Jamie’s DNA Surprise

Welcome to the season 6 finale of DNA Surprises. In this week’s episode, Jamie bravely shares her DNA surprise journey, which began 5 years ago with a 23&Me test.

Jamie’s story encapsulates many parts of the DNA surprise stories we hear. She shares how her NPE came as a complete surprise. Her story includes an ethnic shift, from Italian to Portuguese, rejection AND acceptance, family estrangement, secrecy, and openness. and mental health issues. She also touches on her experience as a recipient parent of an egg donation and how her NPE has reaffirmed her commitment to be transparent with her daughter. 

Jamie acknowledges that while her journey ebbs and flows, she’s living life on her own terms now and is dedicated to welcoming relationships that nourish her.

Nina’s DNA Surprise

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

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

Shelly’s DNA Surprise

Parenting while navigating a DNA surprise journey can be an extremely difficult task. In this week’s episode, Shelly shares how she not only uncovered that her raised dad was not her biological father, but that she is also ethnically Jewish. She discusses many challenges we haven’t dived into on the podcast before, from how the DNA surprise affected her son, to the unexpected financial implications of a shocking discovery.

Liann’s DNA Surprise

DNA surprises are, by definition, surprises, but sometimes there are murmurs and suspicions long before a DNA test confirms the truth. In this week’s episode, Liann shares how she uncovered her mother’s secret long before she took a test. She talks about how she’s navigated her journey so far, including rejection from her biological father. She also reflects on how her admiration for her raised father has only grown in light of her DNA surprise.

Christa’s DNA Surprise

Christa always knew that something wasn’t quite right because she looked different from her family. When she got the results of her 23&Me test, she learned that her biological father wasn’t who she expected, and neither was her ethnicity. Christa talks about how she’s navigated building relationships with her newfound family and connecting to her Moroccan Jewish heritage. She also discusses the challenges she faces because her mother died shortly after her DNA surprise.

Kim M’s DNA Surprise

In this week’s episode, Kim shares how she learned that after feeling different from her family her entire life, she is not genetically related to her raised father. She also learned that she isn’t white as she believed, but descends from a large Mexican family.

She shares how she’s processing her surprise and connecting with her family. After my interview with Kim, she decided to turn her DNA surprise into support for others. At the end of the episode, we reconnect to discuss what’s changed for her and what’s she doing now.

Robin’s DNA Surprise

Every DNA surprise is unique and layered, and this is especially true for those who have major shifts in ethnicity. In this week’s episode, Robin shares her NPE journey, which began more than a decade ago. Robin was always proud of her blackness. But when she made her discovery, she not only learned that her dad is not her biological father, but that her biological father is white—and racist. She shares how her discovery has affected her sense of self and her relationships.

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.

Layla’s DNA Surprise

Layla always knew that she was adopted by family. She also knew both of her birth parents, or so she thought. In this week’s episode, Layla shares how she discovered she is an NPE and what she had to do to identify her biological father. Layla also discusses the many nuances of discovering a new ethnicity.

Linda’s DNA Surprise

Some DNA surprise stories are harder to unravel than others. When Linda found out about her NPE, she was nearly 60 years old and both her mother and birth certificate father had passed. In this week’s episode, Linda shares how she was able to track down the identity of her biological father despite genealogical challenges such as endogamy, (the custom of marrying only within the limits of a local community, clan, or tribe).