New Year – Same Old Me

What do you know? It’s another year, another January, and here I am, making another post. This one’s not a “new year, new me” post because I’m still working towards fully plant-based (those damn Cheeze-Its keep f’ing me up) and I’m still working towards being a runner.  As a matter of fact, some friends and I have joined a Run The Edge/Run the Year 2019 challenge to do 2,019 miles as a team this year.  But that’s a post for another day.

This post came about as I realized the comment I was posting on Facebook was so dreadfully long, it should have its own venue.  Voila – here I go.
I should preface this with “if you know me, you know I’m not a science junkie”.  I mean, I want to be but I just don’t understand or retain much of it. Let’s face it, I can write contracts around the science of things all day long but that’s specific to a technology or process, and then I immediately forget how it works and I move on. I’m not proud of that; it’s just how my brain works. There’s only so much room in there.

Now for all of my life I’ve had this notion – based in family stories and pictures and HISTORY <emphasis> and my cousins’ freaking awesome cheekbones – this notion that I had a significant degree of Cherokee DNA or blood from my mom’s side of the family. Also, thanks to seeing Dad’s DNA results, I knew to expect ties to West Asia (middle east region) and Africa, not at all unlikely considering Sicilian history.

Well guess what? That’s not how any of this works apparently. Who knew?? Obviously not me. Now of course they found out my dad is my dad – do you really think I’d be out here maligning my mom on a blog?? But guess what they didn’t find?  Not a single, solitary hint of Cherokee or Native American blood.  I feel a bit like Senator Warren must have, minus the spotlight and the nationwide degradation of character.  Also, they found nothing related to West Asia or Africa.  (no evidence of Moors pillaging and plundering found in me, thank you very much!)

What the DNA did reveal was: 52% France (yes, I knew I had my pa-paw’s eyes and apparently his white-washed blood too), 21% England/Wales (go Gran!), 13% Ireland & Scotland (there’s that Campbell blood coming to light!), 9% Italy (they specifically call out Sicily so here’s to figuring out where I got that booty from), and then 3% and 2%, respectively, from Germanic Europe and Norway.  Where did THAT come from? 

I’ll admit I was taken aback with the results, but let’s keep it in perspective. What I learned isn’t life-altering – it engenders more of a “hmmmm, that’s odd” response.  What if I’d learned one or both of my parents weren’t even MY parents? What if I’d learned something truly significant and life-changing? There’s long been an ethical debate around anonymity in adoption and donation of sperm or eggs. Personally, I have difficulty picking a side. Logically I want to resort to the confidentiality terms and promises made to the individual and agreed to be upheld by the facilitator of the transaction as well as the new parents, but there’s the emotional side that acknowledges you can’t create a whole PERSON without owing them some answers as to their creation. It all leads me to wonder how today’s technology, and the promise of what might be available in the future, impacts the willingness of people to participate in those transactions. The very transactions that offer the parenthood opportunity to otherwise childless couples and individuals may be at risk because of the fear of being pulled into a relationship you didn’t want for yourself at the time you agreed to it.

What are your thoughts on it?