Woman Adopted as a Child Discovers Her Heritage through DNA Spectrum's Ancestry Test

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As an adopted child, Joanne Meeks always questioned her heritage. She recently decided to put those questions to rest with DNA Spectrum's Ancestry Test service and has been dealing with the emotional fallout from her results.

Genealogy DNA Test

Joanne Meeks and Ancestry Self Discovery

I can safely say that this is one of the most important decisions that I have ever made. Self-discovery is such an important part of my path in life.

Joanne was always aware of being an adopted child growing up in Pendleton, Oregon but never knew anything concrete about her birth mother’s identity. She had lived a difficult life with her adopted family, and always questioned her true origins. After finally learning of her birth mother’s name, Joanne recently investigated her genealogy through DNA Spectrum’s Ancestry service and the results continue to shock her now.

Despite finally learning her birth mother’s identity and the tangled story behind it, Joanne was still unclear about her ancestry since her biological mother was apparently accidentally switched at birth and raised by her adopted grandmother leading to internal turmoil. When Joanne’s biological mother became pregnant, Joanne’s grandmother decided to adopt the baby and raise her as her own child. Despite growing up on a Native American reservation, Joanne’s biological mother appeared to be African-American in origin, leading to resentments and trouble within the family.

Because of her outwardly Caucasian features, Joanne was intrigued to investigate her heritage since she and her mother do not appear physically alike at all. As a result of this confusion and the continued strain from her adopted family, Joanne experienced a period of personal turmoil until finally contacting DNA Spectrum to take one of its ancestry tests for answers. After receiving her results from the company with help from its expert staff, she began resolving many of her questions.

She immediately discovered that her primary ancestry background is a split between Indian, Brazilian, Middle Eastern and Hispanic origins, which explains her biological mother’s appearance. However, due to the test’s ability to not only breakdown initial ethnicity but trace those threads back to specific regions, she began learning exactly where her family tree first took root.

Rather than be shocked, Joanne sees this as an opportunity for self-discovery and knowledge seeking, “I would look up these territories where my DNA is from and it was where African slaves had either been sold or migrated, where Indian tribes are… It’s just so overwhelming. It’s hard to deal with the personal side of who the mother was but if I don’t look at it that way, and look at a broader sense, I am overwhelmed by the fact that I am a product of generations of people from a different part of the world that I never would have known I was related to.”

In regards to thinking on the ramifications of her decision to investigate her ancestry via DNA Spectrum’s service and how it is affecting her life now, Joanne’s thoughts are crystal clear, “Overall it’s been 100% better. And it opens up a lot of questions. What I think is fascinating is that even though I can’t necessarily pinpoint how far back some of these DNA markers go, it’s within a period of time where I can know who they were, where they come from, and what kind of life they lived. I can really learn and imagine how these people lived.”

Upon reflecting back on this entire experience, both in finally learning about her brith mother and genealogy, Joanne Meeks could not be happier, “I think that I can safely say that this is probably the most important decision I’ve ever made. And I was able to get this information at a point in my life where I could be ready for it and process it better and appreciate it. This is probably going to take me in a lot of directions that I can’t even imagine now.”

Despite the continued strain between herself and her adopted family, including not sharing her DNA test results with them, Joanne Meeks has no regrets in taking DNA Spectrum’s ancestry test, “For me, the bottom line is that I have an ethnic existential puzzle that I will always be piecing together and examining from endless angles, like turning a Rubic's Cube that never quite gets put into place, and I find this gratifying and energizing.”

About DNA Spectrum
DNA Spectrum is a DNA testing company headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, specializing in consumer genetics and unlocking the story hidden in one’s DNA. The cutting-edge DNA tests and analysis are priced from $24 to $299 using DNA samples, via cheek swabs, that clients mail in from the comfort of their home, so no doctor visits are required. The product offerings include myDNA ancestry, which provides individuals with a complete ethnicity report and genetic connections overview, myDNA safe, a cutting-edge and secure storage system for DNA that can preserve an individual’s entire genome, and now myDNA Fitness, an optimal fitness program designed around each user’s unique genetic markers. This year, DNA Spectrum will also launch nutrition, diet, and skincare DNA tests to continue the growth of the largest online DNA marketplace.

Media Contact:
Paul Yates
1.800.471.6164
office(at)dnaspectrum(dot)com
629 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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