Jenniffer’s DNA Surprise

Welcome to Season 7 of DNA Surprises. In the first episode of the season, Jenniffer shares how she unraveled her mother’s deep secrets via DNA testing. Jenniffer talks about growing up in a Venezuelan family, fostered at times by her paternal grandparents, only to discover later in life that she shares no DNA with them. In addition, she learned that all of her raised siblings share different fathers. We discuss how the discovery impacted her and her siblings, how she’s building relationships with her newfound family, and how she’s moving toward acceptance.

Thank you for sharing your story, Jenniffer.

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Episode Transcript

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

[00:00:00] Jenniffer: It’s so wrong, that I know, for example, for my mother, I can, I can understand why she did it. And to a degree, you know, maybe the shaming, facade was important for her, or, you know, thinking she was going to end up alone or something like that.

[00:00:16] Jenniffer: But, Honesty is so important, she could have come to me and say, hey, this is my life’s story, that’s why I did it, and I’m so sorry, but you can still always come forward with the truth, you know?

[00:00:35] Jenniffer: My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 years old, and I was born and raised in Venezuela and now I’m settled in Switzerland.

[00:00:42] Jenniffer: I experienced a non paternal event, meaning that the father that raised me is not my biological father. And I found out when I was 28 years old, which is quite young. In the groups, most of the people are like, 50s something 60 and I found out quite young

[00:01:00] Alexis: Did you have any suspicions? What made you take a test?

[00:01:04] Jenniffer: I had no suspicion whatsoever. I could have never had imagined it. Not even a million years, you know, I could have bet my life on it I was my father’s daughter, but I wasn’t,

[00:01:14] Jenniffer: I think it’s relevant to tell a bit of a story of my mother as a first to make it have sense, you know, because it did not only happen to me, but it also happened to my brother.

[00:01:25] Jenniffer: So we’re both two NPS in my family. So my mother had a daughter when she was 18, that was my older sister Jenji. And then she was a single mom for six years, I think, until she married, let’s call it. husband number one.

[00:01:42] Alexis: Mm

[00:01:42] Jenniffer: And, uh, she had my second sister, Geraldine.

[00:01:46] Jenniffer: And when she was pregnant with my brother, Francisco, her husband died on a car accident. So she was left a widow. And this part is relevant because, we’re from South America and family gossips are really a thing. And since, since she was pregnant with my brother, people have always said that he was not my mother’s husband’s son.

[00:02:07] Jenniffer: We did not know the name for it. We did not know it was called non parental event or any of that, but people will already be saying like, he wasn’t that guy’s kid.

[00:02:17] Alexis: Okay. So she had one child at 18, child at 24, another sister, and that was with husband number one, and then while she was still married to husband number one, she was pregnant with your brother,

[00:02:34] Jenniffer: Exactly.

[00:02:35] Alexis: people speculated is not actually husband number one’s son, and then while she was pregnant, husband number one dies in a car

[00:02:43] Jenniffer: Exactly. And I don’t really know why people suspected it because my mother is very religious and you know, ironically, but she would not speak about those things. I don’t know if she had like an affair that was a bit too open. I don’t know how people found out, but you know, it has been, it’s, it has been a gossip that arrived until our generation, even though I was not even born.

[00:03:05] Jenniffer: I have hear it from my grandmother. I have hear it from uncles, from aunts, from cousins, you know, like it has always been there.

[00:03:13] Alexis: And what did your mom say?

[00:03:14] Jenniffer: She would always deny it. And in fact, my brother Francisco is named Francisco after his late father.

[00:03:21] Jenniffer: And my name is actually after my BFC sister’s name.

[00:03:26] Alexis: You’re BCF.

[00:03:27] Jenniffer: Exactly. You know, like if there is a pattern there, like if I named them, like then nobody was suspicious. So this gossip was always around and we always have like the curiosity to know. It is relevant that my mother is like a white Latina and that husband number one was like Afro Latino.

[00:03:46] Jenniffer: Because my second sister, you know, you kind of like see the mix in her, but you cannot see that mix into my brother. And I think that’s why. First husband family was also so suspicious. Like, Hmm, like this kid doesn’t look any

[00:04:02] Alexis: look.

[00:04:03] Jenniffer: He doesn’t, he doesn’t look like any of them and he doesn’t even look like my mother.

[00:04:08] Jenniffer: That the word there also, the craziest thing is that none of us look like my mom, like she had bad luck in that regard.

[00:04:15] Alexis: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:04:16] Jenniffer: she didn’t have like really, I don’t know, strong genes, would I say? So this, this was always going on. But for us, you know, at that time in Venezuela, DNA testing was like, so far removed from our reality.

[00:04:30] Jenniffer: Like you think that’s like movie stuff or CSI, we didn’t have a lot of money and we did have the doubts, but for us was like, not realistic to really check. Also. Husband number one was dead. So it’s like there’s no way to do a paternity test at that point. My sister though does really look like them, to, to that side of the family.

[00:04:52] Jenniffer: So we were like for certain, okay, she, she must, has to be that first husband’s. Daughter and the only way to check is like to do a DNA test between them both and see if they’re full siblings. But yet again, that’s just, us dreaming that my day we might do it. Then my mom was like the young widow with three kids, right?

[00:05:14] Jenniffer: And she met my dad. After she met my dad, he gets her pregnant. I do it in quotes because if he would have, I would not be here

[00:05:23] Alexis: Right.

[00:05:24] Jenniffer: you.

[00:05:25] Alexis: So does she, is she married to your dad or is he like a

[00:05:29] Jenniffer: are still together. Yes, they’re still together on up to this day. So husband, number two is my dad the current husband. After he got her pregnant, they got married and that I found out like with the NPE, because the story I was told is that they married and then they had me.

[00:05:47] Jenniffer: And this is something like the whole family cover. I didn’t even hear like gossips about that. My mother. Married pregnant with me and but you know that came into light when he needed to came into light and after a year and a half, my sister Saria was born. She’s the youngest. So we are a group sibling of five from my mother and my younger sister is my my father’s biological daughter.

[00:06:12] Alexis: sO your, your younger sister is your half sister,

[00:06:15] Jenniffer: Exactly. All of, all of us are half siblings, even though we thought we were like two groups of siblings and then my older sister, you know, like suppose it was my first, my older sister, then Geraldine Francisco with one father, then me and my sister with my dad’s right. That

[00:06:33] Alexis: from, your mother went from maybe having three

[00:06:38] Jenniffer: baby daddy’s

[00:06:39] Alexis: children with to baby daddies. Yeah, I was trying not to use that term, but yes,

[00:06:44] Jenniffer: I don’t I’m sorry, we can excuse that I don’t know English too well, but I know what a baby daddy is. So yeah, from three baby daddies to five.

[00:06:51] Alexis: To five. To five. So what led you to take a test and uncover this?

[00:06:59] Jenniffer: SO I moved, you know, from Venezuela was getting very bad and we all kind of flee, all of the siblings left and my older sister came to Switzerland and then I was studying engineering in Venezuela and a good university and I asked like to be moved, like to do it like an exchange or something.

[00:07:17] Jenniffer: Then I went to Spain and I finished my university career in Spain and then I end up coming to Switzerland with my older sister while my other three siblings went to Chile in South America.

[00:07:30] Alexis: Okay.

[00:07:31] Jenniffer: when, when I was here in Switzerland, life’s changed, and I am suddenly in Europe and I have a job and things are going my way.

[00:07:38] Jenniffer: I see an ad on Facebook for my heritage. I did this to myself, you know, it was like no Christmas present. It was a Christmas present, but the one I bought for me and my husband. I was freshly married and I thought this is such a cool present because, you know, I’m from South America. I’m sure I’m pretty, pretty, how you say that, hella mix.

[00:07:59] Jenniffer: And I wanted to see that. I didn’t, because the ad that I saw was also advertised like that, get to know your heritage and whatever genes you have. And I thought this is so cool. I bought two, two kits, me and my husband, got the results, got like a this fan moment, this YouTuber moment where I publish my results on social media.

[00:08:23] Jenniffer: And my older sister from Switzerland was like, Hey, this is so cool. I want to do it too. And then I sent her a link and she bought the test too. Of course I knew she was my half sister, but I was not self aware of this matching DNA. part of the website, because when you’re not like actively looking for something, you kind of ignore it.

[00:08:44] Jenniffer: Right. So I, for me, that was like nonsense, like first cousin, fifth cousin, like, who cares? I didn’t really understand that part. But as soon my sister takes the test and I get the, you have a half-sister, like. Okay. This is real. Like this is the real deal. They know, I mean, I was mind blown. Like what?

[00:09:04] Jenniffer: I did that with the post and now I have this, we can do this for my siblings. I mean, I was the evil that started everything because it was like, now we can finally see if Francisco and Geraldine are siblings 100 percent or not, like this has been for so long, uh, uh, question. And now it’s so easy.

[00:09:24] Jenniffer: I can just buy two kits and send them to Chile. Then I talked to my siblings and they were all on board like, well, of course we’re going to do this. And of course we will not talk to my mom about this, as I told you, my, also the relationship with our mother is very complicated. She’s very religious.

[00:09:42] Jenniffer: I think she was diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder. So she has exactly, you know, she has her own thing. So we, we, we didn’t tell her that we are going to do this. So we were behind her back and it backfired. All my scheming backfired and I didn’t find a third test for my sister Saria because I didn’t see a reason to.

[00:10:06] Jenniffer: So that’s not the way how I found out, but I was now aware of the matches being real, you know, like being. The real deal. I sent the two kits to Chile. My siblings did the test. My sister’s Geraldine test got lost in the mail, because of course she had to redo the test and everything. And in this waiting period, where Gengi, the oldest, and my only brother Francisco have their results.

[00:10:33] Jenniffer: They’re back to me as half siblings. It’s in this waiting period that I found I found out about my own status. And it found me, you know, I didn’t have to do anything. It really found me, uh, when they had a match with second cousin, let’s call him new cousin, and new cousin writes me and say like, Hey Jennifer, um, according to my heritage, we’re second cousins.

[00:11:01] Jenniffer: Genealogy. It’s like my hobby. I am building a family tree since years. And I would like to place you on my and our tree. He used words like in plural, right? Because now it’s the fact we’re cousins. And when I look him up, he has a tree with over 8, 000 people.

[00:11:17] Jenniffer: So he could be. Easily hands down a DNA angel, you know, he knew everything, everything about centimorgans everything about like, I had no clue, like, ever, you know, I would, before this, I could not have answer how many DNA you share with a health sibling. Now I know everything about it, because in this period of time, you became so obsessed.

[00:11:44] Jenniffer: With MPEs and DNA and matching and stories and, you know, for, for a very long period of time, it was like the only subject it was in my mind, like I was living and being an MPE. It was such a strong, it’s insane, you know but this guy had it naturally for reasons, you know, as a hobby. Can you imagine? And then he’s like, yeah, like, we’re cousins. Can you please like, let me know your last names. And you know, in South America, you have two last names. So up to only to your grandparents, you can get up to eight last names. So we share those eight last names and none of them match, not even the like normal ones, like Perez or Hernandez, like crazy, like, how can it even be that we, don’t match in anything and second cousins are not that far removed,

[00:12:35] Alexis: Right, right. Oh my gosh, so you take your test just to find out about your heritage, which I think so many people can probably relate to, completely oblivious to the matches. You match with a second cousin, but you don’t know how you’re actually related to him, and so you’re trying to figure this out. he help you, like,

[00:12:58] Jenniffer: he did everything.

[00:12:59] Alexis: expert?

[00:13:00] Jenniffer: I was a new cousin. It was. This will blow your mind. So I match with him and I asked him because, maybe he has my siblings, you know, and then I asked him, do you match with my siblings? Because two of my siblings are right. I have already done a test. And he’s like, no, then I already knew.

[00:13:17] Jenniffer: Okay. Then he said, cause him from my father’s side. So my, the first thing I do is I screenshot the last names and send it to the family group and hey, like, hey, dad, do you know how this guy could be our cousin?

[00:13:28] Alexis: So you reached out to your, your father, and what does he say?

[00:13:33] Jenniffer: it was in the family chat and my mother saw it and my mother completely lost it. I mean, she was like, why are you taking online tests? Those are not even real. He’s not your cousin. Like, why are you doing that, wasting your money? And I was like, I’m just asking about this guy because he has a tree and my father has a tree and they are.

[00:13:54] Jenniffer: family because he doesn’t have my siblings. That’s the logical thing to do. I’m going to ask my father who has all this tree of his family, you know,

[00:14:02] Alexis: Mm hmm.

[00:14:03] Jenniffer: I didn’t understand why she was so like, this doesn’t agree. So at the end, my father responded, like, no, he might not be family of ours.

[00:14:14] Jenniffer: And I didn’t push too hard because it was the second cousin, at the end, I don’t know, I don’t want to use the word, but the word I used back then was bastard. Because in Spanish you use it a lot. And then I thought, it could have been my father the bastard or one of my grandparents or his father or his mother, you know, for all I care. There were like a million ways to explain how he could be my second cousin. So I just wrote back like, sorry, I, I cannot give you any information of how we’re connected. And, then he asked it directly, do you know who your biological father is?

[00:14:49] Jenniffer: And I was like, what? What? Of course, of course I know. Yeah, because I think, and then he kind of, you know, we have some in common, common matches. You know, like other people that were triangle with us, he sent me sketches at how we were connected. And he said, you know, you’re my second cousin and you’re this guy’s second cousin, because your grandparents are first cousins.

[00:15:14] Jenniffer: And I’m like, what? You know, at the moment without understanding centimorgans or nothing, I was like, this guy is crazy. He wants something, maybe money. I don’t know. You know, I was like, so like, you’re crazy. I don’t know what you want. What is he like? My grandparents been first cousins.

[00:15:32] Jenniffer: Spoiler alert, they are.

[00:15:34] Alexis: Okay. Okay. Which is, which is common in some cultures.

[00:15:38] Jenniffer: yeah, well, Venezuela, I don’t think it’s that common. I think it was a big deal for them back, you know, to get married and all that kind of had to escape to do it. But they are. And that’s how the cousin found me. And you know, actually, when you get into the centimorgans, and you see the whole map he drew, it makes sense.

[00:15:56] Jenniffer: And he had that information because he had been collecting it for years with this 8000 people tree he had, right? And then he could place me by, in common matches. But for me, that was so foreign, what are you talking about? You know what I mean? Like,

[00:16:12] Alexis: So your reaction was, this is not true.

[00:16:16] Jenniffer: Alexis, it took me two years.

[00:16:19] Alexis: Wow.

[00:16:20] Jenniffer: Something relevant is that I don’t know why I was left with my paternal grandparents when I was a baby. I don’t know why my parents couldn’t take care of me when I was young. So I was basically raised by my paternal grandparents and they wouldn’t take care of my siblings because they weren’t my dad’s kids.

[00:16:39] Alexis: Mm

[00:16:40] Jenniffer: it took me so long. It took me very, very long because I was raised by my grandparents and if I’m, my father is not my biological father, that means they are also not my grandparents. And I was not okay with that, you know.

[00:16:56] Jenniffer: Like, the people who care for me, the people who provide for me, the people who, you know, like, who protect it and love me are suddenly not my family. It was completely like denial. Like, I didn’t even have, you know, some guy’s crazy allegations over an app that I don’t know how legit it is, like for me, it’s nuts. But the doubt that was there, you know, he opened the door and even, even though I wanted to leave it alone, with my brother’s stuff coming on, if my mother did it once, maybe she did it twice. He opened it. he opened that and, and it was very hard to close. I, I told him something like, don’t write me again, or don’t contact me, I don’t know what you want from me.

[00:17:38] Jenniffer: And, but he didn’t also didn’t let it rest and wrote, this couple that are first cousins. So my grandparents had only two sons. One of them is dead and the other one is alive and new cousin wrote to the son, to my biological father. Like, do you know this woman and he gave my mother’s name and he said she lives in this city and this city and the city and she had worked here and here.

[00:18:05] Jenniffer: And actually my mother was my biological father’s uncle’s secretary for many years, like for 15 years.

[00:18:15] Alexis: So there was a connection. Yeah.

[00:18:17] Jenniffer: exactly.

[00:18:17] Alexis: Okay.

[00:18:19] Jenniffer: So he wrote him and that’s what I call the confession tapes. Because my biological father spilled everything out, you know, like he did remember my mother.

[00:18:30] Jenniffer: He did remember when it happened. He remember her telling him she was pregnant. He was married when that happened. my Mother was with my dad, right? Like dating or whatever. And because it was so complicated, he kind of like, no, this cannot happen. You cannot be pregnant. He was freshly married and had a newborn at home. And eventually my mother and end up telling him like, I’m not pregnant. I was confused and by the way, I’m going to get married and we shouldn’t talk again. And, in those confession tapes, he also said like for him, he wanted to believe that, you know, like he wanted to believe she wasn’t pregnant, that it not, didn’t leave his mind.

[00:19:17] Jenniffer: But it was easier for him if she wasn’t, and so he took it, a lot of excuses came up, like she stopped working for the uncle, that there was no internet, no social media, that there was no way for him to know if she was really pregnant or not, that she actually, he actually didn’t looked it up anyway, like he actually didn’t look it up anyway, like Really checked if she was pregnant or not, and he took screenshots of everything and sent them to me. And I have read those screenshots with the version, from that side of the story, like million times. Another thing from, getting a bit emotional from those screenshots is that I could see his name and I put the whole name on Facebook and I found his Facebook profile, you know, like a stalker,

[00:20:07] Alexis: I think we all do it. We all do it. Yeah.

[00:20:10] Jenniffer: and when I went into his Facebook, you know, and I see the profile picture, I found a picture of him being like 17 or 16 years old. And he looked exactly like me, like it was, it was like looking in a mirror. And I always thought like, I looked like myself, you know, in South America, people are so mixed that you can came out like everything, of course, my sibling group, we all have different fathers, so that helps, but we look nothing alike, but that’s quite common, people come different ways, and I just thought maybe I mixed in a way that gave me my own face, but it’s not true. I look like him, I look like his. Like his kids, like his mother, like they’re very strong features, like the thick forehead and the nose and the eyes, like it was insane.

[00:20:57] Jenniffer: That is the first time I cried because, you know, I want it so hard to believe it was just a set up or a lie, but what were the odds, right? Like some random dude hacks into my heritage to be my second cousin. Like he could not have a hack to be, I don’t know, my sibling. And to give me this guy’s name as a potential father who looks exactly like me.

[00:21:20] Jenniffer: And, you know, at that moment, I, I kind of like open up myself more to the possibility, I was still in denial, like very hard in denial, but, but I was like, okay, if he would test Because, on those confession tapes, he says, like, I would like to apologize to her. I would like to meet her. I spoke with my wife.

[00:21:43] Jenniffer: Thankfully, he’s not married to the same woman. Well,

[00:21:47] Jenniffer: bad for my half siblings, but good for me because then it’s not that awkward, you know.

[00:21:52] Jenniffer: It’s also not the nicest thing to find out you’re, you’re the product of a double affair, you know, people doing things they shouldn’t have and betraying others.

[00:22:01] Jenniffer: And, you know, I feel for that woman that I was with his newborn while he was out there with my mother while my father was probably taking care of my other siblings. You know what I mean it’s hard and sad to know that that’s how you came from, but it’s reality.

[00:22:16] Alexis: Yes. I’m sorry. That’s a lot to have to uncover. Kind of alone, too. It sounds like you’re processing a lot of this kind of, uh, yourself. When out that he’s interested in getting to know do you do?

[00:22:33] Jenniffer: So I said that I didn’t, I didn’t want any contact, you know, and, I know I am privileged in my own way because not a lot of NPEs have that kind of interaction. But for me, you know, it was, I, I felt like I have to. quick to my family that raised me, like accepting they’re not related to me.

[00:22:51] Jenniffer: And it was such a hard step for me, to make such a huge leap. Throughout my life, uh, I was always compared to my younger sister. In an unfair way, like my father’s family would say like, why are you more like Jennifer, like Jennifer is quiet and you know, like she behaves better or you know what I mean, those mean things that people shouldn’t say.

[00:23:13] Jenniffer: So, I have like a survivor’s guilt you know, like, I wasn’t supposed to be there I, we stayed with my grandparents until I was 6 years old.

[00:23:22] Jenniffer: And then we went back to live with my parents. And there was so much chaos, you know, like so much that was not all right. We were hungry most of the days, or, or alone or left alone. And I always could like go back to my safe place, to be with my grandparents, to have their protection because I was my father’s daughter. And my sister didn’t feel as comfortable because of the endless comparisons, even me was, I, I grew up not being comfortable with the comparisons and, made me kind of like always make it up to my sister, you know, like to be nicer to her. And as a result, we were super close, you know, out of all my siblings, I’m closest to her so I told him like, hey, I don’t want to contact until he tests, you know, like I have to see it, I mean, a picture that looks like me, a second cousin and a confession tape is not enough, some people see the pictures and they’re like, you didn’t need a DNA test.

[00:24:19] Jenniffer: Yes, I did. I did need it.

[00:24:22] Alexis: it’s a big, big revelation. Did you tell your siblings right away once you figured it out or did you keep it to yourself?

[00:24:30] Jenniffer: I, I told my younger sister right away and she took it so bad. She was like, because I don’t know, she felt as though we have a stronger connection because we were this group of sibling, like that’s why we get along so well. And then suddenly we weren’t that anymore. And for her, she grieved, in her own way, that separation from me, and, you know, after.

[00:24:56] Jenniffer: You, you know, everything is like so obvious that I wasn’t my father’s daughter, you know, and you just couldn’t, you can’t see it, but it is pretty obvious now that I know. And so my biological father could not test because he still sleeps in Venezuela, and it’s really, really hard to test there, but he has three children. Two with the first wife, who he cheated on with my mother, and one with the current wife. And one of my half sisters was living in Madrid, so it was like settled like she will test. I was very against it. I think it was just complicated because, I don’t know, I told him to test and now he cannot.

[00:25:37] Jenniffer: What if she’s comes out and he’s not my half-sister, that doesn’t mean that these guys, not my father, maybe she’s, and then his daughter, you know, it was so complicated at the time.

[00:25:46] Jenniffer: And I was also acting very complicated, but at the end I accepted and was like, okay, she can test. She did test and I remember it was a Sunday when the results came and she was there with a 26%. I don’t know if he was like slightly higher because of, our grandparents being first cousins and all. And then I cried. I cried like for two hours. I was like, finally, finally, I could not escape, you know, like run away from from it anymore. I, I, I mean, I gave it such a hard time, like it was so obvious and like my biological father was finding like proof after proof after proof that he did actually met my mother and when and how and everything.

[00:26:32] Jenniffer: But I was still like reluctantly, you know, I didn’t want to believe.

[00:26:36] Alexis: so he was excited about this. It sounds

[00:26:39] Jenniffer: Yeah, yeah, he was very excited. All of them, like my grandparents are still alive. They’re even today. They, he told his whole family, he told his wife, he told his kids, he told cousins after cousins, and they all were like super happy. I needed like space to grieve, to be sad about it. I know that, and even to my new half sister, she was like, yeah, I always dreamed that I would have a sister one day because she only had brothers before.

[00:27:09] Jenniffer: And she was super excited and it hurt me a little, to crush. Like all her idealization of what having a sister could be, but for me was not like the moment to be happy, it was not a happy event. And I was grateful that they weren’t making it harder,

[00:27:25] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:27:26] Alexis: How long did it take for you to, to, I mean, that, that sounds unrealistic because I think the grieving process is ongoing, but that initial shock, that initial grief, how long did it take for you to work through that?

[00:27:42] Jenniffer: I end up in counseling, like seeing a therapist after that because I have like major, I don’t know, like survival trauma, um, because of my sister, you know, like I felt I robbed her even though I didn’t do anything, you know, but I played a part. I somehow felt like, you know. It felt bad. It felt like I shouldn’t have been there and she should have had that space for her.

[00:28:06] Jenniffer: That’s how I feel or felt at the time. And I don’t know what my life would have,, this is the NPE’s life. Like what would have been all those, uh, those hard verbs in English.

[00:28:23] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:28:24] Jenniffer: the imaginary ones, you know, like, and so I started counseling and yeah, with my therapist, I was, you know, kind of worked through it, that it was not my fault.

[00:28:34] Jenniffer: Also that my grandparents favored me so strongly versus my sister was also not my fault,

[00:28:39] Alexis: Right.

[00:28:40] Jenniffer: that I talked about my feelings with my sister and she was like, no way you shouldn’t feel that way. I’m also sad with you and. In the meantime, also my brother Francisco got his results and yeah, he was not a full sibling with my sister Geraldine and he didn’t wait 10 seconds to confront my mother and I waited like a year and a half.

[00:29:06] Alexis: Okay. So, he got his results. Did he, but he didn’t know that you got yours. Did he? As far as like that you were an NPE. He did not know that. So, what happens when he confronts your mother?

[00:29:19] Jenniffer: So my mother basically denied everything, said that he was crazy, that he was doing this to hurt her. You know, being histrionic and all and maybe narcissistic, you know, she was like, no, you’re doing this to harm me as a revenge to put me on the spot because of the rumors, because of course she’s aware of these rumors too.

[00:29:37] Jenniffer: And then actually we came forward and we’re like, this is pretty legit. tHey are not full siblings, that doesn’t mean he’s not that guy’s son, because we have no way to prove that, but they do not have the same father, and that’s a fact. At some point she said, like, she could not remember, that maybe she was raped, and forgot everything because of the trauma.

[00:29:59] Jenniffer: She denied it so strong, like we could not get a name from her. My brother had no matches on his father’s side that would work for anything. I think the only match he had was an adopted person also looking for answers. And he was there not even, being an unknown NPE. Soon after he found out his NPE status, I opened up to him and said, Hey, this is happening for me too.

[00:30:24] Jenniffer: And we got closer, because I think, you know, out of the whole sibling group, we get it. aLso made me appreciate more that I knew who my birth family, like my biological family was, because he was there going into the unknown with no answers,

[00:30:41] Jenniffer: For him, he grew up thinking his father died and was dead all his life. But then suddenly it, it might be out there, he start having weird dreams where his father need him, things like that. Then I also opened up with my mother. She said that it was unbelievable, like that was not possible that she was with my father than my father’s daughter.

[00:31:06] Jenniffer: And I was like, no, of course, at the end, I, I tested my BFC sister. So my aunt. I tested her and of course there was no match with me, but she matched with my sister, Saria. So that’s how we found out my sister is my father’s biological daughter because of my aunt. Of course, my mother doesn’t know that, but we tested

[00:31:30] Alexis: Okay. So you didn’t tell, okay, so she doesn’t know that. Does your birth certificate father know now?

[00:31:39] Jenniffer: Um, after confronting my mother, you know, and after talking also with my aunt, I thought it was only a matter of time that he would find out. It’s just how it works. And I told her that Being me the one to have to tell him is so unfair, it has to come from her and I thought he deserved the truth, because it has that how Latin families also work and it was not going to be a secret, secret for too long.

[00:32:05] Jenniffer: And I thought, he deserved to be looked in the eye and say, Hey, this is the truth. So I told her, you have to tell him, she really, said like, he’s going to leave me, you’re going to broke us up, used all that mentally manipulation like he’s gonna leave me you’re gonna break us up we’re married over 30 years blah blah blah and then he was like if I have to tell him this is when it’s going to happen, I will never speak to you again, and I will tell him myself, which is very unfair, because I don’t want to be the one telling him.

[00:32:38] Jenniffer: And then I gave her like a deadline, I know it was mean, but you know for me it was like years. Of going back and forth and I was like, this is enough. I was like, either you tell him or it’s going to be me. And at the end she did,, my father took it to well, I don’t know if he, yeah, he did, but because he, he really lives on the shadow of my mother, like everything she does is, is the law.

[00:33:03] Jenniffer: And I don’t know if he, he could not grieve any of it, because then she would have been upset. And I felt for him, I really felt for my father that he doesn’t have that, that space. I think it would have been more healthy for him to grieve, get angry and then get back together with her, and forgiving her, but just his reaction was like flat.

[00:33:25] Jenniffer: Oh, okay. You’re still my daughter. And, in the message she sent me, it was like, please don’t get angry with your mother, you know? And, and

[00:33:33] Alexis: her feelings.

[00:33:34] Jenniffer: And it felt such a like betrayal, you know, like he could have jumped with me in this grieving ship

[00:33:41] Jenniffer: yeah, you know, because we were together in this and I felt like he took her side, no questions asked, like, doesn’t matter, just don’t be angry with her, and that’s, that was it,

[00:33:54] Alexis: how long ago was that conversation?

[00:33:56] Jenniffer: that was like two years ago, no, one year and a half, one

[00:34:01] Alexis: Okay. What is your relationship like with him now?

[00:34:04] Jenniffer: because, I don’t know, with my grow up, growing up, Being so weird, you know, being with my grandparents and everything, I always felt like a disconnect from my mother and I, I wonder now if it was because, my status, maybe it was a constant reminder for her of something that she did wrong.

[00:34:23] Jenniffer: You know what I mean? Uh, with my father had a very good relationship growing up. But, you know, I also resent him in a way that he did not protect us from my mother’s like abuse. He was also a victim, he jumped into the victim ship and we were all mistreated by her, whether he could have, protect us.

[00:34:43] Jenniffer: So the more I was growing up, the more I was driven away from him, also with my mother. And this situation made it so much worse also from the point my brother confronted her until I confronted her a year passed.

[00:35:00] Jenniffer: And in those 12 months, she never came forward, Jennifer, I need to talk to you, like never. And when I did actually confronted her, it was more lies and more denial. And up to this day, she said there was no way for her to have known, even though my biological father said she told him he, she was pregnant. I told her that, and she was like, he’s lying. So how is a person I don’t know, random person. Telling me that you told him 30 years ago, that you were pregnant is a lie. You know, and he, and he said that before the DNA test with his daughter was done, you know, like, yeah, it’s very complicated, but this NPE stories are all complicated.

[00:35:46] Alexis: they are. They are. So, you took some time. You said, I’m not ready to meet you. I’m not ready. You weren’t ready to build a relationship with your sister or anything like that. Did you eventually decide to connect with them?

[00:36:00] Jenniffer: After it was positive with my half sister, I actually went to see her in Madrid because, you know, we were, we’re quite close. I went to meet her and I think I went too early. It was too triggering and, it ended up being for me harder than I expected.

[00:36:20] Alexis: Like what happened

[00:36:21] Jenniffer: I will, I will give you an example.

[00:36:23] Jenniffer: For example, she was overly excited. And for me. It felt a bit un genuine because I don’t know, , I don’t know you, you know, like I didn’t long for you and I, I, I should have waited until like the grieving process was over and it was a lot of talks about all the family members in her family that have done the same and all these bastards here and there and all the cousins without the last name.

[00:36:50] Jenniffer: You know, it was so triggering and I know she didn’t meant bad. She was also younger.

[00:36:55] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:36:55] Jenniffer: It was so hard, you know, like hearing these comments like this uncle also has bastards over there and then I’m there. I’m like, okay, nice to know. It’s a family thing.

[00:37:08] Alexis: yeah, so after that visit, which sounds like it didn’t go very well for you, did you connect with her anymore after that,

[00:37:19] Jenniffer: I work it out with my therapist and, you know, I was able to realize that it was more about me and how I was feeling and how I was triggered that actually her being bad person like I just went in too early and it’s not like she would have. done it in a bad intent.

[00:37:36] Jenniffer: She was actually very excited to have met me. She published, you know, on on her social media like completely out like this is my new found sister. I’m so happy, like with pictures and everything. So I open up, because why not? You know, I don’t think you I mean, it’s hard. But it’s also closing up to love, especially, after the first try is also too premature.

[00:37:59] Jenniffer: So I was like, okay, you’re going to give myself more time and I’m going to slowly talk to her and put more limits or set more boundaries and has worked pretty well. At the end, I went back to Venezuela with my husband to meet my new fan family, like the other siblings, my biological father and my grandparents, he did cry when he saw me, but I couldn’t.

[00:38:22] Jenniffer: I cry all the before. I mean, I’m also, you know, I’m not that like a mood like sensitive. I would say it’s just the way I am. They all cry like my grandparents cry. The siblings cry. He cried. They were all like. picking, like showing pictures and this and that and telling me like family story, it’s funny because when you start talking about yourself and what you have achieved, somehow it’s connected to, to them.

[00:38:50] Jenniffer: And that was weird, yeah, you didn’t do anything, but okay. Thanks for your genes, I guess.

[00:38:56] Alexis: the engineering degree and all of those things, yes.

[00:38:59] Jenniffer: like all the things I have achieved like the engineering degree, like going abroad, like getting the scholarship, all that done. And then we were, yeah, like this kind of the side of the family, they’re also successful and blah, blah, like they would take a lot of those stuff where I always thought of, what’s my grandparents doing, like the way they raised me.

[00:39:20] Jenniffer: Um, I thought it was also my genes from their side, but It seems not.

[00:39:25] Alexis: Yeah, yeah. Are your grandparents still alive? The ones who raised you?

[00:39:31] Jenniffer: Both of them passed. And in a way, I’m thankful for that. I don’t know how would have they react to it. I, though, told everybody on my family. I mean, I’m in the closet, like, social media kind of like closet, but in my family, I made sure everybody knew. Like, everybody has to know, and I felt It was just the way it is, like this is me

[00:39:55] Jenniffer: and, having to lie about it, you know, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I just, if people ask me how many siblings I have, I would just say how many siblings I actually have. And I would say, you know,

[00:40:06] Alexis: is how many now? You have

[00:40:08] Jenniffer: seven,

[00:40:09] Jenniffer: seven, exactly, I would say seven, I would say these like four from my mother’s side and three from his father’s side.

[00:40:17] Jenniffer: And since I’ve started doing that, it feels way more natural, was also part of the therapy process. I have a father that raised me and then I have a biological father who I didn’t grew up with.

[00:40:28] Jenniffer: And a lot of people have those stories and it’s just, it’s just a way, it’s a fact, you know, like it is the way it is. He’s now in my life

[00:40:37] Alexis: I want to touch on something, you know, we talked earlier and kind of had a laugh about this baby daddies conversation, right? That your mom has five baby daddies.

[00:40:47] Alexis: And I think that that’s something that’s often very stigmatized culturally, to have multiple baby daddies. Not so much the baby mama’s side, but the baby daddy’s side.

[00:40:59] Jenniffer: Especially in South America.

[00:41:01] Alexis: Yeah. So for you and your siblings, now you all know this, do you feel any stigma about the fact that you all have different fathers? And to be clear here, I am not here for the shaming and all of those things, just to be clear, but I’m

[00:41:17] Jenniffer: it. And, you know, for me, I felt for my mother, you know, she was a widow with three kids. Everybody makes mistakes. Of course, I think that the part that hurt the most was the lying. Because I’m a woman, I can relate. I’m not gonna go there and judge her, like, and you have that many partners, like, that’s not my business,

[00:41:37] Jenniffer: of course it was not faithful. Of course it was not right. I see it more, for me personally, it was not about the number. It was about the lying and deceiving. That’s the part for other on, for my other siblings, it was, as you said, very shameful, because you also have to put in context that we grew up in this space where, you know, everything, I don’t know how to say it in English, but you put a facade for other people to see that you’re righteous.

[00:42:06] Jenniffer: With the religion, but then you’re never there and you neglect us and abused us, but you are this perfect Christian woman. And she would, call us whores or, I know this sounds bad, but this reality of things, if we would do things as simple as, I don’t know, wearing a skirt, and then, you know, for my old two older sisters were like, this is the woman that have, like chases, shameless. and put us on the spot for having a boyfriend or a too short, like a crop top. And this is the five baby daddy’s woman, like, how dare you? I didn’t took that approach because Didn’t hurt me maybe as bad as hurt them, you know, to see the hypocrisy behind it all.

[00:42:48] Alexis: Mm

[00:42:48] Jenniffer: For my brother was also very hard, but he’s a Latin man and Latin men are a whole different thing. For him was also like, Oh my God, I cannot believe my mother did this. But for me, my younger sister, I didn’t focus, focus too much on that.

[00:43:02] Jenniffer: I cannot say it’s traumatizing for me knowing that she has five baby daddies. I mean, I don’t

[00:43:06] Alexis: Right. Right. Yeah. It’s just that social stigma, largely. Where would you say you are now in your journey?

[00:43:14] Jenniffer: So now, I don’t know if you can heal completely from this. But now it’s not the main subject. It’s not the main focus. Now I’m back to living my life. Um, back to forgetting what a sentimorgan is. Slowly, and I’m also slowly, I don’t have close relationships with my newfound family, but I have relationships with them and they’re building slowly, like organically.

[00:43:41] Jenniffer: Sometimes they call me. I answered the phone. Sometimes I call them or I organize things. My biological father came to visit me for Christmas, so you know, like my house is open to them. And I know if I go to Venezuela is open for me and I like it that way because there are similarities and there are things you cannot deny.

[00:44:00] Jenniffer: And we can come here and say that genetics do not matter, but they do. And you have in common. Things with people you have never seen because of that and then, me trying to pretend, like this is not real or not or unimportant doesn’t work for me. I know I have things in common with them and also with the family that raised me and all, but you know what I mean?

[00:44:25] Jenniffer: It’s, it’s part of me and I have embraced it somehow.

[00:44:31] Alexis: What advice do you have for a parent who is keeping a DNA surprise from their child?

[00:44:37] Jenniffer: mY advice would be to tell the truth, not to a teenager. Either you tell them from the very beginning, or you wait until they’re adults. I don’t think any teenager can deal with that or I don’t see how it’s relevant for them, especially if you cannot alleviate, or like connect them with their birth, like with their biological family, so I would wait, but definitely, definitely say the truth and have an honest conversation.

[00:45:08] Jenniffer: That would have bring me closer to my mother 100 percent like if she would have sat me down and say, Hey, this is why I did it. I know it’s not great, but, it’s hard to be a woman. She was also a barrio woman. I can understand things. I’m not judgmental and, out of all of her children, I would have like, yes, I know.

[00:45:29] Jenniffer: And even I told her you can open up to me. She never did. And that’s just sad because if you, if you care about your kids, you will open up to them. I mean, and you will like to have the, like close relationship with them. You cannot have it in adulthood without being honest. Because the dynamic changed completely.

[00:45:50] Jenniffer: Nowadays with the modern DNA testing, it’s just. It’s about time that they might find out that you were lying and you could save you so much pain, you know, like heartache, if you just come forward and say the truth, especially the ones hiding the, the secrets from adult children.

[00:46:10] Alexis: And what advice do you have for someone who just discovered that they’re an NPE?

[00:46:17] Jenniffer: So the easiest way for me to deal with it was to. accept that the person, you know, I am today is the combination of all those factors. And if you change something, then you, you change yourself, while helping my younger sister to grieve, I made her a question that actually was a question to myself too.

[00:46:38] Jenniffer: I told her like, Hey, because she was, so upset that now we’re not full siblings, right. Because we’re so close and that connection was broke. I told her if you, if you could have magic powers, And you could change that part of me that doesn’t make me your full sibling, and you change me, that would make another Jennifer, right?

[00:46:56] Jenniffer: Like that would make another person. Would you still do it. Just, you know, just that we are full siblings, but then it’s not going to be me. It’s going to be somebody else. And she said no. And then, in my healing process, when I asked her that, I also asked it to myself, like, you know, if even, even the fact that I didn’t know my race family, it would have also impact in what I am today, you know, like if, if I would have grown with them.

[00:47:25] Jenniffer: It might have saved my sister, but I would have also changed me so, I think just accept that it’s part of what you are, and that it’s a good thing to know the truth. Some people say they wish they would never, like, you know, like they would have never found out. I cannot relate to that. I mean, I’m so happy I did.

[00:47:43] Jenniffer: It’s such a big part of what I am, of who I am, like where I come from. And it’s, I just, I had to know. I’m happy now that I know

[00:47:54] Alexis: Jennifer, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your story. I really appreciate you coming on so late at night for you.

[00:48:05] Alexis: Oh, these time zones, yes. But thank you for sharing your story and being so open and sharing kind of a a positive outlook on something that can be really hard.

[00:48:16] Alexis: I wish you the best in continued relationships with all of your siblings and your newfound family, and I hope that things just continue getting easier for you.

[00:48:27] Jenniffer: Thank you very much.


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