Shannon P’s DNA Surprise


So many DNA surprises start with a gift. Mothers Day. Fathers Day. Prime Day. Christmas. Almost every month, consumer DNA testing companies offer deals encouraging people to give a DNA test as a present. If you’re listening to this podcast, you know how this sometimes turns out.

In this weeks’ episode, Shannon shares how after receiving a DNA test as a gift from a friend, she learned that her birth certificate father is not genetically related to her. As it turns out, her biological father was a well-known figure in the small town she was raised in. She tells us how this discovery has affected her family and her sense of identity, and how she’s building a relationship with her newfound siblings.

Thank you for sharing your story, Shannon.




Join the DNA Surprises Patreon community! Listen to episodes one week early, gain access to exclusive content, use merch discounts, and more.




Episode Transcript

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

[00:00:00] Shannon: My dad never had a personal conversation with me my entire life. And I mean that. Yeah. He never had a personal conversation with me. It was, where’s your mom? What’s for dinner. He never ever said, how do you like school? Oh, how do you like living in Hawaii? Nothing.

[00:00:21] Shannon: I mean, nothing, but he was never unkind to me ever. You know what I mean? He was never mean to me. I really love and honor him. But before I knew all this, I, I would tell you, I had no relationship with my father, at all.

[00:00:39] Shannon: Nothing. Now, both of my kids, they idolized my dad and my mother and my mom and dad loved them. I got kind of jealous of my siblings who will say, Oh, one time dad and I did this, or dad and I went there, dad told me this. And I’m a little bit envious, you know, and then on my other side, my biological father’s side.

[00:01:04] Shannon: Can you imagine the delight and the sadness that I felt when I realized that he had a guitar and he, they have pictures of them all gathered around and he loved John Prine, which is one of my favorites. And he sang to them all. And so you’re mourning the loss of that kind of interaction.

[00:01:27] Shannon: And then on the other side, you’re feeling Like, you want to be really honorable and respectful, you know, to the man who raised me because he was a good, hardworking man.

[00:01:39] Shannon: My name is Shannon and I’m 58 years old and I am from Montana.

[00:01:52] Shannon: My friend, my childhood friend, we were on the phone. We talk every Sunday. And she was talking to me about her 23andMe test. And now we’ve both done Ancestry, but I hadn’t done 23andMe. So we’ve been friends since we were 14. So she was telling me about her Neanderthal, DNA, the percentage of the gene variation, and it was 90%.

[00:02:25] Shannon: And so You know, I started teasing her about having that much Neanderthal, gene variant in her DNA and I was giving her a bad time. So when she, we hung up, her phone came across with a sale for 23andMe. So she thought, okay, well let’s see how much she has. So you know, she told me, Hey, I ordered this for you.

[00:02:51] Shannon: And you know, we were laughing. The kit came and I completed it and then sent it off. Didn’t think one thing of it. I’d already seen my ancestry DNA. And so it came back a few weeks later and I just, you know, ripped it open and raced to where it said Neanderthal, the gene variant. And as I was zipping by, I saw it said I had a half sister and I really went by it.

[00:03:21] Shannon: I was like, that can’t be. So. You know, I saw how much Neanderthal variant. And then I went back up to the top. I’m like, this all happened within like, you know, 30 seconds or something. And I saw where there was a woman who was listed as my half sister. And it literally took like a couple of really two minutes or more to see.

[00:03:49] Shannon: And I, I immediately thought, Oh my gosh, my dad had a child out of wood lock. And I, my dad, you know, I have no reason to think that, but I just assumed that it would be. My dad, because my mother, , was a very right Catholic woman who already had four children when she had me and everyone called her St.

[00:04:20] Shannon: Teresa. So I started, you know, doing some research. Of course, I called my friend. And she felt really bad because she had given a similar gift to her nail tech because she, her nail tech has been really good to my friend. who has very rare breast disease. So that woman’s DNA came back and she had a DNA surprise that her father was not her father.

[00:04:53] Shannon: So my friend is feeling incredibly guilty. And so we worked together to try to put, the story together and we kept running into, that doesn’t make sense or no, that doesn’t make sense. What happened is we discovered what my sister have, from my biological father, we figured out what her last name was.

[00:05:18] Shannon: As soon as I saw her maiden name, I absolutely knew who my biological father was. And I have to say that, it shocked me. My biological father was a very charismatic, A policeman who a book has been written in part about him. He’s on the cover and he is known for, he was subpoenaed to appear before a San Francisco court, him and some other men from my hometown because they were, they were running guns from my hometown to the IRA. And now he was not found guilty. None of them were, so he had that reputation, which, you know, I’m a really, identify strongly as Irish. So, there’s a part of me that, thinks he’s a hero for doing that. And then he went on to, to struggle. And so what he is most famous for is.

[00:06:35] Shannon: He was a lieutenant in the police force in our rural town, and he had gotten addicted to pain meds from an on the job accident, and he robbed a drugstore.

[00:06:52] Shannon: While he was running, the police caught him, but he had, he had a mask on. So when they caught him, they pulled the mask off and there was their lieutenant. Yes, it was quite the shock to everybody.

[00:07:14] Alexis: Did you know him, like, as a child, or did you recognize the name because he was infamous?

[00:07:21] Shannon: that’s a great part of the story. And I’m glad you asked that or I would have forgot to tell you. My father. Was going to be questioned in a different trial a few months after the robbery, three weeks before his birthday, which is today, he was shot and killed and It was classified as an accident. I don’t necessarily believe that, the way it happened. It was difficult to imagine that somebody who was a skilled hunter, like. My father would have done it the way that it was classified.

[00:08:03] Shannon: I knew about him growing up and this was so interesting and really, really has. made the story even more, kind of unbelievable. So my mother would tell me stories. About him never saying he was my father when I was born, he had two children and my mother already had four and my mother was nine years older than him, but he was a very gregarious, handsome, charismatic man. My mother met him while she was working at a historic restaurant and he would come into to get their, their sandwiches. So all through my life, my mother would talk about him. Like, Oh, I remember he came in and, you know, he’d always take me out in the police car and this, that, and the other kind of stories about him.

[00:09:01] Shannon: And I, you know, I, I, I, you know, I, I was just a kid. I didn’t think too much about it. And then I have this distinct memory, Alexis, and I mean, it is so distinct. My mother was sitting in our bay window in her blue bathrobe. And I was fourteen. And she was holding the newspaper. And she said, Well, they’ve killed Johnny now.

[00:09:28] Shannon: When the newspaper, published his, death, from what was a hunting accident is what they were saying. But my mother knew something else, you know, she didn’t say anything to me, but she looked up and said, well, they’ve killed him now. And he was getting ready to go to court there was quite a lot going on the mayor had to step aside, you know, there was a federal investigation so I remember those things, but I never ever thought in a million years that anybody except my dad was, My dad.

[00:10:08] Shannon: So, you know, I started, you know, reaching out to my sister.

[00:10:15] Shannon: And so I’ve come to find Alexis that I have four siblings on my father’s side and five on my mother. So I have nine half siblings I Don’t like the term half sibling, so, but I don’t have any siblings that are full siblings. They’re all full siblings to each other on both sides, but

[00:10:38] Alexis: Mm hmm.

[00:10:38] Alexis: Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, this is so much information to take in. You’ve learned. Who your father is, you learned that he was an infamous person, in your, in your youth, in your childhood. You remember hearing about this and you remember your mom talking about him. How are you feeling as this is all sinking in?

[00:11:03] Shannon: You know, I feel like there’s some really good things that have happened. So, this happened six months ago, or seven, first of all, my son, who’s 41, he is the image of my father, the image of my father. And when you put their pictures together, my father died when he was my son’s age.

[00:11:29] Shannon: And so I had to really like cope with telling my two children and that was really hard. I don’t ever want to see that kind of pain on their face ever again. They love. Their grandmother beyond all belief and they love their grandfather who I thought was my biological. So that as a mother, that was super painful,

[00:11:57] Shannon: my children have been, affected by his story. Very differently. My son, he is, coming to terms with how much he looks like his grandfather and, He struggles a little bit with the infamousness of him and, And my daughter is, I feel idolizing him right now and seeing him, as more of a romantic hero.

[00:12:28] Shannon: And I think that you know, it’s created some, it’s created something because it’s, it, it is, complex. My son is letting my daughter know, we don’t glorify those things, this is this and we can have respect and compassion and love for him. But I, and my daughter on the other hand, is picking up on the more charismatic traits of her grandfather.

[00:12:56] Shannon: I do think that if he would have been an accountant from down the block, this would not be as charged, but he happened to be this famous, charismatic

[00:13:13] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:13:14] Shannon: So that creates some, I even have it, you know, because I’m Irish and this is such an Irish town that he’s a hero to me for smuggling the guns to Ireland now, whether that’s right or wrong, isn’t the point.

[00:13:31] Shannon: And then there’s the other part of me that knows that he hurt his family. He hurt my brothers and my brother and sisters with his behavior and has left a lot of scars. A hole in their heart. And so, it’s a conflicting story.

[00:13:51] Alexis: Right. Exactly. It’s, it’s definitely interesting. And there’s, yeah, multiple ways to view it, but I also understand, you know, how it’s a little bit more exciting, right? Like you said, if he was an accountant, it probably wouldn’t feel like it’s as big of a deal, but maybe it would because it still is a change to your, your parentage.

[00:14:12] Shannon: I’m really fortunate that my biological father’s children have just embraced me. And just have been so welcoming and loving. And we’ve taken it very slow, but they just immediately were there. Unfortunately on the other side of my family, my mother’s side, my four brothers do not believe me and my sister who knew my biological father and so did my older siblings.

[00:14:47] Shannon: They knew him. She has been the one to accept it. To this day, I have never had a kind word from the other siblings. Not one. So that has been difficult, but here’s the other piece that makes me so grateful. I now understand why my mother treated me different than the rest of my siblings.

[00:15:11] Shannon: And I used to say all throughout my childhood, I don’t belong in this family. I don’t look like any of you guys. You know, that’s snotty kind of preteen. And she was quiet the whole time. My mother was a very upright, staunch Catholic, Irish Catholic. So it was my biological father. It was 1965.

[00:15:37] Shannon: He’s married. She’s married. What are they going to do? Except do what they did, carry on my mother stayed married to my dad and he stayed married to his wife. Always felt criticized and belittled by my mother and nothing I could ever do was right. And this, I want you to know, Alexis. This changed my entire view of my childhood. I was like a

[00:16:09] Alexis: interesting, yeah.

[00:16:11] Alexis: Yeah, it’s that hindsight made everything clear.

[00:16:15] Shannon: My siblings on that side, there was five of them. They will swear up and down that I was her favorite.

[00:16:22] Alexis: So

[00:16:24] Shannon: what happened in terms of my childhood is I, you know, I struggled a lot from no self worth, no, no confidence,

[00:16:34] Shannon: and my mother was never physically abusive, but she was incredibly difficult person. And so I don’t think it’s a surprise that I went on to have a baby at 16. I wanted to have. somebody who would love me. And so when I had my son, my mother didn’t come to see the baby for like a month. I was staying with relatives.

[00:17:02] Shannon: But when she saw him with his gorgeous blue eyes and beautiful Auburn hair, just like my biological father, from that point forward, He could do no wrong at all in her eyes. So I think what’s really happened from my childhood Is it’s like I was responsible far ahead of my time. My younger sibling, the restaurants, my parents owned when I was just a kid, you know, I was responsible to make sure things got done and it, that I don’t feel like I had the childhood that some people Because I was so enmeshed with my mother and what she thought of me, and then also what she expected of me.

[00:17:55] Shannon: And they did not match. She conveyed a sometimes contemptuous attitude toward me and never ever could take any joy. in anything I accomplished. But on the flip side, she always would tell me, I want you to be Miss America. I want you to be. And so that was really difficult growing up because I firmly believe that I was a reminder of her shame. I really, how could she be St. Teresa and have a child. Outside of her marriage.

[00:18:35] Alexis: Were you able to confront your mother?

[00:18:37] Shannon: Oh, that, that is really an interesting part. I think so. My mother, my biological father and the man that I knew as my father. are all dead by the time I found

[00:18:50] Alexis: Okay.

[00:18:51] Shannon: My biological father, one brother was killed in a car accident and another brother died before I found out. And his two sisters also passed away.

[00:19:03] Shannon: So there’s nobody from that generation that is alive that can help me, with any questions I might have. Guess I look at it like all of the principles are dead, meaning my biological father and his wife, who I have a lot of respect for, learning about her from my sisters and things.

[00:19:28] Shannon: And also my father that raised me, I have nothing but deep respect for him, but they’re all gone. And most of my mom’s friends have passed away. And also, her couple of siblings that she was close with that I think if they were still around, I could ask them and if they knew they would tell me, but I’m not able to do that on either side.

[00:19:54] Alexis: What questions do you have, if you could ask?

[00:19:58] Shannon: I guess what I would say to my mother because my mother shamed me terribly when I got pregnant at 16. She sent me away from home, had me live somewhere else, so I would like to say.

[00:20:13] Shannon: to her, why didn’t you tell me as I got older to you shamed me? Why did you shame me for having my son when you had the way you, way I was conceived was according to you, something shameful, you know, from her religious upbringing. So I’d like to ask that question. Those two questions. And then I’d also like to ask, my biological father, I would like to know, did you ever know about me?

[00:20:44] Shannon: I’ve found my sisters, you know, my brother is gone.

[00:20:49] Shannon: He had a heart attack when he was real young, but I found my sisters. They’ve been loving and kind. My grandmother, I’m the image of my grandmother. And I have several cousins that the, we look so much alike and I would have liked to have known those people, you know, Alexis, I would have like my, my grandmother is mentioned in a book about, women’s rights and the labor movement and all kinds of stuff.

[00:21:20] Shannon: And I would like to have known her. She outlived all of us. Almost all of her children. So I had time to know her if I only would have known.

[00:21:29] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:21:31] Shannon: I guess one thing that’s really on my mind, is, was your image more important than my, right to know,

[00:21:40] Alexis: Mm. Yeah.

[00:21:42] Shannon: know, cause it, it certainly played out that way, you know?

[00:21:46] Alexis: Yeah. Now, you said that as an outcome, your, raised siblings have not been, as accepting. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

[00:21:58] Shannon: I’ve always been different from everybody in my family, temperament wise. I went on, even though I was just 16, I finished high school. I finished my bachelor’s degree. I have two children. I went and got my master’s degree. I’ve worked for years in my chosen field. Not one of my siblings can say that, not one. What I would say is that all six of us on my mom’s side, They’re all very, very, and the grandkids too, very attached to how my mom presented herself, which was above reproach, a strong Catholic. And my mother was a hard worker and a good person, but that’s, my mother really dominated everybody’s life.

[00:22:49] Shannon: I wrote them all a letter, each of them, all five of them. And, detailed what had happened. My sister has been the only one, the other siblings have said absolutely nothing, nothing, except they did convey That’s not true.

[00:23:08] Shannon: That DNA, you know, that can do anything. And this is more drama, from her. They just don’t talk to me about it. They don’t say, how are you doing? Or that must be tough. Or could you explain to me how, can you explain this DNA test to me? But what I’ve been met with is a complete wall of silence, other than to disavow,

[00:23:33] Shannon: my paternity.

[00:23:33] Alexis: Okay. I’m so sorry to hear that. Now you’ve said that your newfound family has been more welcoming. Can you talk more about how that’s going?

 I think the smartest thing that happened is that we took it slow. It’s like we agreed to let it organically develop and nobody pushed or pulled or did anything. So we have over the last seven, eight months, Just each invite the other one to go somewhere to have a little coffee or tea. My sis, one of my sisters took me to her favorite yarn shop which It really meant a lot to me.

[00:24:18] Shannon: My other sister is really like my one sister. She is not at all effusive. She’s a good kind woman, but you’re not going to hear, Oh, I love you. My younger sister on my biological father’s side, you know, she, we were making a, a story about. Certain kind of bread for Christmas and she reached out and took my hand.

[00:24:45] Shannon: And for the first time, she said, I love you. I thought, oh, thank you. And she said, no, I want you to hear me. I love you. And, being invited to make Christmas baking, being invited to go to their favorite yarn shop and hang out and have some lunch later and the little garden parties and things like that have been really healing.

[00:25:15] Shannon: Now, my one sister, her husband, knew my mother. He worked in the afternoons while he was in high school at this shop and she was the manager. And of course he knew nothing like the rest of us, but he’s been so welcoming to me too. And he says nice things about my mom and they’re respectful. And so I appreciate all of that, and they invited me to meet their children.

[00:25:45] Shannon: And I think the important thing, Alexis, is I don’t over romanticize anything. They’re people. My other siblings are people. They all have their trials and tribulations, just like I do. So I really work hard to make sure that I don’t offend my older sister on my mom’s side because she was 17 when I was born and she always talks about how she put me in her room in the crib and, you know, wanted to be with me and I never want to hurt her ever.

[00:26:22] Shannon: And I don’t want to romanticize my newfound siblings cause they’re just people like me,

[00:26:29] Shannon: I want you to know what’s difficult. So I live in a small town and everybody knows my, my, um, older sister and her husband on my dad’s side.

[00:26:44] Shannon: They are well known throughout this town and everywhere I go, what’s been really difficult is. I’m getting my hair done or I’m picking up concert tickets from someone’s house and I’m chatty. I’m an Irish girl and so we’ll start talking and then I’ll say, Oh, do you know my, and I named them and they say, Oh, well, yeah, she’s my really good friend.

[00:27:12] Shannon: And you know, what’s hard is I have. Not said, oh, well, that’s my sister or that’s my sister’s husband because They’ve been here, they were born and raised here. I was too, but I left many years ago. And so I, I have that feeling where I want to say, well, that’s my sister, because in this town where I grew up, the first thing you do, Alexis, is you say, Oh, well, who was your dad?

[00:27:44] Shannon: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And he was, Oh, and your mom was married. And that’s how we greet each other in this small town. So now I have new siblings and a new brother in law and I want to do what’s traditional in our community. Our Irish community is to start connecting all of the dots between our families. And I don’t feel that it’s appropriate for me to say to folks. Oh, well, that’s my sister. That’s my brother in law or that’s my other sister. And it is really difficult because I’m proud of them and I’m proud of who I am. So my sisters and I have been talking and

[00:28:26] Shannon: I said, look, I’m not saying anything. I want you to know that I say I meet people that are your friends and, people we know in common, but I don’t say how we’re, I, I just say, Oh, I, I know her too. And that took a lot of courage for me to even broach that topic because I was afraid.

[00:28:45] Shannon: It’s like, are you going to be shamed again? Are you going to feel like you’re not part of this family because we don’t want anyone to know about you? And it’s not been that way. That’s not what they’ve done. They’ve been, you know, it’s like, it’s okay, Shannon.

[00:29:04] Alexis: Yeah.

[00:29:05] Alexis: So you’re relatively new to this process, right? You said you started connecting with your siblings and things, you said, eight months ago. So, What has been helping you process this? What have you been doing to take care of yourself and work through this?

[00:29:24] Shannon: Well, my friend, she’s a clinical psychologist, the one who got me the 23andMe test. She got me listening to your podcast, The DNA Surprises.

[00:29:38] Alexis: Oh,

[00:29:39] Alexis: well, thank you to your friend. Yeah.

[00:29:42] Shannon: awesome. I listened to one and it happened to be the one on grief and I thought I was okay, Alexis. And I just started bawling and I couldn’t go back to them for about a month and a half Because I suddenly realized oh this hurts

[00:30:00] Shannon: that’s one thing that’s helping me listening to the podcast that is helping me a lot. The second thing that helps me is that I am a big fan of the Stoics and my Stoic studies have really helped to inform me that, okay, let’s, let’s just try to look at it logically. And then also I look at it emotionally, but I was at a family picnic.

[00:30:37] Shannon: And I started, I was telling my niece something, she’s just a little bit younger than me, about my dad. And I started crying. And my sister on my maternal side was sitting there and she’s 17 years older. And I know she didn’t mean it, but she said, Oh, what are you guys talking about? And I said, my dad. And she goes, Oh, you’re still upset about that?

[00:31:01] Shannon: And I’m thinking, I just found out two months ago. So, you know, kind of, it’s lonely a little bit, isn’t it? When

[00:31:13] Alexis: Yes, it can be very lonely. Mm hmm. And there’s this expectation of just getting over it.

[00:31:20] Shannon: Yeah. Yeah. And, and you kind of want to say, well, who you thought your dad was, is your dad, you know?

[00:31:30] Alexis: What is next for you? What are you hoping for the future? I mean, again, I, I’ve said it a few times, but truly, I mean, you’re pretty new into this journey. So what are you hoping to do next?

[00:31:41] Shannon: Well, I’m planning on coming to the conference. In the fall in Arizona,

[00:31:49] Alexis: Oh, the DNA surprise retreat.

[00:31:51] Shannon: yes,

[00:31:52] Alexis: Oh, that would be awesome. Good to meet you. Yeah.

[00:31:56] Shannon: So I’m planning on joining that community of people that there’s a lot that you don’t have to say to each other because we already get it. So we can, I’m looking forward to being in that space.

[00:32:13] Shannon: I’m really want to hear what people have to say and how they are coping. And then I’m also going to do that last, um, event you have here in December.

[00:32:26] Alexis: Yeah, the, the meetup, the monthly

[00:32:28] Alexis: meetups, yeah, I don’t talk about them that much on the podcast and I need to because every month for people who don’t know, I have zoom calls for people in our community. They’re free and open to anyone in the DNA surprise community and it’s been a really special little group that we have going.

[00:32:47] Alexis: Yeah,

[00:32:53] Shannon: to the DNA surprise community. I’m going to do the meetup and I also am looking forward to the retreat in the fall. So that’s one thing. The next couple of things I feel are,

 I have some work to do, Alexis. I do. My friend, the psychologist, she’s there for me. I mean, no matter what, and she’s done a bunch of genealogy. The other thing that I’m going to keep working on is she came here last summer for our 40th class reunion. And we spent several days, you know, going to the place where all of my paternal, grandparents are buried.

[00:33:43] Shannon: Uh, we went to each of their tombstones. We went to the county seat and we did research and we found where my maternal grandmother and my paternal grandfather were in the same newspaper on the same day. And It’s just, I’m going to continue to immerse myself at a slow pace it’s just so important that people, not people, so I’m going to say what’s important for me is to take things into context.

[00:34:23] Shannon: My parents were both married in a staunch Irish Catholic town. What else were they going to do? So I’m putting things in context. I am working toward understanding my mother better now that she’s not a saint to me. She’s human. She’s human. And my, my father was human and I’m human. So I want to spend time, just in reflection about, people are human and things happen.

[00:35:01] Alexis: yes,

[00:35:02] Shannon: will take me toward a more peaceful acceptance.

[00:35:07] Alexis: yeah, it’s important that we de stigmatize being human. And a lot of these things do happen, they aren’t necessarily the way that we want them to happen, but they do happen. And that’s a very compassionate view that you have.

[00:35:20] Shannon: Yeah. And I struggled a lot with feeling like I was, I did something wrong. Even though, you know, intellectually I know better, but my newfound sisters, they said, you did nothing wrong. None of us did anything wrong. None of our generation. And they don’t, pile on. Our father or my mother, they’re, forgiving too.

[00:35:44] Shannon: So I, I think that I’m going to work on not feeling like somehow I’m the shameful secret. I, I need to work on that. I do.

[00:35:56] Alexis: It’s not your fault.

[00:35:58] Shannon: no, no. And, and it’s also really important to me that I keep my dad that raised me. I mean, that man deserves so much love and respect for who he was, and I never want to take away.

[00:36:17] Shannon: From him the honor that I have for him,

[00:36:21] Alexis: Yeah, yeah.

[00:36:23] Alexis: What advice do you have for a parent who is keeping a DNA surprise from their child?

[00:36:29] Shannon: When it’s appropriate, you do have in my mind an obligation to To your child and when I say the right time, it may be once they’re an adult or once, maybe the person who they thought was their father is gone to let them know. I think it’s important for that parents. Well, being to be honest with their child.

[00:36:59] Shannon: I think that’s a healthy, good thing to do. And I do also believe that depending on the circumstances and whatnot, you have to time it where whether your child is seven or 47, you have to when the right opportunity is to tell them. And that’ll be something, that the parent will determine.

[00:37:20] Shannon: But the worst thing is when you find out after everybody that was involved is dead, that’s hard. That’s hard. So my advice would be to be honest to to time it appropriately given who the child is and what the circumstances are, and just be honest. And then you gotta be there. You have to be there for them, and they’re gonna go through the things that I’m going through.

[00:37:50] Shannon: Denial, anger, judgment, but I’m heading toward the compassion door, you know, I’ll get there. But, it would be helpful if my mom or my biological father were around. to help me through this. So I think that’s important. That would be my advice.

[00:38:08] Alexis: And what advice do you have for someone who just discovered that they’re an NPE?

[00:38:13] Shannon: I believe your first impulse could be anger and lashing out. But that’s a feeling that will ebb and flow. I think that the most important thing is to let it sink and give it some time That could be a month. That could be, you know, three months. It could be two weeks, but even though you’re feeling all the things you’re feeling, just know that as time goes by, your feelings will evolve, your thinking will evolve, and you’ll come to a place that you can live with. And you just need to really make sure you give yourself the time that you need to incorporate all of the information.

[00:39:00] Alexis: Thank you so much for sharing that. Shannon, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. It’s really nice to hear from people that are pretty new in their journeys because I think a lot of people that find the podcast are pretty new in their journeys and you’re definitely helping people feel less alone.

[00:39:19] Alexis: So thank you so much for coming on and I wish you just continued peace and healing as you navigate.

[00:39:27] Shannon: Oh, thank you. And I look forward to seeing you in September.

[00:39:31] Alexis: That’s right, I’ll see you soon.

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Sign up for episode updates, event info, and more.