Ray’s DNA Surprise

Imagine being 16 and witnessing your parents’ divorce. Imagine finding out at this time that the man who raised you is not your biological father. After finding your biological father and failing to connect, you go through the next three decades just living your life. You have a child. You get married. You get divorced. And then you take a DNA test and experience a DNA surprise all over again. Only this time, the truth is closer to home than you imagine. In this week’s episode

In this week’s episode, Ray shares his remarkable DNA surprise journey, including how he finally discovered the true identity of his biological father. 

Thank you for sharing your story, Ray.

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Episode Transcript

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

[00:00:00] Ray: I said, you know, 50s and 60s and 70s, everything was, pushed away and hidden because, you know, they didn’t think in 50 years time, you can get all these DNA kits and just buy and send it away and then they come back.

[00:00:15] Ray: I said, back then, nobody had a clue.

[00:00:21] Ray: Hi, I’m Ray, I’m 50, just turned 52 and I’m from Australia.

[00:00:28] Ray: So we sort of going to go back and forward a little bit. Go back to the start, obviously was born, the father figure two sisters, so then I get to the age of 16 and my mom and my dad split, I went to live with my mom and my two sisters went to live with her dad. So then mom tells me, peter’s not your, your father, this other person is.

[00:00:51] Ray: And I was like, Oh, like 16 years old, you’re going to sit. I do want to meet him. And I said, yeah, okay. I really didn’t have a clue. Like, the only thing that started to get me was when I was 12 and 13, I was playing junior sport. And you had to produce a birth certificate and it had obviously just different names. I remember asking my mum. Cause she was still married then. I said, Oh, you know, what’s his name? She goes, Oh know, when I married your dad I was married to somebody else and, you know, I had you, but I just didn’t get around to changing

[00:01:25] Ray: and at 12 and 13, you go, you don’t know. So I go, yeah, okay. And you know, we went at school a few times, we would go, you don’t look like anything like your sisters and blah, blah, blah. But that sort of happens anyway.

[00:01:39] Alexis: How did you feel when your mom tells you at 16, Oh, by the way, this is actually the truth. Like, how did you take that?

[00:01:48] Ray: It’s funny, I remember pulling up into the driveway where we used to live, because then she was going to tell my two sisters, and it was just like a matter of. It was, you know, he was parked in drum, so you’re just here to talk to your sisters about you know, you know, Peter’s not your birth father, and it’s like, oh cow.

[00:02:09] Ray: So we only told the sisters and yeah, it was just, I don’t know, it was more like, oh. And she said, do you wanna meet him? I said, yeah. Okay. So,

[00:02:16] Alexis: Okay. So then you met him. What was it like when you met him?

[00:02:19] Ray: it was. iT was weird because, you know, you had this person who really hasn’t had anything to do with you and you’re thinking, Oh, you know, he’s my birth father, but and I met him with grandparents his brother and his wife, brother’s wife and their three children. He didn’t have any other siblings, so that was sort of it. We were still in Albury then. Which is sort of down southern end of New South Wales. And he lived up in sort of north end of Queensland. So it’s a long way away. So we ended up, catching a train to meet him and stuff. It was different.

[00:02:57] Alexis: Did you feel any connection to him?

[00:03:00] Ray: that age looking back at it, no um,

[00:03:06] Ray: but I did have a connection with his brother, which is funny. And I got on better with his brother than what I did with him. So, 16 to 26, I was trying to get a connection with him. And then at 26, I thought, Oh, you know, this is just not, you know, this is not working.

[00:03:25] Ray: So I’d cut that off, but it did actually still stay in contact. with his brother. I used to go up there and blah, blah, blah. It really got on well with him. And then it got to about 30 and then I just cut that off as well. I just didn’t have any real, like looking back and I didn’t have any connection at all with my birth certificate father,

[00:03:46] Alexis: yeah, okay So to just kind of recap what you’ve explained you had a father growing up and then around 12, 13, you find a birth certificate when you’re going to play sports and you see another man on the birth certificate. But at that point, your mother still explains it away.

[00:04:09] Alexis: Your father that raised you up to that point is your father.

[00:04:13] Ray: Yes.

[00:04:14] Alexis: And then at 16, she comes back to you, when you’re 16, she comes back to you and says, Actually, that wasn’t true. The man on your birth certificate is your biological father. You connect with him. Try to make it work for 10 years or so. It doesn’t really work.

[00:04:34] Alexis: You do connect with his brother for another few years and then both relationships kind of fall off.

[00:04:41] Ray: Yeah. Yeah. I just fall, fall out. Yeah.

[00:04:43] Alexis: Okay.

[00:04:45] Ray: I get married and so forth and then, you know, divorce and blah, blah, blah. So it was about, it must’ve been just 40, it’s been about 10 or so years ago. I get this Facebook message my cousin contacted me. You know, searching on the Facebook and found me and sent me a message saying, oh, can you contact my, my father, which is, you know, my birth certificate’s brother, my uncle.

[00:05:14] Ray: I said, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, I rang him up and he said, oh, you know, look Tim’s, you know, in palliative care and yeah, he’s not fully not going to survive. You know, he’s gonna pass. It’s like, okay. He said, oh, you know. Whatever you want to do, you do sort of thing. He said, it’s no, it’s no skin off my nose, whatever.

[00:05:33] Ray: But he said, it’d be good to keep in contact with you. I said, yeah, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, he kept me updated and he rang up and said, oh, look, he’s passed. Do you want anything? I said, no, I don’t want, you know, I don’t want anything at all. So, so yeah, then I reconnected with him. And obviously I had a daughter by this stage, she must have been five or six or something, she might have even been a bit older, but they invited me to go up there for Christmas. So I had to take my daughter, Gemma, up there and she’s met all these new people and the kids going, what’s going on?

[00:06:05] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:06:06] Ray: Kept in contact and Gemma got involved, we got invited to cousin’s wedding and Gemma was in the bridal party and, and so forth and, you know, we all get on really well. And then Gemma must have got to year, she’s in year seven now, which is first year of high school. So she must have been in year four. So at the start of year four, she comes home and she goes, Oh, dad, we did a a family history thing at school tonight. And she said, you know, I don’t know much about your family. I said, Oh, okay. I said, I really don’t know much. I said, I can, my great grandparents on, you know, both sides.

[00:06:43] Ray: So I said, Oh, this is it. And so that’s sort of all I know. And I said, if my birth certificate side by, by which he. My father’s side originally came from France and then they went to England and, and so forth. So I said, you know, we might have a bit of French blood. And she was like, so excited.

[00:07:01] Ray: Oh, might be French. And, you know, can we go to France? And I thought, Oh my God, what have I done? So, she was telling me this and I was watching actually an Ancestry show on one of the TV channels here. I think it’s Find My Family or, something similar. And, you know, the ads for the DNA kits come up.

[00:07:20] Ray: And I thought, oh, that’d be, really good to find out what my ancestors did. So, you know, ordered the kit, you know, you spit into the little thing, send it away. And they’re back. You know, it’s email and send you a result and it’s like, Oh, I opened it. I did Scottish, a lot of Scottish, a lot of Irish, English like Swedish, and then the bottom was Tongan and Samoan. And I thought, that’s weird because. Birth certificate. Father was born in England, so I thought, if I don’t have a lot more English blood

[00:07:58] Alexis: Yeah,

[00:07:59] Ray: you know, English heritage and, you know, what I did, and then that was weird. And then down the bottom was a Tongan and Samoan, and that was even stranger.

[00:08:08] Ray: And I don’t know any, both sides of the family, you know,

[00:08:12] Alexis: because it really could have only come from your mother then, if, if your birth certificate father is from England, like it probably would have been from your mother then, the Tongan in Samoan, right? If it was accurate, yeah,

[00:08:25] Ray: Yeah. So I was like, Oh, it’s weird. So, you know, sort of ditched that. And then you go on to where it’s, you know, you know, the matching one, like you’ve heard some of your matches

[00:08:37] Ray: and it came up. With these people and, you know, had Megan, Carmen, Sonia, and then Carmen’s got a couple of kids, so their children and all that. And it was like, this is weird, this name, like Smith, for example. It’s like, I don’t know any Smiths.

[00:08:58] Alexis: mm hmm.

[00:08:59] Ray: Megan was my What I found out was my auntie, she was quite, you know, high and I thought, I don’t know any of these people. And then Megan’s daughter Carmen was underneath and she was managing.

[00:09:13] Ray: So I just sent her an email she sent one back within a not even a week, I don’t think. And then we started to correspond going, how does this work? And I said, Oh, where are you from? And she goes, we’re in the West coast of Australia.

[00:09:29] Ray: So it’s on the other side of Australia. I said, I don’t know any of these like the Smiths. And she’s still on. My mum’s maiden name was Jones. And they go, oh, okay. I said, oh, where was she from? And she goes, oh, you know, the Joneses were from Albury. And it was like, oh, that’s weird. I knew some people with that surname. I said, you know, we were family friends and we used to go around there a lot. I used to play sport with their sons, Mark and Brent, you know, we used to go there like , family outings as such, because, ah, so for two or three years, it was it was my mum adopted.

[00:10:07] Ray: So I was trying to track down records, you know, to see how this all worked. And then it got to a stage where it was just. Driving me and I was actually going, it wasn’t really well mentally. I thought I’ll have to try and resolve this. So then I got my daughter to do it as well. And I thought, well, if it’s a mistake, if it’s a mistake, these people won’t come up on hers.

[00:10:35] Ray: So she did the spit and came back, opened it up and it was exactly the same people. What is going on?

[00:10:41] Alexis: So at that point, did you realize that

[00:10:44] Ray: no,

[00:10:45] Alexis: been truthful again, or were, or were you thinking this is some, you were kind of in that denial stage where you were thinking, Oh, my mother must have been adopted. There’s something else going on. Okay, so you were still in denial, but it was really bothering you that you didn’t have the

[00:11:01] Ray: yes, because of the society. You know, this is frustrating me why, it’s come up on my daughter’s one as well.

[00:11:08] Alexis: Mm hmm. Mm

[00:11:09] Ray: But then it was like, well, I have to resolve this somehow. And my cousin, Carmen, who I was speaking to, she was really good. But she’s really nice. But she, like I’d be asking her questions going, oh, you know, you obviously know more than what I do.

[00:11:28] Ray: She goes, oh, no, I don’t. So I ended up finding like a family society, history society.

[00:11:36] Ray: And they actually do. DNA stuff. I took all the results to them and they said, Oh, you know, come back in three weeks. So come back in three weeks. And they said, Oh, you better sit down, so he sat me down and I said, Oh, just open it up. And, you know, he slowly started to tell me Megan’s your auntie. And that’s like, Oh, she said. shE’s got three brothers and I said, yes, this is one, he said, those three brothers haven’t done the test. So we, all we can determine is that one of those three brothers is your biological dad.

[00:12:11] Ray: And I was like, what in the hell? It’s like, oh my God, like,

[00:12:15] Alexis: How did you feel when, when they told you

[00:12:17] Ray: It was like, when he actually told me about it, it was just like, what in, I was just in shock.

[00:12:24] Alexis: Mm

[00:12:25] Ray: And he goes um, Do you know who these art people are? And I said, yes. One of Megan’s brothers.

[00:12:31] Ray: I said, my mum knew him when they were younger. And my stepdad went to school with him. So I said, we were around in Nellie every weekend for barbecues and, I played sport with her boys. And I said, oh, yeah, and they’ve been really well. I said, not so much now because, life goes on.

[00:12:50] Ray: It’s just all a shock. And he goes, okay. So I got back home, rang up my cousin and I said, oh, they gave me the results. She said, as soon as you started to cover correspondence on you, she said, I knew it was one of mum’s brothers. And she said, obviously I knew, I think I was 90 percent sure it was. Going to be Ross. Which is the one I visited. We were going around there all the time. So long story short, we eliminated one brother, which down narrowed it down to two. And by that stage it was like, well, I think I know who it is.

[00:13:28] Ray: So March two. November, that year, I had a gut feeling it was him. And it was like, how do you? Ring up someone and tell them, this is what I found out and you could be my biological dad when you’ve known the person previously. So, yeah. I was a mental wreck by that stage.

[00:13:52] Ray: I have to finish this, so I sent him a message on Facebook, I messaged him and swapped phone numbers and, you know, he rang up and spoke to his wife first and how are you going and blah, blah, blah. Then he got on the phone and I said, Oh, I’ve done this ancestry thing.

[00:14:07] Ray: And sisters come up and it’s a close match. And he goes, Oh, which sister? Cause one of his sisters was adopted as well. And I said, Oh, Megan, the one in Perth. And that’s his biological one. He goes, Oh, right. And I said, yeah, Megan is coming. He goes, yeah, yeah, yeah. He said, Oh, what does that mean? I said, Oh, this is possibly a good chance.

[00:14:25] Ray: It could be my biological father. And it was also, Oh, he was just like, it just went dead silence. It’s like, Oh my God, what have I done sort of thing. So then it was like, I don’t know how, you know, had a bit of a chain. He said, I don’t know how this could be and blah, blah, blah. So he ended up a phone call. And then two or three days later, he rings up.

[00:14:51] Ray: He goes, It was a long time ago, 52 years. So he said, I’m just trying to rack my brain on how he said, the only thing I can think of is that he did a tour of Vietnam. So when he finished his tour of Vietnam obviously I was shipping him back. He was shipping them back home. And he came, his first port of call was Brisbane, which is up in Queensland. And my mom had relocated from Albury to Brisbane. Been going out with this other guy for a while. And he said, all I can remember back then is when he bumped into your mother and that was it. And it

[00:15:28] Alexis: Wow. Now,

[00:15:31] Ray: was like, Oh,

[00:15:32] Alexis: yeah, is your mother still alive?

[00:15:36] Ray: she is, but she’s got dementia. So she’s in a home. So, can’t get anything like, yeah, she’s got, she’s got no idea what’s going on. So,

[00:15:45] Alexis: Okay. So you can’t get answers there. So, so you get this confirmation then.

[00:15:52] Ray: Yeah.

[00:15:54] Alexis: How are you feeling at that point?

[00:15:57] Ray: I was actually quite relieved by that point because I’ve been bottling it in for like from March to November. So I was at the stage, you know, stages between March and November where I didn’t go outside the house because I was just in a heavy deal with something like this. So, um, when I actually said to him, it was like, Oh, I’m sort of relieved now, you know, it’s out, so I don’t have to keep it bottled in as such.

[00:16:23] Ray: So we ended up getting like a paternity Test, so then the paternity test came back at, you know, 99. 9999. So yeah, it was confirmed by the paternity test that he was actually my biological father. So

[00:16:41] Alexis: Wow.

[00:16:42] Ray: yeah,

[00:16:43] Ray: So, so looking back going around their places at 12 and 13, not even knowing it’s also, Oh my God. And the sister

[00:16:53] Alexis: no idea then, like none,

[00:16:55] Alexis: that you were his son. Wow.

[00:16:57] Ray: all he, all he sort of said cause you know, Orby’s got a population of like, it’s a bit bigger now, but back in the day, it was 30 or 40, 000.

[00:17:06] Ray: So it’s one of those places where everyone sort of, knew each other or somebody knew, you know, a friend would know someone. So it’s all, so he said, I remember seeing you as a baby. Cause I obviously went back to Orby and mum went back to Orby and he said, didn’t even register.

[00:17:20] Alexis: Wow,

[00:17:21] Ray: Oh,

[00:17:22] Alexis: Did you end up meeting him again?

[00:17:26] Ray: I met him met him in March just for a night. Flew Up and obviously my brothers, again, , my sister and Sister-in-Law and a couple of big brothers kids who were, you know, a bit older. And then went up and took Gemma up in July. We stayed up in the Gold Coast for like a week introduced Gemma and stuff.

[00:17:46] Ray: And then I just came back. Two weeks ago, just for went up there for like three nights, just his wife wasn’t there. So, it was just me and him actually. So it was actually quite good to have a little bit of a chat about things.

[00:18:00] Alexis: You mentioned that with Tim, you did not really feel a connection. It was something that you really tried for. Do you feel a connection now?

[00:18:11] Ray: No, because I’ve gone through two, two other people thinking they being my birth father. So it’s really hard to think about him , as my dad. So. My sister in law goes, so it’s a very similar in, little quirky things that you do and stuff. And even when I was walking around the shopping center the other day with him, he’s going, Oh, this shop here, Oh, let’s get something. And we’re sort of walking around and going, I can see where I get my I can’t think of a word.

[00:18:41] Ray: We can’t sort of settle on one thing. You have to sort of

[00:18:44] Alexis: Oh, like indecisiveness?

[00:18:46] Ray: indecisiveness. I could be going, Oh, one cafe. Oh, no, I don’t like it here. And then we sort of walked around and I was thinking to myself, now I can see where I’ll get this from.

[00:18:56] Alexis: That’s

[00:18:56] Alexis: funny.

[00:18:57] Alexis: You said that not knowing and having all of this uncertainty really affected your mental health.

[00:19:06] Ray: Oh,

[00:19:07] Alexis: How are you doing now? Yeah.

[00:19:12] Ray: I actually let it go in November and said, I need to get rid of this either way, it was like, you know, what if it? It doesn’t work out. It doesn’t work out. It’s like, at least I’ve got it out. I think it would have been easier too, if it was a stranger, because you’ve got no con, you’ve got no connection to a person.

[00:19:30] Ray: So it would have been like, if I found out in March, you know, I would have been trying to track him down and it would have been a lot easier to, Just come out with it then, you know, to somebody that you actually used to know.

[00:19:44] Alexis: Yeah, why do you think that is?

[00:19:46] Ray: Well, it’s just a personal approach, knowing someone personally yeah, it made it really difficult to go, geez, but, you know, until I say like, he’s 74. So. Imagine being 74 and getting a phone call out of the blue and going, Oh, what did you do 52 years ago?

[00:20:03] Alexis: Yeah, yeah. Now, are you the oldest of his biological

[00:20:07] Alexis: children?

[00:20:08] Alexis: Okay.

[00:20:09] Ray: my younger, brothers, he’s just turned 50. So it’s probably a year and a half to two years difference. So he wasn’t going out. With their mom, when he had the meeting with my mama. So,

[00:20:24] Alexis: I think that tends to help. It seems to help the relationship when there wasn’t an affair or anything like that.

[00:20:31] Alexis: So, mm hmm. Mm

[00:20:34] Ray: another issue was that his wife and my mom, when they were younger, they were really close friends. So I think she’s got a. Not at this time. She’s got no, no issue with me and Gemma, but yeah, at the start it was, she was very, I think, disappointed in her husband, because, you know, here we were as family friends, and obviously he hadn’t said anything to her previously about his relationship with my mum, and then all of a sudden finding out.

[00:21:07] Ray: Oh, she didn’t say anything and he didn’t say anything. Yeah, I was being, you know, a close friend with his mum and yeah, she’s really nice.

[00:21:17] Alexis: I know that you can’t get a lot of answers from your mom because she has dementia. Do you have questions for her, if you could

[00:21:28] Alexis: ask them, and what are they?

[00:21:29] Ray: I’ve sort of done a bit of research on her too, but you know, she was. Born in 52 and her parents back then were 36 and 37. Obviously that was when she was the only child. Back in the fifties to have a child when you’ve at all, I shouldn’t say that all, but back in the fifties, you know so I think she spent the first six or seven years, whatever you do at primary school. And then they shipped her off to, to boarding school. So she must’ve been 12 or 13. She had me at she was pregnant with me at 18 and sort of had me at 19. So in between that, she’d obviously left the hometown and moved up away.

[00:22:12] Ray: So in some way, it’s like, well, she never really had a relationship with her parents really, because after primary school, going to boarding school away, and then she’s obviously moved, so all I can think of is that she was so young, and obviously she knew, they all hang out in a friend circle, so I think she knew, but because she was so young, she’s just going, oh, it was this other guy, which they were dating, so.

[00:22:44] Alexis: You think that she knew that Tim wasn’t your father?

[00:22:49] Ray: yeah.

[00:22:50] Alexis: Okay.

[00:22:51] Ray: you know, it’s easy for me to say that, about, you know, her being in that state of going, you know, she’s got no idea, but I’ve got a gut feeling that she, she knew. And you know, when she had me, she was only 19, so I think she just panicked and gone. It was a, British bloke.

[00:23:09] Ray: So,

[00:23:10] Alexis: it is interesting though that at some point, she did decide to come clean with some version, right? That the man who raised you wasn’t your biological father.

[00:23:22] Ray: Yeah, because when they split, when those two split, yeah, my two sisters went. Yeah, it went for Dad and I went with Mum and that’s when, that’s, all I remember is asking her and she told me and I said, oh heck, I mean, no one told me before, oh, your stepfather didn’t want you to know.

[00:23:37] Alexis: WHat do you hope for with your relationship with your newfound family or reunited family?

[00:23:45] Ray: it’s still in that respect, I’m still in that thing, I really don’t belong anywhere really, I’m still, I know who my father is now and who my mother is, but I still got two hats as such. So, you know, my two sisters. On the other side, one’s not one when I’ve told one because I’m changing my name to change my birth certificate to my biological father’s name.

[00:24:10] Alexis: Okay. Well, let’s take a moment to discuss that. That’s a big deal. So you are, you’re correcting your birth certificate in your

[00:24:17] Alexis: name.

[00:24:18] Ray: I’ve done that. I’ve got that back and now I’m going through the stages of changing. Yeah. Changing. to his name or my name really

[00:24:28] Ray: now.

[00:24:29] Alexis: Why is that important to you?

[00:24:31] Ray: tO find out now I know who I am. I’ve been after 52 years to find out, you’re not a and you’re not a , but you’re actually an as such.

[00:24:41] Ray: So, yeah, you know, it’s now I know who I am.

[00:24:45] Alexis: Yeah. Congratulations. That’s, that’s something that I think a lot of people in our community Well, I’ll speak for myself. I hadn’t really thought about the name conversation until I started speaking to people on the podcast. And it makes perfect sense to me that, you know, once you know the truth, you want documentation to support that.

[00:25:07] Alexis: And like you said, that’s actually who you are.

[00:25:10] Ray: Yeah. Cause he, you know, birth certificate had this other name on it and he wasn’t even biologically anything. And my new father, he goes, is there anything you want to know or want me to do? And I said, the only thing I’m really, you know, apart from things, I said, the only thing is like my birth certificate I want sort of changed.

[00:25:31] Ray: He goes, yeah, yeah, yeah. So he’s been really like open to it. You know, he’s got another. He said, now I’ve got another, granddaughter and you know, his wife is, when we first, I took my daughter up here, I said, she said, you know, Jimmy, you can call me, Nana and you can call your pop and stuff.

[00:25:49] Ray: So she’s, everyone’s been really accommodating. But my sister was on the other side, on the old side, I shouldn’t say on the old side, but you know, who I grew up with, she, she’s been a bit funny with me changing my name and so forth, but it is what it is really. It’s not to say I’m not their brother anymore.

[00:26:11] Ray: It’s just, you know, what I’ve found out. So

[00:26:15] Alexis: yeah,

[00:26:17] Ray: If it wasn’t for my daughter coming home on that particular day, because it was a Tuesday and the show’s on a Tuesday night, so when she told me I was watching a show, so I always think if she came home from school and didn’t even Mention anything about that.

[00:26:33] Ray: It would’ve been one of those things, I would’ve looked on the TV and go, oh yeah, get, I should get one of them one day and just never got it. And so I would’ve been going on with life thinking, you know, the person on my birth certificates, my, dad,

[00:26:45] Alexis: Wow.

[00:26:46] Alexis: Wow.

[00:26:47] Ray: The timing of it all

[00:26:48] Alexis: and it’s so interesting. There are so many of those little coincidences or luck or serendipity that happen throughout these journeys, right? And you’re right. If your daughter hadn’t happened to come home that day and said, Hey, I want to know more about my family while you were watching that show.

[00:27:07] Ray: Watching that show would’ve been like, she said, would you get it done? And I said, well, well. If you came home and didn’t say anything and I, you know, cause I like, I still, you know, I was watching that show all the time. I still watch it. And I was always fascinated by, watching those shows going sugar, you know, Hamilton, when you got 60 people finding out at, you know, 50 and 60 and, you know, different all ages going, how would you feel

[00:27:31] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:27:33] Ray: it’s my cousin now calls it, he said, Oh, it was just like going through reality TV show. That’s all I got.

[00:27:40] Ray: It’s like,

[00:27:41] Alexis: than fiction, for sure.

[00:27:43] Ray: It’s

[00:27:44] Alexis: how have you been supporting yourself and taking care of yourself throughout all of this? What’s been helpful to you?

[00:27:53] Ray: went to a counsellor at the start because I was seeing her before anyway. So I did a couple of visits to them and then where the historical society is. I’d actually go down there a little bit and have a chat to them about it all. And they were really quite helpful, like really nice, really nice. I remember going down there quite often, still go down there, and I said, you’re not the only one, I said, now all these kits are coming out. We’ve had people like you come in after taking the test and going, what’s going on? I said, you’re not the only one that’s come in like this. He said, we’ve had heaps of people.

[00:28:31] Alexis: How has your daughter Gemma been

[00:28:33] Alexis: processing all of

[00:28:34] Alexis: this?

[00:28:35] Ray: The only thing she was disappointed was that she was hoping to have a bit of French, you know, so we could go to France and the only thing now I say to her is because she’s got a bit of Tongan and Samoan. That’s from my father’s side. I said, oh, you can’t go to France, but you can go to Tonga or Samoa.

[00:28:52] Ray: It’s just not the same.

[00:28:54] Ray: So,

[00:28:54] Ray: so we ended up finding where that connection was. If it goes back like five or six my fifth great grandfather or six. Yeah. He was on a boat after leaving England and I stopped in at Samoa or Tonga and he got off and he ended up marrying someone from there.

[00:29:12] Alexis: Mmm,

[00:29:14] Ray: But yeah, so she was disappointed with the French bit and she’s met, when we took her up there, her sister’s got two, two children around the same age, so children are quite resilient. So they got on like a house on fire, and yeah, she was, kids, I think kids are really good like that.

[00:29:32] Alexis: yeah.

[00:29:33] Ray: It’s probably easier for her to do it than me.

[00:29:38] Ray: It’s just a journey still, still, you know, still trying to figure out, you know, who everyone is and what everyone’s doing and, you know, where do we really belong. Cause I’m still in that. I really don’t belong anywhere really. I’m just sort of there. So, it’s just weird, but that’s good weird.

[00:29:57] Alexis: Yeah, but you know, that’s part of it, right? And it just

[00:30:01] Alexis: takes time to figure it all out and it’s still relatively new for you.

[00:30:06] Ray: Yes, it is. So it’s only been, what are we now? 10, 11 months. So yeah, it hasn’t been a year,

[00:30:11] Alexis: what advice do you have for a parent who is keeping a DNA surprise from their child?

[00:30:19] Ray: I think tell no matter what age it is, you have to tell them because you don’t want to get to my age or, even people who are older and then find out all this and also medical stuff too, you know, if there’s any medical issues. You just have to tell, tell people,

[00:30:36] Alexis: And what advice do you have for someone who just uncovered a DNA surprise?

[00:30:43] Ray: Probably go and seek a counsellor eat well, if you do exercise or do whatever interest you have been doing, keep, you know, keep that up. So I just stopped, you know, used to exercise, just stopped everything. Talk to and talk to a lot of people.

[00:31:00] Alexis: Ray, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your story. I’m so glad that you got the answers to who your father was after kind of sitting in that space of confusion. And I wish you the best as you just navigate and kind of figure out where you fit. And I hope that you find a place where you feel like you belong.

[00:31:23] Ray: Thank you, Alexis.


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