Heartened

The whole kit & doodle!

DNA Testing – A change in plans

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I asked my sisters to do DNA testing with me. This is best, I believe, for all our sakes. I want us to KNOW. I don’t want there to be doubts floating around in our heads, impacting our relationships down the road. This is too important for there to be any mistakes. My one sister (J) told my other sister (R) that she is afraid to become emotionally invested in a relationship with me without knowing for sure. I GET that so completely, and fortunately, R told her that I get it. I guess J was worried that I’d think I was unwanted because she isn’t calling me everyday. R reassured her that I’m not thinking that at all and again stressed that I truly understand the need to protect her heart. I’m the same way. And quite frankly, if the tables were turned, I’d be reacting exactly as J is!

I care about this too much to leave it to chance. (A note to mom who can read this from “The Everafter”: Mom, this all would have been easier if you had told the kids about me before you died. I love you, I hope you don’t let fear be your guiding star your next time through life!)

Anyway, so I had been looking online for “home siblingship” DNA tests. Found a bunch with prices all over the place. Cheapest was $180 for two siblings to be tested. I began doing research. An “absolute must” when choosing a DNA lab is to ensure they are accredited by the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks). Guess what the $180 testing company doesn’t have?

Now, I’m no geneticist, but let me try and explain the DNA of siblings in very layman terms. A child gets half their DNA from one parent, half from another. But multiple children don’t automatically get the same 50% from each parent, equalling 100%. So in reality, two siblings are only likely to have 50% of their DNA match one another. This is in the case of FULL siblings (same mother and same father). I don’t have the same father as my sisters. J & R don’t have the same father, either. Which means we only have 25% of our DNA in common. We have the added complication of not having our mother alive to be tested as well. So our sibship study has to be pretty intensive in order to give us accurate results.

I’m not leaving this up to chance or to a potentially flybynight company. So I went to the best. Orchid Cellmark. This is the company that did DNA testing for the OJ Simpson trial, the Jon Benet Ramsey case, etc. It’s going to cost me $900 for me, J & R to all be tested. (Accuracy is higher with three children to compare.) I’m thinking that is $900 well spent, especially considering I was willing to spend that much (and more) just to find them. Since I didn’t have to spend that kind of money on the search, I have it to spend on the test.

I’ve already been told that I’m insane for doing this – twice in the last 24 hours.

I disagree. I think it is worth every dime.

Orchid Cellmark has already opened a “case file” for us. My sister R and I called them together last night so she could give them hers and J’s contact info. Once I pay the fee (sending it in Monday), the lab will call each of us and schedule a time for us to go to the nearest lab they have a contract with. There is one near all of us. We will each go in, on our own, and get our cheeks swabbed. It takes them about two weeks to do the study and give us our results. I can live with that.

I truly believe these women are my sisters. R and I both “allowed ourselves” to become emotionally involved with each other. We took the risk because our instincts both say it is safe to. Honestly, I couldn’t help myself – she and I are so much alike. Plus, I’ve no doubt that under other circumstances, R and I would have been the best of friends anyway. She said, “at the very least, I’ve made a new good friend.” Exactly. But I know in my heart it is more. My heart knows these are my sisters even as my mind says “Hold up there, girl, don’t go jumping feet first!” It’s this weird dichotomy I’ve got going on in my head and heart.

Getting all metaphysical on you, here, but I really believe our mom has had a hand in making this reunion possible. I can’t really go into details because I don’t want to betray a friend but let me just say that I truly believe that there was some serious “divine mom guidance” going on, particularly in the early days of my information seeking. Too many “perfect circumstances” showed up through which I was able to glean information. I don’t believe things happen like that by chance. I believe they are deliberate.

(Yes, Mia, Abe-Hicks and ACIM too! LOL)

I’m excited about finishing the DNA studies. I think we all feel like we are sort of in limbo right now until they’re complete. I think we all need these questions answered before we can move on and start building a sibling relationship, making plans together, etc. I’m hoping it is done by Easter – we would like to drive down there for the long Easter weekend. I’m not sure we “should” unless the results are back. But we’ll see. My mind says, “be careful.” My heart says, “Wheeeeeeeeee!!”

March 25, 2006 Posted by | Adoption Void | 5 Comments