15.2.21

Family Matters

I'm adopted.  I've known that all my life.  Family lore has it that my parents were told that they needed to let me know early, so at five days old, bringing me home from the Boston Lying-In, my mother informed me that I was her baby girl and I was adopted (family lore also has it that I then spit at her, cementing our future troubled relationship).  In other words, I've never not known.

I've also always been comfortable with belonging to the family I've lived with since then.  

However.... there's one thing I've always wondered: what is my ethnic background?  Beyond "Ashkenazi Jew", I mean.  People not knowing my religious background, seeing my (as Thing One calls it) vampiricly pale skin and dark hair have questioned whether if I'm Welsh, Irish, Spanish or Russian, among others.  So a couple of years ago, I did that Ancestry DNA test.

Results?  Mostly "Eastern European Jew" with some "Spanish".  Ok, that makes sense, because in 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the Jews from Spain and many migrated to Eastern Europe.  Then, I got an update: I'm 100% "Eastern European Jew" (they can't get more specific).  Two weeks ago, another update: 99% "Eastern European Jew" and 1% "Swedish" (sadly, I missed out on the blond hair/blue eyed genes).  

My sister has found her biological family, and my father has always been interested in doing that research.  He's also exploring his family tree with the help of my cousin D. D. actually manages my father's DNA, and in doing some poking around, he discovered links between my father and sister.  We were speaking last week and I made him manager of my DNA... and lo and behold, Dad and I are also cousins.  Distant cousins, I should stress.  Like, fifth cousins or more distant. 

I don't know how we're related, exactly.  And I'm not eager to truly explore it.  It's just good to know that we're related... we're family.  Of course, I knew that 58 years ago.

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