I know that he did that, I’m not going to let him have power over me anymore. And the same with my mother. I keep relationships with the people that make an effort to keep a relationship with me.

[00:53:27] Jamie: The biggest thing for me for the future is I’ve decided. From this point forward, I am only going to engage in things that nourish me spiritually, that make me happy and there’s no reason to do anything else. I’m 43 years old. I live in paradise. I have an amazing family. I, I’m just not going to do anything if it’s going to be something that’s stresses me out or doesn’t, doesn’t fulfill my life because it makes me a better person.

[00:53:56] Jamie: So I’m just living my life.

[00:53:59] Alexis: Yeah, yeah, that’s so good. So, speaking of your daughter, I am curious, how has I know that you said you were always going to be really open with her, but has your NPE journey shaped your perception maybe of if she decides she wants to seek out her genetic parent or anything like that?

[00:54:19] Jamie: I mean, I would love to know who, I know who the person was, I just don’t know their name because the way that The company works that we did donor eggs through, but I have, I have her medical information. I have information.

[00:54:34] Jamie: I’m going to totally encourage my daughter to try and find her because I would love to meet the person that helped me create this beautiful person. I would love for her to be in our lives, if that’s something she wants. Obviously, like, as my daughter, I’m, I’ve introduced the idea to her. She knows what she can understand for five years old, but I’m always in touch with a therapist on that, and like, what’s the right way to approach this?

[00:55:00] Jamie: I would be happy for her to do that. I’ve always been a pretty open mom. Think I’m much more open with her because my parents just they tried to hide a lot of that stuff from me and it, in the end, it, it damaged me, you know, finding out the truth about a lot of things so I’m like the total opposite. I probably should slow my roll a little bit with her, but she. She gets it, and I want her to be proud of who she is, and it, it came from so much love, from so much pain of, like, me wanting her so badly that I finally gave up on my own like my own ego to be like, no, she needs to be made for my genes to be like, I don’t care.

[00:55:45] Jamie: I carried her, I gave birth to her. She still has some of my, you know, because of epigenetics, she still carries some of my traits.

[00:55:52] Alexis: hmm,

[00:55:53] Jamie: I would definitely encourage her to do it if she feels comfortable and just be there to support her and provide her with the right resources at the right time.

[00:56:00] Alexis: What advice do you have for someone who may be keeping a DNA surprise from their child? That’s really good

[00:56:10] Jamie: Tell them immediately. Don’t wait another day, every day that you wait, I mean, they’re going to find out eventually, I would say 90. 5 percent of people are going to find out at this point, you know,. I have a good friend who like told me a couple of years ago that he did have a child with some other woman and, and it was being hidden from the child and he was like, I don’t know what to do.

[00:56:32] Jamie: And I immediately was like, you need to tell them tomorrow, Everyone deserves to know where they come from It’s so selfish to not tell them I certainly would say Depending on how old your child is Make sure you involve a professional from the beginning that can help both of you.

[00:56:52] Alexis: NPE?

[00:56:54] Jamie: Yeah, you’re not alone You’ll feel very Isolated you will look at photos of your childhood Suddenly differently there will be moments that stop you on your tracks

[00:57:14] Jamie: it’s okay to have these moments where you feel like You can’t move. The entire earth is spinning without you in it. That’s normal. Just always, check in on yourself, see how you’re doing, and be ready, like for any possible reaction from anyone because, even if you think you know people, and you grew up with them your whole life, this kind of news, Everyone reacts to it differently.

[00:57:44] Jamie: So I would say just prepare yourself for a wide variety of reactions and try to lean on the support groups of other people that are going through this, when you get those reactions so that you can see you’re not alone, you know, like I thought, Oh, I’m the only one who has gone through this that I know that their birth father doesn’t want to meet.

[00:58:06] Jamie: And that’s not true. There’s a ton of us. Everyone has a different type of story, but it’s, you have very similar core feelings about it. So just, reach out to people and don’t, don’t go through this

[00:58:18] Jamie: alone.

[00:58:18] Alexis: Jamie, thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story. I know you were apprehensive about it at first, but I hope you feel good now and I just really appreciate you being so vulnerable about your journey with mental health and how your NPE affected your mental health. I think it will really help a lot of people.

[00:58:40] Alexis: So I, I hope for you that things just continue to move towards a more peaceful place. And I love that you’re living for yourself and you’re beautiful family now.

[00:58:52] Jamie: Thank you so much. Thank you for this outlet too.

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