Last night, DNA tests came up in conversation with my daughter’s coaches.
My daughter surprised me with a “Why don’t you tell them?” instead of the “Mooooooom!” and piercing glance she typically gives me that says “Not everyone cares about your adoption story.”
And so I shared my story of finding out through a DNA test at 46 that I was adopted. It went as most of those conversations go, and I tried to answer their questions as openly as I could. A boy of about 10 was listening intently in the waiting room, and he moved a little closer to me so that he could speak quietly. “You know,” he said. “You sound like my mom.” Not sure what he meant, I asked a few probing questions. It all came tumbling out.
He shared a story that was heartbreakingly similar to my own.
Family secrets taken to graves. An uncertainty of the truth. His mother had taken a DNA test of her own after stumbling across some clues that her family narrative might be different than the one she knew. She matched a woman online who appeared to be her sister but who refused to respond to requests to connect. I asked if he would mind if I chatted with his mom when she arrived. His smile said everything.
When his mother arrived, I introduced myself and explained how her son had briefly shared some of her story (and that I hoped she didn’t mind). I gave her the bullet-point version of my own, and her eyes welled up with tears.
We talked about adoption search resources, Search Angels, and centiMorgans.
At the end of practice, I wrote down all of the websites for her and gave her my phone number. She paused for a moment before looking me directly in the eye. “Do you ever feel like things happen for a reason? Like God puts people in your path?”
“All the time,” I responded.
“I had given up. I didn’t know what steps to take next and here you are. Thank you.”
As I drove my daughter home last night, I thought about how she had been the encouragement for me to even start the conversation. I glanced over at her in the dark and asked, “Do you ever feel like things happen for a reason? Like God puts people in your path?” She smiled, nodding.