Left and found
PV senior discovers her heritage through DNA test
May 31, 2018
I was hanging out with my friend, Kaila, one day, and we started talking about our heritage. Since we are both adopted, neither one of us has much information about our background. She told me that a DNA test she took through 23andme.com gave her a lot of answers. I really wanted to learn more about myself, so I decided to take the test too.
I received a DNA kit at the end of January. When I opened up the box, there was a test tube. I put my saliva into the tube, put it back into the box, and sent it to the lab in North Carolina. After seven weeks, I got my results back. I found out so much information about myself, from my ancestry to genetic health risks to different traits I have.
Since I do not know my birth parents, I have no record or knowledge of my genetic history. My adoptive mom lost her husband to cancer before I was born and she thought she would not be able to start a family. When she found out that single mothers were allowed to adopt a baby from China, she immediately started the adoption process. The paperwork took six months to complete and another year of waiting to get the news that she could come get her baby.
When I was ten days old, my birth mother left me in front of the police station in Bengbu City, Anhui Province. I was one of the blessed ones. Because of extreme overpopulation in China and that boys were preferred, most baby girls were aborted or abandoned. I was found and brought to an orphanage where I spent my first year of life. My “sisters” and I were taken care of by nannies that met all of our needs. After I had just turned one, my mom-to-be traveled to China to adopt me.
Through the DNA test, I discovered that I’m 87.3% Chinese, 5.6% Mongolian, 2.7% Korean, and 0.1% Japanese. Thankfully, there were no variants detected when they tested for health diseases, but I do have a slightly increased risk for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The test also says I am likely to be lactose intolerant. Fortunately, I am not, but I can eventually develop an intolerance.
On the more amusing side, I am likely to have dry earwax and I do not have a photic sneeze reflex. It gave me information about my finger and toe length ratio — my ring finger and my big toe are likely to be longer than the others. I also have a muscle composition that is commonly found in elite power athletes.
My mom encouraged me to take the test and she has always been very open with me about my adoption because she was so proud of me. To this day, thinking about my life in China seems so unreal; it still does not feel like it’s part of my story. If I had the opportunity to meet my biological parents and siblings, I would in a heartbeat, but I know that it is highly unlikely that I could ever find them.