Thinking about DNA…I write a lot about my family, but I haven’t really considered that I am a piece of them…that I share traits and tendencies with people from the same lineage. To complicate that, I don’t know my father or his family at all. My mother was divorced from him when I was only four, and he just disappeared from our lives…poof. I’m told it was a blessing, and I just went with that…it was far easier than missing something that I had never even had the chance to experience. We never spoke of that side of my ancestry–it was the South, after all, and ‘ugly’ things aren’t fit conversation.
Physically, I share my mother’s face shape, and I sometimes see her when I look at my hands or when I catch my reflection from a certain angle, but the things that most define me are from my father’s kin…they were known for many generations of blue eyes and blonde hair. It’s strange having things that you like about yourself be from a family you’ve never met, or don’t remember. There aren’t any anecdotes or family stories that go along with them…they just are. I imagine that adopted children feel this way.
Much more importantly than these external features though, I do have my mother’s sweetness and my maternal grandmother’s love of intelligence and learning. I wear them proudly, and I’m just fine with that.