Growing up, one classmate told people he was born on a star. We laughed it off but, underneath, I empathized. I knew very little about my Korean origins, many moons from where I landed in America.
Alien and alone, I tried to make sense of my differences without all the information. Being ½, Asians don’t think I’m Asian. Most people think I’m Hawaiian. Most Hawaiians think I’m Haole. In my family, those of us born outside the country outnumber those born inside (Stand down, Trump).
During my daughter’s recent assignment displaying flags of her ethnicity, though her genetic variety left very little white space to fill, again the reminder that the mystery extends to her generation. So, I signed up for an autosomal DNA test.
Because I am female looking for information on the man’s family (but with no access to them), I did “Family Finder.” It provided my specific DNA markers and a snapshot of areas reporting similar DNA patterns.
No surprise, I’m 50% Asian! It’s exciting to see that my love of Chicken Paprikas, Outlanders and the drive to visit Ireland may be intrinsic, not just a product of my environment. Am I now 1 gazillionth in line for the British throne and ineligible to marry Harry?
Truth: they’re all foreign to me.
The website fascinates me with details on people’s global migration explaining how my markers reach Madagascar and beyond. I’ve always wanted to “Eat our way around the world without leaving LA” but now have a more personal path to map.
Crack open that Korean cans of worms… who shares my DNA. Since I’m not currently conducting pursuing leads, I simply check in sporadically to see (as more people test) if anyone joined my tribe. So far the closest match were 2nd – 4th cousins, and many 3rd – 5th. The fact that I can’t tell the difference between 2nd cousins vs. cousins twice-removed causes me more anxiety than who appears in my feed. Though I’ve seen some similarities in a face that could complement mine, my kids disagree.
Though so far not life-changing, I’m glad I learned this information to strengthen the weave of my tapestry of life experiences making up ME!