Ancestry

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Happy Sunday! I was expecting rain today, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with sunshine so far.  It was a lovely drive up to St. George’s this morning, for a baptism.  It’s the most people I have seen in attendance yet!

I was mulling over a bunch of topics for today and had pretty much settled on ‘Rain, rain, go away!’, but not only am I tired of seeing the rain, I’m tired of talking about it.  Working with folks in Alberta and Texas before I retired, weather in general was always the topic of conversation. And, I suppose that there is almost always something to talk about where the weather is concerned, but please, no more rain! We had several roads closed here in Cobourg due to the Thursday night heavy rain.  It’s the worst I have ever seen.

So, off to another topic.  Several weeks ago, I took the plunge and got the 23andMe kits for Cavan and I to send in our spit samples to discover our DNA etc.  Interestingly enough, both of our samples arrived and were registered as received by them on the same day, but Cavan had his results about three weeks before mine!  

I must confess that I was getting a little worried. I had disclosed that I was adopted, when I filled in my data, so it occurred to me that they might have found something that was, concerning, shall we say. Well, when I did get my results, there was nothing concerning at all.  It turns out that I’m 73% British and Irish 17.1% broadly northwestern European, a little Scandinavian and German as well, but also 0.1% North African.  Hm, interesting.

Cavan took our detailed DNA results and uploaded them into MyHeritage, which gives a nice little presentation about it. They define the North African part as actually being western Asian, including Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Israel.  Now, that’ really interesting.  Perhaps I’m a distant relative of Jesus! Wow. You never know, do you?

In addition to the DNA part, 23andMe also tells you about genetic risk factors, drug response and inherited conditions, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff.  Again, there was nothing earth shattering that showed up.  I have variants that show a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and Celiac.  That shouldn’t be a surprise.  I have memory issues already that I blame on the MS and have had difficulty with wheat for years.

Nothing else of real interest showed up.  I guess that’s a good thing.

As to the DNA stuff again, based on others that have submitted their spit samples, some second, third and fourth cousins have been found that I guess I could reach out to, if I wished to. Years ago, before I was diagnosed with MS, I put in a request through the Brant Children’s Aid to find relatives.  I did find a birth brother.  He also, had been given up for adoption and is a year younger than me.  I did meet him, but felt no real connection, so I guess that means that I am quite happy with the family that I have.

Life is interesting. You never know what you might dig up, if you start digging.  Some things, you are better off not knowing, I suspect.  I did know one woman who had been tested for MS, when she was in her 20s. She didn’t find out that she had it until she was in her 50s. Her doctor felt that she would be better off not knowing.  I know that there are people who would take that diagnosis and live life to the fullest and others who would take that diagnosis and crawl into bed and stay there, or worse, crawl into a bottle and live there.

What is the answer?  I guess it depends on the person.  I was a single mother with two very young kids when diagnosed with MS, so I always said I had not choice but to move forward, but there is always a choice and my choice has always been to do the best with the cards I have been dealt. I think that is the best thing to do.

What did I expect to find out from 23andMe? I think it was really just some answers for my kids, if they were wanting them and as it turns out, it’s all good!  May your choices in life lead you down the kind of path you can deal with.  God bless.

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