Spitting Into the Wind – Part Two

16 Aug

Leave it to me to leave a cliffhanger hanging for the better part of SIX years. When last we spoke of spitting and waiting and having fights with husbands that resolved – (still married!) – and sending off DNA kits, although I knew I was mainly Norwegian.

(I was hoping for pirates.)

I received my initial results, which made sense, but made me a little sad. No Hawaiian. No Spanish, or Greek, or Russian, or anything the tiniest bit interesting. Yes, I was Scandinavian. That was old news. The new news was I was also English – specifically the coastal kind of British that was regularly raided by Vikings. I imagined big men in braids savaging British bar maids over the centuries. Which, I figured sort of made me MORE Scandinavian than British, not that it matters or that raiders should be admired. I was also a tiny bit Irish. In that first report, I think it was seven or eight percent. And that was a bit of a shock. There is much to admire about the Irish. In America, we owe the Irish a great debt for their contributions. But did I WANT to be Irish? It didn’t help that my original abuser was very Irish.

As you may know if you’ve spit into a test-tube, the hits keep coming. Every year or so – as more data is collected – you get updates. Over several years, I watched my Irish grow into double-digits. Recently, Scotland came into play, showing off annually in leaps and bounds and resting currently at 37%. England has gained ground, toting up 31%, as Norway has stayed steady at about 24%. I have learned that my Norwegian ancestors hail from the Telemark region – which is really lovely and should make me want to hike more, but I don’t. And Ireland hangs in there at 8%.

After sending off my kit, I was able to find and talk to my bio-father, whose family has a long American history. I should probably see if I can join the DAR (Daughters of the Republic).

What does it all mean?

Well, I have gained a lot of peace by understanding my heritage — my super-duper totally anglo heritage. I was crossing my fingers for a little spice, but no such luck. I have read up on these different parts of the world and feel confident that I understand the history and their current role in the world. I had plans to visit Norway that were dashed by recent events but I shall go. More recently I have learned that I connect back to Lower Midwest & Virginia settlers in the early 1700’s, and early settlers of Connecticut and New York. I envision earnest men in white leggings and buckled shoes and women, canning and sewing – and in my heart of hearts – I’m proud of them.

In context as an adopted daughter of a toxic parent, it also means to me that I feel much less like a person living in a floating bubble, belonging nowhere. Currently, I have over 65,000 living DNA matches, 921 of whom have indicated they would like to have contact. Having found my new-to-me half-sister, Merri, a few years ago, it’s tempting. Perhaps this storyline will need a Part Three?

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