Nina’s DNA Surprise

Something we unfortunately hear too often in our community is that NPEs were treated differently as children. In this week’s story, Nina shares how her DNA surprise explained why her mother treated her poorly her entire life. 

She also discusses how her newfound connections are going and how she is working to accept that she may never find answers. 

Thank you for sharing your story, Nina.

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Episode Transcript

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


Nina: You can. walk over it and walk through it. It’s something that you really have to. You can’t, there’s nothing to do if you don’t, if you can’t find out any information, there’s nothing you can do. You can’t force somebody to tell you what you want them to tell you. You can’t force somebody to call you or make you part of their family. Do I feel like it’s my fault? I think we all kind of feel like we were at fault at some way, even though we’re definitely not. 

My name is Nina, and I’m 60 years old, and I currently live in Shores, Nevada, very rural area. I’m going to start off with pretty much my childhood. I was really young and growing up with, uh, you know, my birth mother and she was. She was very abusive to just only just me. I have a brother who was my whole brother and I have a half brother, but my mother was very abusive to me and I never could figure out why and she would never tell me [00:01:00] until now.

I figured it out now. I was adopted by my stepfather who was married to my mother in 1963. I knew my birth father his name was Rod and I have been told that my whole entire life that this man named Rod was my birth father, my stepfather you know, was told that everybody, my brother was told that my brothers were told that’s the only person that ever really.

knew was my birth father. So I decided to go on Ancestry. com because I wanted to find out my heritage and leave a little bit of, you know, a grandma kind of book to my Grandchildren because we’re real close. I’ve watched him be raised, you know, I’ve been here when they were born So I wanted to leave a little legacy about what I was and who I was

So going on ancestry.

com I didn’t know anything about it. I had no idea how it worked and what comes up on your dna at all[00:02:00] I just know that I was trying to get my heritage where I was from And I knew that I was going to be Irish and I knew I was going to be Italian. I really didn’t know much about my birth father.

I knew his name. I did meet him when I was 18 years old. He flew me out to Massachusetts. That’s where I was born. And we met each other then and I always felt like I was kind of like the black sheep of the family because I was kind of wild and, you know, didn’t really, I stood out pretty much is what I’ll say.

So my mother was married to my stepfather in 1963 and that’s when my half brother, Wade, was born. For many years they were married, but my mother had really bad issues with stepping out on him. I, we didn’t realize, I guess my father said that maybe there was something wrong with her on that.

And he divorced her when I was nine and I went to go live with my stepfather and my stepmother, my new stepmother. Which I had a wonderful childhood. It was a [00:03:00] great childhood. I never thought about anything about doing DNA or trying to find out who my dad was because I was always told the same thing. So, as I went on Ancestry, you know, they bring up all these things that you are and I realized that there was a part of it. I had no idea what it was. Where’s this from?

Alexis: So you decide to take the test just for fun, but you weren’t curious about learning more about your dad’s side

Nina: Absolutely not. I, you know, I kind of put it in the back of my head to where I’m probably never going to know much about him because my mother was very, you know, like sealed mouth about my childhood. And I kept asking, you know, why did you hate me? And why were you so abusive toward me? But she really was like, kind of nonchalant about it and saying, no, it wasn’t just you.

It was a bad time in my life. And I kept asking her and the man who I thought was my birth father. Yeah. Was her true love her massive love. And it, he was one of the ones that broke my stepfather and her up because she was so [00:04:00] involved in so much in love with him. And that was kind of, you know, one of the things that I always thought, well, because I was a girl, that’s why she hated me.

And I know that sounds kind of strange, but that’s what I thought, because I couldn’t think of anything else that would possibly be why she was only abusive to me and not my brothers.

Alexis: Yeah, because you’re, you had a brother who, who you believe shared the same father, so,

Nina: exactly. And that was kind of, you know, when you’re growing up, you know, it does play on you, but I always gave it to the fact that, Oh, my mother was, she was an only child, she was a girl. So maybe it was, she just wanted boys because she was pretty wild when she was in Catholic schools and I mean, she was just a wild.

Person back then a mother. So I didn’t go on it to just find anything out about his back. I mean, I didn’t know any of his parents. I didn’t know anything like that. I kind of just really kind of just gave it up, you know, because it wasn’t really that important to me then. And it still wasn’t important as [00:05:00] I grew up that he was just he wasn’t even on my birth certificate.

My stepfather’s on my birth certificate because he adopted me in such a young age.

And. My brother’s on, you know, we were all on, of course, with my stepdad was our father, except for the fact that my brother and I, my big brother and I knew that we were from other gentlemen. So when I go on, when I go on the ancestry, like I said, I didn’t know how it worked and when it pulled up my heritage it was, you know, Italian, Irish.

And then it pulled up 30 percent of something European, and I was like, what is this? So I kind of got a little excited thinking, oh, maybe I will find out something about my birth father. I didn’t even think about it as I was doing this, but I thought, you know, that’d be kind of cool. So I look on there and I look and see where this is, and it’s from Poland. My [00:06:00] mother’s Italian. My dad, my Italian and Iris, my grandfather came here from Ireland. My grandmother came here from Italy, and I always thought that my father was Italian. So I go on there and then I scroll kind of down on ancestry. And then I see these DNA matches. My first thought was, well, I’m not going to have a whole lot of matches because my mother’s an only child. But maybe it’ll come up and say something about. My father’s family, my birth father’s family. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. There was only a few on my birth mother’s side and then it pulled up these people. I had no clue who they were, none. They had this strange last name, you know, that I couldn’t even pronounce to be honest with you.

And I’m thinking, who are these people? The good thing about Ancestry is you can message people. And I messaged this girl named Carol. And um, I [00:07:00] said, Hey, do you know my father, Rod, blah, blah, blah. And she thinks about it for a while. She’s been doing like DNA for other people, you know, her. Trees for other people.

So she’s pretty much into it. She knows what she’s doing. She comes back to me She says nobody has a clue who that is. I’m like what? Okay So we’re trying to figure out where we where I fit into this Family because she came back as being a pretty high percentage as being my first cousin And I’m, well, I don’t, if you don’t know my birth father, how you, my cousin.?

Alexis: Yeah.

Nina: this was just the, this whole time I’m going, I’m nervous. I’m thinking this is really weird. I didn’t understand anything about this. I was drawing this blank thinking, Oh, geez, what is this? Who is this person? Because you don’t know. So, she goes, well, let me do some, you know, checking and I’m going to talk to my mother and see what we can do here.

So she calls me back about, or [00:08:00] she messages me back about a week later. And she says, listen, my mom agreed to take a DNA test. And I was like, Oh, so these people are just absolutely wonderful to me. And she took the DNA test and during this period of time, November, this was in November, just recent this last year, I had just turned 60 and I was kind of, you know, getting excited about, well, this is really what’s going on, but this is really interesting.

So, her mother came back as being 36 percent my DNA. I was like, what? My brother, half brother, was 31. 5%. And so she, we figured that my cousin’s Carol, my new cousin, and she was my aunt. I never even knew I had an aunt.

We were trying to break it down to where I fit into this aunt part. She only had a brother and a sister.

They both passed away. Her brother passed away in [00:09:00] 2010 and her sister passed away right, right after that. And so the only conclusion that we could have came from would be that it was her brother who was my birth father. And his name was John. I’ve never heard that name before in my entire life. 

Alexis: What are you thinking at this point? Once you put the pieces together.

Nina: I was mad. I was just really, I was just, I was fuming mad. I mean, I can’t even tell you how mad I was because I’m told somebody else is my birth father, my whole entire life. And come to find out, It was so obvious because my birth father lived in the same area as my mom. I mean, if they weren’t across the street, I don’t know where they were, how close they were.

And so this is how we narrowed everything down that he had to be my father. Unfortunately, you know, he doesn’t have a you know, he was passed on to can have take a DNA test. But at this point I’m in shock. I’m [00:10:00] literally. in the state of shock. After this, I called my, uh, my stepdad who were very close and I told him and he goes, no, that’s impossible.

That’s impossible. Rod is your father. We know this. You and your older brother look just alike and they had, you guys have the same father. And I was like, no, DNA doesn’t lie. And he’s like, no, something’s gotta be, something’s wrong here.

Because that’s all he thought, too. For my 60 years of living.

Alexis: So he had no new information for you. He was just as surprised. Wow.

Nina: yeah, he was more shocked than I was, I think.

Alexis: Yeah.

Nina: Because he knew, for this whole time at my age, and My brother that this certain man was our birth father, and I don’t think I knew really how to respond because I told you know after I told him I called my who I thought was my whole brother up [00:11:00] and told him the story. I don’t know he didn’t even talk to me for the first five minutes after I told him because he was in the state of shock.

No clue, no idea. No, he was blown away by this whole scenario. Yeah. My mother passed away in 2021. And so she, she was not able to, of course, give me any, you know, I don’t even know if she would have, she probably would have lied, but I would have gotten out of her somehow. But. My brother was, I think, more shocked than I was because he knew we had the same, and the worst part about it was that the man that was my birth father that I thought was called up also. He stated, and this is all he said was, Yeah, I didn’t think she was mine. Wait a minute, let’s back up just a little bit of video.

What do you 

mean you didn’t think 

Alexis: called him?

Nina: my brother did, my whole brother, because he was real close to him and I wasn’t.

Um, yeah, he [00:12:00] called him up and he said, yeah, the dates weren’t really, you know, mixing up. And I, he goes, I pretty much knew she wasn’t mine. That is like nonchalantly like saying that was just like, I was just shocked.

How could you say that to somebody

Alexis: Yeah. Oh

Nina: who you believe is your child this whole time?

Alexis: Yeah.

Nina: And you know, so I was angry about that one. I really, I would have liked to have we never really got along. He was. Different for me. I didn’t fit into his family at all. You know, he had another family, of course, but my birth, this is my birth, you know, who I thought was my birth father.

So I just kind of passed it on as I got older. It was not necessary to pursue it. It was just nobody was telling me anything. My mother wouldn’t tell me because I begged her to say, tell me why she hated me so much. And she still, until her deathbed, kept this a secret in her mind.

I call it her dirty little secret.

Alexis: [00:13:00] Yeah, so, so you connected with your aunt.

Nina: I connected with them. They’re my cousin too. They’re just absolutely marvelous people. 

Alexis: So they’ve been welcoming to

Nina: yes, they have been very welcoming to, to, to me. They do live on the East coast. I live on the West coast. So it’s kind of a, it’s a tough thing to have to try to get together because it is such a long ways, you know, a flight and all that stuff.

And my aunt’s not doing too well. She’s pretty sick, you know, and when I call her, by her first name, but she’s like, no, I’m your aunt. You know, and I thought that was just, you know, really nice of her. But my, what even adds up to all of it being even harder is that I have five half siblings. Five,

Alexis: From your biological father?

Nina: yes, that I never, I didn’t know anything about, and I did reach out to one of them, who was the oldest, who would be the oldest brother, and figuring out like the ages of what everybody is, [00:14:00] my, my half siblings.

I am between the 1961 and 62 when there was no children born. There was two before me and the last ones were after me, so I’m like the middle.

Alexis: Were they all with the same mother?

Nina: I, Think they were. Yes, I do believe they were.

Alexis: Okay, so it maybe was potentially an affair situation.

Nina: yeah, I think that’s what it was. I’m 90 percent sure he had no idea that, you know, my birth mother never told him anything.

She sure knew. I knew she knew. She knew, just looking back at so many memories of her, what she would use to say to me as a child, you know, that you’re a nobody, you know, I didn’t want to have you, you were my worst mistake you know, those things, after a while you start adding everything up, oh, now I know why you didn’t like me, I was somebody else’s, you know, I was your dirty little secret and somebody else’s child,

Alexis: you have any idea how they met?

Nina: I don’t know, but I know that my [00:15:00] mom was very promiscuous. My mom was a beautiful lady too. And I’m just not saying that because she was my mother, because right now I don’t care about her. But she was very beautiful, long black hair, very Italian. And and she was very, she just did anything she wanted that I can’t, I don’t really want to say, you know, she was, she slept around.

How about that? Cause that’s what divorced my stepfather from her. because of that reason, because he caught her so many times. I don’t know, but he would lived and I’m being honest in the same, probably across the street from her.

And I’m sure they met at a bar, you know, which in the small town where I was born at.

Everybody knows everybody. And I just the whole situation because he was so close to where she was, I know what could have happened, but see my mom and probably a lot of these other parents to keep these dirty little secrets in their closet with the skeletons there. You know, you either want to see the [00:16:00] skeletons come out and dance, or you just want to leave them in there. You know, because they didn’t have DNA, they didn’t think any of this was going to happen. They never for the life of them would ever think that we would ever find out. 

Alexis: What have you been able to learn about your father?

Nina: You know what, I haven’t really learned a whole lot from him. My aunt said that they were estranged for different reasons I don’t really, you know, I, because I don’t know the family one of, I have two other new cousins that just popped up and she’s very forthcoming with things she’s closer to my half siblings than my aunt is.

I don’t know if they had a falling out or not because I didn’t even ask her.

Like I said, I spoke to one of my half siblings he’s older and he did say that he was going to give out information to, you know, of what’s going on. I think he was just in a state of shock too, you know. How do you call somebody up and say, Hey, I found him on Facebook.

You know, hey, guess what? [00:17:00] I’m your half sister. I mean, that could have been, I mean, I know I’d be floored by if somebody did that to me,

Alexis: Sure. Sure.

Nina: but the other siblings I, they haven’t reached out to me and I’m not sure if I’m going to reach out to them. I probably will because I feel it’s necessary. I just, I’m a very family oriented person.

I think that families, no matter who you come from or where you come from or how you did. I just think it’s important to be, you know, with your know them and, you know, maybe try to get to know them. I don’t know if they want that for me or not. I’m sure they’re shocked. I mean, they have to be. They’re very, they’re all very close.

Alexis: So, I’m curious because you seem to be, and I could be wrong, so correct me, but you seem to be okay with the fact that maybe you’ll connect with family members, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll get some answers, maybe you won’t.

How did you Get to that place because a lot of the people [00:18:00] that I talk with are, you know, desperate for answers. We want to know, how did we come to be? How did our parents meet? What kind of person was our father? Like all of these things and you kind of seem to be taking it in stride getting the information that’s available to you.

How did you get there?

Nina: I’m really not

Alexis: You’re not, 

Nina: I think it’s well, you know, I think for me the way the type of person that I am is I’m kind of like a a kooky crazy grandmother who just flows with the world, you know I have my moments of everything but I think because i’m trying to deal with it on a level where i’m just dealing with it my family.

They’re like, oh Who cares? You got your stepdad, you know who cares you’re fine. I’m like what? You know, in secret, I’m in my room crying,

I’m not who I thought I was,

Alexis: Mm 

Nina: I do keep a strong face. I’ve always been like that, even though deep down inside it’s killing, it’s hurting. It hurts. And there is [00:19:00] nobody except for us.

NPEs know how it feels.

Alexis: Yeah.

Nina: Uh, the family, my daughters don’t, my son does it. They have no clue how I’m feeling. And I kind of just, I also brush it off to them. Yeah, no, I’m not worried about it. You know, even my stepfather was brushing it off and I thought to myself, wait a minute, you just, you knew the same thing I knew, but I’m.

I’m not okay with all this and see, I’m extremely angry with my, you know, even though my birth mother’s she’s dead, but I’ll tell you what, if I had the, if she was alive, I don’t care where she was at nursing home, whatever. I would go down there and have lots of words with her

because she kept so much for me.

Alexis: Yeah. Well, thank you for being, thank you for being vulnerable about how you’re really doing because you definitely do seem like a very strong person who’s trying to keep a brave face 

Nina: Yeah, I just lost a granddaughter. So the same year, 2021, so, that kind of [00:20:00] made me a little bit hard. For, you know, and I help raise her and I think that made me to just to be the person I am today. Just I had to be strong for everybody else but me. So I feel like, you know, with if I don’t find anything out, which I don’t know if I ever well, I’m okay with that. I have to be okay with that. I can’t push anybody or force anybody to do anything. They don’t want to,

Alexis: Yeah.

Nina: two of my sister half sisters are on Facebook so they kind of know. What my life is going on, you know, cause I post a lot of stuff and I didn’t know how they are.

You know, it’s like one of the sisters is just like, I am pretty kooky, crazy, you know, and says what she feels. And this is the other thing is so weird. And I have to say this because I just realized this yesterday, nobody in my family ever wore glasses. Nobody, my dad, you know, everyone in their family wears glasses.

I thought that was just the oddest thing, you know, because [00:21:00] I don’t know if it’s an inherited thing, but. My neither one of my brothers did my mom. Nobody did and I I do

Alexis: Oh, 

Nina: it. Yeah, it was just I know that sounds really petty but to be that was kind of an exciting thing to 

Alexis: No. I mean, it’s, well, that goes to the health piece, right? That everyone has all these health questions and eyesight and everything else is part of that. So kind of going back to the fact that you are holding strong, not wanting to let people know how this maybe has affected you. So what are you doing to take care of yourself as you process this?

Nina: I don’t know. I just go I just go day by day. I think it’s not really easy to do it. I can just go in my room and cry and, you know, I feel like I could talk to somebody, but they just don’t understand. They have no idea what I’m going through. They think it’s just nothing. Absolutely not. You know, and my kids, of course, they’re not going to have to worry about [00:22:00] this because DNA is now,

you know, but when you’re 60 years old, like other NPEs, we. Are devastated. How does this happen? Why does it happen? Why don’t they just be honest? I think also ancestry needs to come out with a warning sign, you know, hey, this is what’s going on.

You know, if you find this out, you’re taking a roller coaster ride. I want you to know. I really do think they need to put a warning on these DNA tests

Alexis: yeah, something more prominent. Yeah, that’s definitely a conversation that’s had in this because You know, while they may not have the DNA companies may not be the ones that have lied, right, or mistaken, but sometimes, you know, it’s not a lie. Sometimes people really don’t know, or there’s fertility fraud and other issues.

So it’s not always the truth. This knowledge that exists. So yeah, maybe there should be a warning to let

people know it’s 

Nina: in red letters. 

Alexis: thing. [00:23:00] Yeah. It’s 

Nina: Something in red letters. 

You know, and that’s something I just don’t get. I don’t understand why these parents think they can get away with their dirty little secrets.

I just don’t. And I know my mother, one of the reasons why now, of course, why my mother couldn’t stand me. It’s the, what things she used to say to me. I mean, it all adds up now 

and that part of my life is okay because now I know why. I thought it was something about me. Now I know why, but I’ve never been so angry with somebody in my whole life.

I mean, I have just totally, you know, I know she’s passed on and everything, but I will, I won’t even hardly mention her anymore because she knew and she took me away from things that I could have had. I could have had siblings that, you know, I could have had aunts and uncles. You know, I do have a lot of step ones, but they’re not the same thing as blood.

No matter what anybody says, it’s just not the same.

Alexis: If you could ask your mom questions today, what would you ask her?

Nina: Who was this guy? You know, why? What, how did you meet? [00:24:00] You know, how did, why didn’t you tell me it would, it just be so, I would say more than that, trust me. I would be like you,

Because she was such a bad mother to begin with, you know, I mean, I would ask her why me. Why was, why did you do this to me, even though she probably, you know, she knew what she was doing, but you know, her lies were the hardest part.

You know, if my grandmother was still alive, I would even talk to her about it. You know, because I’m sure that they probably knew too, because she was an only child and, you know, back then in the sixties, you just don’t have a baby when you’re not married,

Alexis: Yeah.

Nina: you don’t. And I know that, you know, they had to put her in Catholic school.

She was pretty unruly. I want to know how it happened, how you met my father. How did you like him? You know, in this person that was my birth father was her true love and her only love, but. What happened during the [00:25:00] period of time that you had my older brother with him, and then you stepped out on him, or did you, there’s so many questions.

Alexis: Yeah, so you touched on kind of where you’re at with your newfound half siblings. What is your relationship like now with your raised siblings, including the brother you thought was full

Nina: My full brother, that was a real shocker. I gotta tell you, that was probably one of the hardest things that I really went through was knowing that he was just my half brother. My stepbrother Wade passed away in 2020. So I’m sure he would be probably just as floored as everybody was. He probably would be more because he was very close to my my birth mother.

Matter of fact, he sent me A bunch of pictures and stuff as a child because I didn’t have a whole lot that he had because my mother just really hated me. She didn’t give me anything. This is how somebody at my age kind of tries to deal with the pain is [00:26:00] knowing that the past what she did to me.

Is answered now even though she wouldn’t answer it. I have my answer on that and I’m glad I have that answer and I needed that answer in my life.

Alexis: , why do you think that finding out that your brother is your half brother affected you so deeply?

Nina: My brother, whenever my my birth mother and my stepmother were married and they divorced my dad had to take me out of the situation with my, with his son, which was, you know, my half brother and he had to get us out of the situation. Well, my brother Danny he couldn’t go with us. He didn’t go with us.

He stayed behind with her. My grandfather wouldn’t allow him to go. So I didn’t grow up with him. I grew up with my half brother and we didn’t have a big bond you know, as we got older, but when we were younger, we did. And so it was always, I always wonder what he was doing and [00:27:00] what he was thinking.

And I think that part of him knowing that he is not my full blood it’s just it, that was upsetting. You know, it still upsets me. I knew for my whole life that he was, and we look a lot alike. I don’t know if he did take a DNA test, but he never really shared his results. So I have a little bit of a question there but I’m not going to bring it up to him. He’s, you know, already been shocked by mine. Whether it comes back, it came back on his different too, I don’t know, and I don’t think I’ll ever know that.

Alexis: Oh, like if his if your, who you believed was your biological father isn’t his either.

Nina: Right. That’s, That’s what kind of you know, I have this fear of and when I asked him about, you know, can I see your DNA results?

He said, Oh, I just threw it in a, it’s in a box somewhere. I said, well, I’m going to see it. You know, I want to see it. He has not brought it up since, and I haven’t brought it up since. And [00:28:00] from what I understand, my half brother Wade and him had made this pact to go and do the 23andMe. And I know that I heard that my older brother was really upset about it, but I didn’t know why and see everything’s kind of falling in this weird kind of place.

And he won’t talk to me about it. So maybe that is true on his end too. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll ever know.

Alexis: Yeah. You mentioned this ethnicity shift that you uncovered. Have you been exploring that at all? 

Nina: I have actually I love to cook. I’m just, I’d love to cook. It’s one of my favorite things to do. So now I’m looking up like different Polish recipes because they’re all from Poland. My birth father’s dad came over from Poland. They all came over from Poland. I would never have thought that it was Polish.

I just never entered my mind about that. But I am, I’m, I have looked on, you know, just to see the country [00:29:00] and to see what their, you know, cultures are and how they are and the food I, my uh, aunt, aunt had sent me some recipes that she had made in her mother had made. So I’m looking forward to cooking those.

You know, I feel like it’s kind of like a part of me, so I might as well try it.

Alexis: Yeah, I think food is such a cool way to connect

Nina: It is. That’s what I like about it. Yeah. Yes.

Alexis: What’s next for you? Are you hoping to get the chance to meet your aunt or other family members?

Nina: I am. I’m hoping to meet my my aunt and my cousin who helped me through all of this and, you know, they had both told me, this is not your fault. Then I think I needed to hear that, you know, even though I know it’s not my fault they were there for me during the period of time that I was finding this out.

And I do think that would be just absolutely wonderful just to meet the two of them, you know, my aunt and my cousin, 

they were just so gracious to me not even knowing who I was.

Alexis: Yeah. What else [00:30:00] is next for you in your journey?

Nina: I honestly think that I am going to sit down and write a letter to my sister siblings. I think that because those two are very close, you know, and I’d like to just. Tell them who I am and what, you know, my life and what I’ve experienced in my life. I’d like them to know that just even if they don’t want to talk to me or contact me, at least they’ll know who I am.

I think that’s just very important.

Alexis: Yeah. You mentioned a couple times. And you mentioned it in your initial note to me, too, that, you know, you thought you’re turning 60, you had this whole picture of what that was going to look like, the next phase of your life was going to look like, and that this has really shaken all of that up. So, can you please speak a little bit about what it has been like, from your perspective, finding out at age 60 about an NPE?[00:31:00] 

Nina: I don’t think there’s anything compared to this. I mean, I knew I was getting old and, you know, I had wrinkles and all this stuff. I was preparing for the next stage of my old life. You know, I’m getting old now. I know that, but knowing that this has happened, it’s put a whole nother spin on it. It’s made me feel wait a minute, what do you want to do about this? Do you want to know all this stuff or do you want to just put it in the back of your head and not tell anybody and I made the decision. No, I’m going to tell people. I’m going to tell everybody I can tell about this. And so I want to just pursue that. You know, it’s a hard thing to deal with, especially when you have siblings that, you know, may or may not want to talk to you. And I think to myself, well, you don’t even know me. Maybe if you got to know me, you’d want to. You know, my life has been pretty hectic, but you know, I’ve lived part of a good life and part of a crummy life, but I’m, you know, I’ve stepped away from the part of, I had a very serious domestic violence [00:32:00] relationship for 17 years, and I walked away from that and shined and, you know, put my head up.

And I think that, you know, if somebody doesn’t want to get to know me, then that’s on them and I’m sure it’s a shock, but I don’t know, I think growing, you know, keep growing old and just kind of, I’m not going to grow old. Gracefully, because I think that’s just awful. 

When somebody says that grow up, how do you grow old gracefully? I would like to grow old and know my half siblings. That’s one thing that I just scratched all my other stuff off my bucket list and put that on it.

Alexis: Thank you for sharing that. 

What advice do you have for a parent who may be keeping a DNA surprise from their child?

Nina: It’s so important to tell them because, you know, make sure they’re a little bit older, but you have to tell them because finding out through something like I found out is devastating, even though it may hurt you, it may hurt the, you know, the [00:33:00] child, it’s so important to just tell them, be honest, don’t lie. That’s gonna, that’s gonna kick back at you one of these days.

Alexis: Yeah. What advice do you have for someone who just discovered that they’re an NPE?

Nina: Hold on, it’s a rollercoaster ride.

You don’t know where you’re gonna stop. You don’t know, you know, I mean, it could be scary. It’s very scary, but just understand that you are the person that you are. It’s not gonna change you at all, even though you feel like it’s gonna change, it’s not. And deep down in your heart, you just have to realize that you are still the same person you were, even though you feel like you’re not.

Alexis: Yeah. Nina, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your stories so, uh, fresh out of this experience. I hope that things get easier for you, that you get answers, and I just want to say it’s okay not to be super strong all the time [00:34:00] and let yourself process this and take your time. I wish you the best.

Nina: Thank you so much.


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