Pat’s DNA Surprise

Picture this: you grow up with a sibling who is convinced they are not your dad’s biological child. No one knows about DNA surprises or NPEs or anything like that, but they just know their dad isn’t THEIR dad. Years later, after commercial DNA testing becomes commonplace, you offer them some peace of mind. All of your siblings take a test to prove, once and for all, that your parents are the biological parents of all of your siblings.

Except…they aren’t. Only it’s not your sibling who is the NPE. It’s you. In this week’s episode, Pat shares how she learned in her sixties that she doesn’t share a biological father with her siblings. She discusses how she was able to piece together a story long after the main players have passed, and how she’s forged new relationships with found family.

Thank you for sharing your story, Pat.


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Episode Transcript

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

[00:00:00] Pat: I felt a lot of shame. I was embarrassed. You know, I have worked hard to build a good life and to be a good person, a good mother. And I have that shame that I have to live with. But I got over that.

[00:00:14] Pat: I’m Pat. I’m from Savannah, Georgia, and I’m 67 years old.

[00:00:26] Pat: Well, it started out my some of my siblings decided to do a test on 23 and me. And my oldest brother had always doubted that he was my dad’s. My mother and my dad, she was very young when they married, and she had him at 16.

[00:00:46] Pat: And she was still in school because that was part of the conditions that they get married that that she would finish school. And my dad lived in Savannah, and she was from a little town in South Carolina. Every Friday, she would get on the train and go to Savannah. But during the week, she would go to school, and she lived with her grandparents. so he just always had a feeling.

[00:01:10] Pat: And we would try to reassure him, your daddy’s. You you have things like him. But I will say he didn’t look like just like 1 of my parents. He was like a little of both. So that was my main reason.

[00:01:24] Pat: I wanted to reassure him that we were all, my dad’s. And I had no questions. I had no worries about it. I took the test, and I happened to be the last 1. My older brothers I have 2 older brothers and 1 older sister, and they had already taken the test.

[00:01:42] Pat: So I got my results, and I was by myself. And I remember I opened it up, and it said half sibling, half sibling for each 1 of them. And I’m thinking, this isn’t right. My husband happened to walk in pretty soon after that, and I said, do you see what I see? I mean, look at this.

[00:02:04] Pat: And he said, oh, yeah. So is that he said, that’s not right. He said, we’ll do it again. so I thought, well, they’re gonna see it. I’m gonna call them.

[00:02:15] Pat: So I called each 1. And I started I think I started with my oldest brother. And he said, that’s not that’s not right. And he said, I’m changing that. So he changed it on where you have that option.

[00:02:31] Pat: And then I think I talked to my sister next, and she was surprised, but, you know, she took it a little better, I think, than than both of the brothers. Um, you know, again, everyone’s surprised. So then I talked to my third oldest brother. And he was again surprised.

[00:02:52] Alexis: Did they all match with each other as full siblings?

[00:02:56] Pat: yes. So my brother is my dad’s.

[00:03:00] Alexis: Okay.

[00:03:01] Pat: You know, that’s what was so funny about it. And as it turned out I kept looking for people with my dad’s last name. And I call him my dad because he’s my dad. He raised me.

[00:03:14] Pat: I love him. will. I’m looking at all of that, and I don’t see anything. And there’s not a lot of people that match me on 23 and Me. The next thing I had to do was I had to tell my sons.

[00:03:26] Pat: And they were very close to my dad. They called him papa. He died in 97, so he’s been gone a good while. My mother died in 2016, so no one’s around. My oldest son, who has a sense of humor similar to mine, and I, again, he came by and I said, look, look at this.

[00:03:47] Pat: I said, do you, I mean, he said, oh my gosh. He said, grandma was wild. You know, that just kind of brought a little you know, just lightened it a little bit, and that’s what I needed. We have a million questions, but I’m really kind of in shock. I’m not believing any of this, and my husband isn’t either.

[00:04:07] Pat: So the last 1 to tell was my youngest son. And I really debated not telling him. I knew it was gonna be hard for him. And I talked to my husband, and he said, you know, we can’t do that.

[00:04:21] Pat: And I said, I know. So I called him and he said, I don’t believe that. He didn’t believe it either. He said, I mean, I look like papa’s side of the family. And I always thought he did.

[00:04:34] Pat: And he said, and I I think you look like him too. He said there’s no way. That’s not right. He said, I wish you hadn’t have told me this, mom. And, you know, I felt terrible, but I told him.

[00:04:45] Pat: I said, we don’t keep secrets in this family. That’s what caused us, and we’re not gonna keep secrets. And I felt that I needed to tell you. And so I did tell a few of my very close friends, and they all had the same reaction. But the best thing about it is if I would have had my druthers, I would have been tested privately, been able to find all this out and absorb it.

[00:05:11] Pat: But I didn’t know it worked out for the best because my siblings were so good to me. They were just there from the get go. They were texting me, calling me. You know you’re our baby sister. You always will be.

[00:05:24] Pat: It just all worked out. And I have to say my sons, everyone has been you know, they were so supportive. So I went through initially, I just had a lot of shock, but mainly sadness. I felt very sad for my dad.

[00:05:38] Alexis: At what point did it become real to you? Because at first, you were like, this can’t be right.

[00:05:44] Alexis: This can’t be right. At what point did you go, okay. This is real.

[00:05:49] Pat: When I got the result, I went on Ancestry.

[00:05:52] Pat: And when I got the results there, it takes about 6, 7 weeks. By that time, I had come to accept it, it, but it made it real. But in the meantime, my son had my oldest son had had a DNA test done in 2012. My mom was still alive then, and he didn’t look at any of his matches. He was just only he was only interested in his genetic makeup.

[00:06:18] Pat: He started looking at the matches after I got my first set of results, and he starts shooting out names at me. Who is this? Who is this? I said, I don’t know. I don’t know. He said, well, this person is like 1 of my top matches. I mean, this person has got to be and I said, the names aren’t gonna mean anything to me. I don’t know who this is. And I told them I told both of my sons. I said, I don’t believe I’ll ever know the name of my biological father, but I believe y’all will.

[00:06:49] Pat: You know, in your lifetime, you will know the way technology changes. It’s just amazing how everything fell into place. So after that test, I I began to see you know, look at the matches, and I decided, well, you know what? I do wanna know. So I I heard about the search angels.

[00:07:07] Pat: And so I recruited an angel, and she was just so wonderful. And within 24 hours, she had found my biological father had made up a tree with me on the little tree there. And she just guided me along the way. And initially, I said, you know, I have a family. I don’t really I don’t really need to know.

[00:07:29] Pat: We’re older. But the more I thought about it and I think looking at that tree, it made it very real to me. I also thought about my brothers and my sister and how my whole life, I mean, they they have been as important or maybe sometimes more important than my parents. Because I really cared what they thought even as a teenager.

[00:07:53] Pat: When I looked at that DNA and I thought, you know, I share as much DNA with these people as I do with my brothers and my sister. And I I just couldn’t ignore that. I felt like there was something there.

[00:08:09] Pat: I’m a Christian and I I think about how, you know, in Genesis, how all of that was lineage was important. All those baguettes that you have to get through when you’re reading the Bible.

[00:08:21] Pat: That you don’t know half of the names. But even Jesus they always referred he was from the house of David. So I began to see the importance of it. So I decided that I would contact them. And the search angel had said I can give you any information you want.

[00:08:38] Pat: And I thought about it, and I said a letter would be less intrusive, I think. So that’s what I did, and she gave me their their addresses, their mailing addresses. So I sent the letter, and that was after it was about 2 months before I did anything. I was just processing, I am very happy go lucky. Uh, My husband always is amazed that I don’t worry about things because I just feel like I don’t know.

[00:09:05] Pat: I mean, God has it under control, and you can’t, you know, worrying doesn’t really help. But during that time, I was very, very out of sorts and crying. I would just cry while I was cooking. I would get to thinking about different things. I would think, you know, my grandparents aren’t my grandparents.

[00:09:24] Pat: I don’t share DNA with them. And then later, I would think, you know, my cousins, We were very close. My cousins don’t share any DNA with me. That doesn’t erase all the love.

[00:09:39] Pat: But it it was just that it’s layers and I know you understand this. It’s so many layers to it. And if you would have told me, I would have reacted like that. I wouldn’t have believed you because it was just out of character for me. And like I said, I was very blessed that my siblings and my sons and my husband, they sent said I I needed them.

[00:10:04] Pat: And I’m not a needy person, but I really did need them and they were there for me 100 percent. I sent the letter, you know, and I’m you know, that’s scary. You don’t know what’s gonna happen. And so the first, I got a response from who would be my niece. Um, She was on Ancestry.

[00:10:26] Pat: And it was very nice. She said my mother got your letter and we are not mad with you. That was a relief. And she said it was, um, it was a shock, but we’re accepting. And she said, I believe my mother will contact you at some point when she’s ready.

[00:10:44] Pat: And she says, so I’m gonna wait, you know, and I understand that.

[00:10:50] Alexis: What did you put in your letter to them? Because I think that’s something that people are always trying to figure out is what do I say before they reach out to

[00:10:58] Pat: I mean, I’ve got it. I can read it real.

[00:11:00] Alexis: Please.

[00:11:01] Pat: I said greetings, you know, and I wrote 1 to each each sister. A few months ago, my sister, my brothers, and I took a DNA test as we have always been interested in genealogy. I was the last 1 to take the test, and when my results came back, we were all shocked to discover that my siblings were actually my half siblings. I began looking at my matches on 23 and Me and Ancestry.

[00:11:24] Pat: Ultimately, I consulted an expert in genealogy without telling her my suspicions. She confirmed that I had what I had suspected that Roy, is my biological father, and then I have 3 half sisters. And I won’t go into the whole thing, but I I said how this was upsetting and that I knew it would was for them. And then I was praying for them, and I actually did when I got those names. So I started that day because, know how I felt. I concluded with that I was interested in in my health history because he his obituary, he he was a year younger than me when he died.

[00:12:03] Alexis: Okay.

[00:12:04] Pat: And that was a little shocking. And I said I would appreciate any health history, and I would like some photos. Um, I think it’s just human nature to want to know what your biological father looks like.

[00:12:18] Pat: And then I said how we proceed is up to you. And I left it at that. So that niece contacted me and said, you know, that her mom had gotten that. And then the next day, I got the sweetest phone call. Oh, I just I still can’t believe it.

[00:12:38] Pat: It was the oldest sister’s husband, I’ll just call him T.

[00:12:43] Alexis: Mhmm.

[00:12:44] Pat: And he said um, I want to let you know I got your letter. I hope you’re doing okay. And he was just the nicest person. He said she’s not gonna be able to read it because she is in a nursing home, and she has dementia. Oh, I hated that. Because I knew that the clock was ticking because of our ages, and I was hoping that everybody was alive and well, you know, in the event that we did make a connection. But we chatted for a good little while, and he told me a lot about himself. And he asked about me.

[00:13:17] Pat: He said if you can think of anything that I can do to help, please please call me. And he is 87, and he he’s doing pretty well, I think. So, after those 2 things, I was feeling pretty good. Because I had been dreading, and my search angel had said, Pat, you need to be prepared. You don’t know how this is gonna go, and she’s had a little of both.

[00:13:40] Pat: And I said, I know that. And I said, anything that happens is gravy because I have a good life. I don’t need a father. But I if I form connections, great. As my son says, I can’t go to the grocery store without making friends. You know? That’s just me. And I love people and I figure nothing ventured, nothing gained.

[00:14:01] Pat: That was 2 signs of hope. And then the next day, I got a phone call, and I saw the area code. And I went out of high school, I was a a long distance phone operator. They used to have them.

[00:14:15] Alexis: Mhmm.

[00:14:16] Pat: so I remember a lot of area codes. And I knew it was the Florida area code, and that’s where that’s where the family lived. And so I was, a little nervous, but I was still hopeful. And I’ll just say it didn’t go well. It was very upsetting because she she was hurting. And, you know, it’s hard to face the fact that somebody is hurt because you exist. But, you know, I understood it, and I told her that I I appreciated her letting me know because, you know, I didn’t wonder any

[00:14:51] Alexis: Right.

[00:14:58] Pat: contact you again as you asked. And then I thought about how the difference in in my family that my older brother, when all of this came out, he said, you know, I know 1 thing. I am thankful for Roy because if he hadn’t come along, we wouldn’t have you. So I held to that

[00:15:19] Alexis: Yeah. That’s amazing.

[00:15:21] Alexis: What were you able to learn about Roy through the connections that you did make?

[00:15:27] Pat: The niece that that had messaged me on Ancestry, she said that he died of lung cancer. He was a heavy smoker. So I’m not a smoker, so I felt like, okay.

[00:15:36] Pat: But on the other hand, my mother smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes a day and lived to be 86. So I was like, oh, I don’t know. You know? But that was great information. You know?

[00:15:49] Pat: She shared some about what kind of person he was, and it sounded like he was a good person. And from his obituary, I felt that he was a good person as well. So that was helpful. Um, I kinda gave up. You know? I knew I just had a feeling. Um, I have pretty good intuition. When that sister called, I thought, that’s it.

[00:16:16] Pat: Because I know the relationship that I have with my siblings. And we’re all very strong willed and we’re independent, but we stick together. And if I thought something was gonna hurt 1 of them, I would defer to them. So, um, I just I said that’s it.

[00:16:35] Pat: You know? And that’s okay. And I worked at finding closure on that. My oldest son, the 1 that was on Ancestry, he said, mom, he want he has children and he wanted health information. And, you know, with me um, 67, it is what it is.

[00:16:53] Pat: It wasn’t as important. I did want some photos and some information. The health so he started, you know, just messaging people. He got in touch with a cousin, a second cousin’s daughter.

[00:17:15] Pat: And they are about the same email, and so then they she started sending photos. Then she contacted me, and she said, listen. Just talk to my mom. And so I started chatting with her, and we have just become the best of friends. I love her dearly.

[00:17:35] Pat: She is just just a I would like her if she wasn’t related to me. You know, she’s that type of person.

[00:17:42] Pat: And I, you know, we just clicked and she had a background. I was a an educator. I taught special education for 13 years, and then I taught general education.

[00:17:51] Pat: And later, I went into school administration. So and then she owned a childcare um, center. So we kind of had that in common, and she also loves stories about family. And that’s how my family was. And that was what was hard for me not knowing because my family, I knew, you know, my dad when he was a little boy, all of his brothers had to help my grandfather on the milk truck.

[00:18:19] Pat: He drove for 1 of the local dairies, and it was a horse and buggy. And and so they they had a system, and they would get off and, you know, as he was driving and they delivered the milk and then they’d go to school. And I know about when my dad was 16 and times were hard, he he went to Stony Creek, Connecticut to help build the seawall. And while he was there, he got called up to World War 2. He got a my grandmother got a telegram, so she had to get in touch.

[00:18:47] Pat: You know, all of those stories, that we loved all of my siblings. We we still retell them.

[00:18:53] Alexis: But you didn’t have those stories about your biological father and you wanted them.

[00:18:58] Pat: Right.

[00:18:58] Pat: Right. But um, she was the same way, my cousin. She knew a lot. The funny thing is I’ve had 1 mystery solved and then there was another mystery. So there were 2 brothers, my Roy and he had a brother. After Roy was grown, it was like they just didn’t have anything to do with each other. I don’t know why if it was distance because he had moved maybe a few hours away. I’m not sure. The families did not know each other. She knew of him.

[00:19:31] Pat: She didn’t have any photos. She just, you know, she said I always heard everybody that spoke of him said he was a very nice man. As it turns out, they didn’t know about this side of the family. They I think maybe they knew of them, but they didn’t know. So she filled in a lot of the family history.

[00:19:48] Pat: But her great grandfather, which is my grandfather, the lineage kinda stops there. It’s very interesting because I I’ve done a lot of digging and, you know, we both are on a quest to find Henry, to find his parents. He was born in 18 72. 7 years after the civil war

[00:20:11] Pat: ended, my grandfather was born.

[00:20:13] Pat: So he would have been, like, 84, I think, when I was born. He wasn’t alive. Also, my biological father is a good bit older than my mother. He was, I think, 42 when I was born, and my mom was 26.

[00:20:28] Alexis: Okay were you able to figure out how they may have met

[00:20:34] Pat: So I did. Um, he worked for the railroad. That was in his obituary. I had a friend, 1 of my 3 close friends. Her father worked for the railroad, and I was telling her a little bit.

[00:20:44] Pat: I said, I just can’t imagine because my mother was not the type to hang out in bars or anything like that, and I just could not really figure out how they met. And she said, I know exactly how they met. She said so he worked out of a town in Florida, and there were there’s a route, and Savannah is on the route. And then there’s a couple of other towns. And the guys from Florida end up staying in Savannah a lot, and her dad was out of Savannah.

[00:21:16] Pat: He stayed in Jacksonville a lot. She said uh, the railroad puts them up. They have time on their hands, and she said it it’s you know, things sometimes happen. And um, so I kinda figured that out. I mean, I don’t know all the details and I never will

[00:21:35] Pat: but that’s that had to have been, they met. I don’t have any idea if he knew. I don’t believe he did. I don’t even think my mother was sure. I did finally get a picture of him. So the brother-in-law that I told you, he’s our hero. I’ve had him on my mind since all of that and, you know, I I think about him and then I, you know, you don’t know the boundaries of what to do. So, 1 of my friends said, you know, I live alone and I go days not seeing anybody.

[00:22:06] Pat: And she said, why don’t you just drop him a card and just let him know that you’re thinking about him? And I thought, well, okay. That’s not that’s not out of line. Um, so I I sent him a card and I told him that I hope that they were doing well and that his prayers were working because he told me he was gonna pray for me.

[00:22:27] Pat: And I said your prayers have been working because I’m doing much better. And I hope you’re doing well. And I ended it like that. And I thought if nothing else in my life, I have been able to tell him how much I appreciated what he did because he could have thrown that

[00:22:48] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:22:51] Pat: That was that. And I felt like that was my closure.

[00:22:55] Pat: And so it was probably a few weeks after that. I got an email, and it was from um, my oldest sister and T’s daughter. And I’m scared, you know, because of the, you know, the other and she just could not be nicer. She is just the sweetest person, and she sent me a photo. Um, And it just made it so real.

[00:23:23] Alexis: Yeah. How did you feel when you saw him?

[00:23:26] Pat: it was very emotional. Very emotional. And she you know, told me a little bit about her mom and her life and she she’s just, like I said, a nice person. Again, these this relationship, I hear it from others, and it’s how I felt.

[00:23:42] Pat: It’s sort of like when you first start dating someone and you’re you’re worried you’re gonna say the wrong thing or, they’re gonna reject you and it’s sort of like that. It’s a feeling of uneasiness and it and I don’t I don’t remember feeling this way in a very long time, but I’m always, worried about I don’t wanna text her too much or I don’t wanna not text her and then, and so it’s you have to find that balance and and it’s just hard to navigate, you know, when you’re starting a new relationship.

[00:24:17] Alexis: Have you made any plans to see each other, or would you like to see her?

[00:24:21] Pat: I would and we have we have talked about it. But the cousin I have met her and she lives in Tennessee. But they have kept the house, the house that Henry built.

[00:24:32] Pat: They have kept it in the family. I met her there. My husband and I went and her and her partner, and they they’re we just loved them both. And it was she said it before I did.

[00:24:44] Pat: She said it was just so easy. It was like we’ve known each other, and we just clicked. You know? And her sister came as well, and I got to meet my other second cousin. And they’re just the best people, Fun and, you know, just nice.

[00:25:01] Pat: Everything you would want.

[00:25:02] Alexis: I think it’s really good that you point that out because I think so many of us, we want that connection with the siblings or with the biological parent, but there are also really amazing relationships that can be made with the extended family that you find. Aunts, uncles, cousins, that kind of thing. So that’s amazing that you’ve built

[00:25:23] Pat: It’s funny. I don’t know what I’m not sure what my mom, you know, could’ve told me. Like I said, I don’t know what, you know, I don’t know if it was a long term relationship.

[00:25:33] Pat: But I have made up this little scenario and this is how I like to believe that it went down. That they met and they had something for a while. And then he decided that he needed to go back to his, to be faithful to his wife. And my mom decided that was gonna stay with my dad because she had always told me they did later divorce, but they stayed together for 8 years after I was born. And she had planned on leaving him before I was born, and they were not getting along.

[00:26:09] Pat: So I know my purpose. You know, a baby brings such joy into a

[00:26:13] Pat: home. And my dad, she always said, oh, when I had you, I just was so excited. And then your dad opened your arms and you just went to him. And I was.

[00:26:24] Pat: I was his baby. He he worked nights. And so during the day, we would go fishing until the day he died. He called me his little fishing buddy. Not long after I was born, they bought a house in a really great area in Savannah near the water, they were doing really well. And so for 8 years, our family was able to continue, so I’m grateful for that. And Roy was married to his wife until, you know, until he died. And I was very proud of that,

[00:26:55] Pat: you know, that he that he did do that.

[00:26:58] Alexis: What questions do you have for your mom if you could ask her anything?

[00:27:02] Pat: What was he like? Tell me, you know, what did she see? You know?

[00:27:06] Pat: I’d like to know what she saw in him because I don’t know. I’ve had bits and pieces, but I don’t know him. And how did they meet? You know? What exactly happened?

[00:27:16] Pat: And I do believe my mom would have told me. I don’t think she would have liked to, but I believe she would have told me. But, you know, it it worked out. I think we were both right where we they were where they needed to be. I was with the family.

[00:27:32] Pat: I needed to be. He was with the family. He needed to be with. You know, it it it just all worked out.

[00:27:40] Alexis: Yeah. You mentioned that in the immediate aftermath, it was really devastating for you, and you had a hard time. What helped you move through it to this place of acceptance where you are now?

[00:27:54] Pat: Well, um, the Facebook group is very good.

[00:27:58] Pat: I mean, that’s I just love everybody. You know how some groups, there’s always that person that is gets nasty. It’s not like that.

[00:28:07] Pat: I haven’t done a whole lot of of posting. But, um, I would ask a question and, uh, it was like they could read between the lines about what was I was hurting about or what was bothering me, and they would answer more than just the question. It would they’d feel the underlying thing that was really going on. And, you know, it’s things that they’ve all felt, and there is a common theme, that we all feel, you know, the shame.

[00:28:38] Pat: I do feel like my age was an advantage in this particular situation because I’m I know who I am. I don’t have doubts. I also have the who am I who even am I anymore? That journal.

[00:28:51] Alexis: Yeah. Eve Sturgis’s

[00:28:52] Alexis: book.

[00:28:53] Alexis: Yes.

[00:28:53] Pat: I did eventually go to therapy. I’ve gone 2 times, and the second time, she said, you know, I don’t really think you know, unless you just want to, I think you’re doing really well.

[00:29:04] Pat: But my family really has been the best. The reason I did the therapist but because I’m just not that tight. You know? I’m usually the 1 giving the advice and um, I was telling my sons. I said, I don’t wanna keep burdening y’all with this.

[00:29:22] Pat: You know? And it is on my mind a lot. So many things. Like I said, the different layers. so I don’t wanna keep I wanna compartmentalize this. I wanna have my time where I talk about this and just let it all out. And

[00:29:34] Alexis: what is next for you on your journey? Do you wanna learn anything more about Roy and anything else about him?

[00:29:42] Pat: Well, yeah. I mean, I I would. You know, it’s kind of hard to ask questions like they’ve explained he was nice and he was fun and, you know, he was a good grandfather, but um, I don’t know how to ask. Like, I’d like to know his interest. You know? Was he interested in music or some of the things that I was interested in? But I’ll have time to do that. My main thing is I I am working on the closure. I’m I pretty much moved on and decided that I have you know, the people that I have are just so great that, you know, I’m I’m fine with everything. I think I’m in a good place.

[00:30:21] Alexis: Yeah. How did you make peace with the fact that you had 1 sister who was not interested in in having a relationship?

 I’ve always had a forgiving heart and not that she needed forgiveness, but I don’t I just don’t hold a grudge. And I wasn’t mad at my mother.

[00:30:41] Pat: My youngest son, he said about a week after all that. He said, I’m not mad at grandma anymore. I’ve decided. I didn’t know he was mad at her because I just I don’t get angry very much. And so I just feel bad for her.

[00:30:57] Pat: You know? And I I continue to pray for her that she’ll find, you know, that she’ll have peace over this. And regardless of how it turns out, that she’ll be be able to move on. But I think it was really from all the good people that I have, you know, and the people that I’ve met and just realize that I’m enough.

[00:31:16] Alexis: Yeah. You are. You are. What advice do you have for a parent who is keeping a DNA surprise from their child?

[00:31:24] Pat: Well, it sounds a little hypocritical, but I I believe you should tell the truth, especially today. My mother had no idea that DNA was gonna reveal do it early. Don’t do it when they’re a teenager, though.

[00:31:44] Pat: That I think that’s a terrible time. But, you know, do it like you teach the birds and the bees. You know, you tell children a little bit and then you answer their questions as they ask more. And I think that would be the let the least traumatic way to do it. But I I think that, you know, I hear of so many people who are upset over not knowing.

[00:32:07] Pat: With me I didn’t feel that because everybody, every all the key players were gone. But you you know, it’s best to be truthful.

[00:32:19] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:32:19] Pat: do it early.

[00:32:21] Alexis: What advice do you have for someone who just discovered that they are an NPE?

[00:32:25] Pat: Be kind to yourself and remember that you have not done anything wrong.

[00:32:31] Pat: You’re gonna feel some shame about it, but you haven’t done anything wrong and you’re here for a reason. And you are good enough. And wait a little while because I did. And I think that was it because in the beginning, you just it’s so much of a shock. So take a little time for yourself.

[00:32:49] Pat: Think about what your goals are when you start out and then go about them as in a way that’s respectful to that other family because they’re gonna be having some feelings too.

[00:33:03] Alexis: Pat, thank you so much for sharing your story with me today.

[00:33:07] Alexis: It’s very inspirational to hear the way that you’ve moved through it and made peace with it, And I think that that gives a lot of hope to people who want to be in a good place emotionally with their DNA surprises. So I wish you the best.

[00:33:24] Pat: I hope it does help someone, and thank you so much, Alexis. You have been great. My husband said she needs a TV show.

[00:33:33] Alexis: That’s

[00:33:33] Pat: you you just don’t know.

[00:33:36] Pat: I thought about that quote. The wounded has become the healer. And that issue

[00:33:44] Alexis: Oh, thank oh, that means a lot. Thank you so much.

[00:33:48] Pat: Thank you.


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