Bonus Episode | An update from Michael Paul

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA Surprises. Michael Paul first joined me in Season 2, shortly after his discovery. In this bonus episode, Michael shares an update on what’s happened in his life since we last spoke. He shares his journey of discovering the importance of self-care and setting boundaries after a DNA surprise.

He also discusses his evolving relationship with his bio dad and the challenges he faces, along with the positive changes he’s made in his life, such as changing his last name and pursuing his career passions. This is a shorter version of our conversation – if you’d like to hear the episode in its entirety, join me over on Patreon at Patreon.com/DNASurprises.

Bonus Episode | What’s Next?

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA Surprises! Today I am joined by my good friend and co-founder of the DNA Surprise Retreat, Debbie Olson. Debbie is a Certified Life Coach and founder of DNA Surprise Network. She helps others navigate life’s path after having a DNA Surprise, having experienced one of her own. She enjoys using her skills of empathy, understanding, and communication with her coaching clients.

In Debbie’s session at the DNA Surprise Retreat, “What’s Next?” she’ll talk about building on our strengths, the power we already have, and the next right moves to keep practicing after the retreat. In today’s episode, we talk about what a life coach does, how it’s different than therapy, and why there is room for both. We also discuss how coaching can help people navigate a DNA surprise by using their existing strengths and emotions to help them move forward.

Bonus Episode | Write to Heal

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA Surprises. Christine Wolf is a Chicago-based author and writing coach whose focus is on memoir and biography. Her award-winning work is regularly featured in national newspapers, magazines, and on live storytelling stages.

Through her compassionate and trauma-informed approach, Wolf empowers writers and non-writers alike to find their authentic voices. In 2018, Wolf lost a younger sister suddenly; in 2022, thanks to a home DNA kit, she discovered an older sister they never knew existed. Christine will facilitate a session at DNA Surprise Retreat – “Write-to-Heal” is an empowering, flexible, and compassionate exploration of therapeutic (cathartic) journaling as a tool to help document your story and aid true healing. In this episode, we discuss Christine’s personal experience with DNA surprises, how writing is a proven healing tool, and why you don’t have to be a “good writer” to reap its benefits. My conversation with Christine inspired me to get started on my own story–I hope it moves you to do the same. We all have stories to tell!

Bonus Episode | Let It Rain

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA surprises. In this episode, I’m joined by Lindsay Johnson, a registered nurse, board-certified nurse coach, and integrative health coach who cares for the caregiver through stress, burnout, and trauma healing. She utilizes various methodologies in her practice, including mindful listening, transformative coaching, somatic experience and trauma healing, mindfulness, HeartMath, and gentle accountability.

Lindsay helps her clients reconnect to themselves and their bodies, become more aware and mindful of their coping mechanisms, access their courage and inner wisdom, and shed old habits in order to make way for more self-compassion and love. In her session, “Let it RAIN: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture,” Lindsay will teach us how self-compassion is a vital portion of the healing process for DNA surprises

Bonus Episode | DNA Surprises & Grief

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA Surprises. In this episode, I’m joined by Jennica Klemann, an Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Arizona Licensed Massage Therapist. She specializes in a variety of losses including death, divorce, loss of health, child loss, pet loss, and complicated familial dynamics, just to name a few. Jennica is facilitating a session on grief at the DNA Surprise Retreat. In this episode, we discuss the different kinds of grief, misconceptions about grief, and how we can begin to integrate grief into our lives. Grief is a huge part of the DNA surprise journey. I hope you find this information helpful.

Bonus Episode | Radical Acceptance

In this very special bonus episode of DNA Surprises, I’m joined by Jennifer Spencer, who is facilitating a session on Radical Acceptance at the DNA Surprise Retreat. Jennifer is a licensed professional counselor who works with people who want to make lasting change for themselves to better their relationships, enjoy life, and make an overall life worth living. She specializes in DBT, CBT, ACT, and EMDR. In our discussion, we chat about what Radical Acceptance is – and is not, and why it’s important in our DNA surprise journey.

Bonus Episode | Big T, Little t

In this very special bonus episode of DNA Surprises, I’m joined by Megan Irwin, who will be facilitating a session on Trauma at the DNA Surprise Retreat. Megan is a licensed therapist specializing in grief and loss, trauma/PTSD, and associated challenges. She serves as a compassionate witness and guide for her clients’ healing and personal growth. Megan will facilitate a session called “Big T, Little t” on how DNA surprise traumas affect our bodies and minds. She’ll also empower us with tools to manage the big feelings we experience following our surprises.

Bonus Episode | Right to Know

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA Surprises! I had the privilege of speaking with Kara and Alesia from Right to Know about all of the amazing work they do for the MPE, DCP, and adoptee communities.

Debbie’s DNA Surprise (+ A Special Announcement!)

DNA Surprises aren’t limited to NPEs. In this week’s episode, Debbie shares how she always knew she was adopted, and later learned her biological father was dead. Little did she know that a consumer DNA test would change everything. Debbie shares what’s been helpful to her throughout her journey and how she’s used her own experience to help others.

Bonus Episode | Crossover with ERWES

Welcome to a bonus episode of DNA Surprises, a crossover with Everything’s Relative with Eve Sturges! In this episode, we chat about our own NPE stories, the importance of humor throughout our journeys, and why we started our podcasts. I also share something I’ve never shared before – that I’ve been on the other side of a DNA surprise.