Owen and I were pretty tickled when we saw our post featured on the 23andMe Instagram feed, along with the message "Here's to the beginning of your DNA story!". I haven't thought too deeply about the process or what information I might uncover as there are deep waters to wade into as an adoptee, but I have thought a long time about taking this actual leap which for me is about so much more than spitting into a test tube for fun.
I'd been waiting to receive this as a gift having told a few people over the years this was one thing I really wanted when asked, and feeling like spending the hundred dollars was a bit self indulgent. I finally decided it was worth it and I should stop waiting for someone else to fulfill this desire, and gifted myself this long awaited experience. That decision felt liberating, and proactive, and how it was actually supposed to happen the moment I made it, and I understand better now how I was also being passive about it for other reasons as well. Our kits were the only thing I purchased on Black Friday last November, the two-for-one solidifying it would be a tandem adventure for me and my oldest son.
Identity has always been a big gray area for me. I still struggle in some ways with defining who I am and where I fit in to this world having spent all of my childhood and young adult years trying to blend into a very white world. Just yesterday a friend at work said to me how she always forgets that I'm asian. I laughed and replied that I sometimes forget too. Afterward, I felt a little hollow and sad about both sides of that two sentence conversation. I know for her she was expressing the common stance of presumed kindness to "not see color". For me, my answer was absolutely true and sincere, but also really one that ignored a singular important and basic fact about who I am.
The truth is, I want people to see me AND I want to fit in (in some ways), and quite often those things feel absolutely mutually exclusive.
I can feel how these edges, how my work inside Studiofemme with marginalized communities, and the things I am experiencing in my own constant search for identity are finally colliding in some brave new way.
This tiny tube of saliva feels both like a Pandora's Box and a Golden Ticket to so many things inside of me that I am finally ready to see and share.