Something that I’ve heard more than once on this podcast is a situation that goes something like this: people are having an argument. A mother and child. A husband and wife. Both parents with their child, or some other combination. And then, in the heat of the moment, someone reveals the truth. So and so isn’t your real dad anyway.
And then, just as quickly as it was blurted out, it is taken back. Dismissed. Forgotten about or explained away for years, until decades later, a DNA test brings the truth to light.
In this week’s episode, Jill shares her version of this story. Her story is ultimately one of resilience. From childhood abuse to cancer diagnoses to her NPE, she discusses the truth as she knows it, and how she emerged from her challenges with the goal to inspire others to persevere in the face of adversity.
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.
If you’re familiar with other DNA surprise podcasts, this week’s guest needs no introduction. And if you aren’t allow me to introduce you to Lily Wood, host of NPE Stories. Lily started NPE Stories after experiencing her own NPE in 2019. She is a strong presence in our community, a bonafide truth-teller, and I call her one of the OGs in this space.
She joined me to talk about her DNA surprise and how it has affected her life. Lily offers a vulnerable and transparent look at what happens when the relationships in our lives aren’t what we hoped to be, and how we can create our own families where there is none.
In this week’s episode, Josie shares a DNA surprise that doesn’t come as the result of a test she took, but of her own revelation well into her twenties. She always knew that she was donor conceived and raised by a single mother, but it wasn’t until she had her son that she wanted to find her sperm donor. Josie shares why she wanted to seek out her donor and what she hopes to gain from their future relationship. Her story ends on a cliffhanger – listen to the end of the episode for an update directly from her.
When an NPE connects with newfound family and begins building positive relationships, many people consider it to be a success story. Sometimes, though, relationships take a turn, and rejection happens further into the relationship. In this week’s episode, Kimberly shares how she uncovered her DNA surprise and connected with her biological father. She also discusses her surprise when, 18 months into what she thought was a wonderful relationship, he abruptly changed his feelings toward her. She talks about how she’s working through this change in her DNA Surprise journey and which relationships she still holds dear.
Sometimes DNA surprises lead to flourishing relationships with newfound family, but sometimes they do not. In this week’s episode, Angie shares how a comment from her birth certificate father’s wife revealed a non-paternal event. She discusses how she identified her biological father with the help of DNAngels and her disappointment at his unwillingness to build a relationship. Angie also shares how she reached a place of compassion for him and his family, as well as her mother.
Before her DNA surprise, Gretchen believed she was the youngest of 3 children. It turns out that Gretchen’s biological father had two children before her – he had a daughter, Barbara, in his first marriage. Then he had her brother, Jimmy, in his second marriage. He abandoned both families and had an affair with Gretchen’s mother, which is how Gretchen came to be. After his relationship with Gretchen’s mom ended, Gretchen’s mother returned to her birth certificate father while pregnant with her. Gretchen’s father remarried and had two more children. He is still with his third wife today. While all of the children involved know about each other, his third wife does not. Gretchen and her two older siblings remain secrets. Gretchen’s story is painful and complicated. She speaks about how she always felt different and how she feels knowing the truth.
When Diana learned that her biological father is an old family friend, she was completely shocked. But soon after her discovery, many things started making more sense. With the help of a newly found cousin, Diana began making connections with her family members, including an aunt.