“The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are. The second greatest is being happy with what you find.” – unknown
Have you ever felt lost in life. Or possibly unsure of your journey, maybe you feel like your life is in a standstill and you don’t know what to do.
Maybe you feel like there is a part of you that is empty and eager to be fulfilled. We all experience that feeling once in awhile, and for different reasons. We all have a story.
I do believe discovering your roots is a huge step into finding yourself again. Being adopted is what lead me down my path. This is my journey.
Being Adopted made me feel lost, has anything ever made you feel lost?
Do you know anyone that is adopted? Maybe you have a sister or brother that is adopted or maybe even a best friend. Have you ever talked to them about how they are feeling? How being adopted has impacted them….how it has shaped them into who they are. Have they expressed an eager want to meet their biological family to you?
They have possibly accepted that there’s a good chance they will never meet any biological family. If they’ve accepted that, you probably have to. I want to encourage anyone adopted or know anyone in search of family members to take advantage of our technology. Ancestry lead me to mine without even trying.
(My name is Marie. This is actually a selfie I took right before we left to meet my family for the first time. It was my birthday and I was so nervous! I posted this on my Instagram and no one really knew I was doing this except family and a few close friends.)
I’m adopted. I was adopted when I was just infant. I have no memory of the process nor do I remember ever being told I was adopted. I just always knew. My birth mom was not in the best mental state, and my birth father was not a US Citizen. Having just adopted my daughter I can understand and empathize the struggles and toll it takes on everyone through the process. I actually feel very thankful that I was able to experience the process of adopting before actually meeting my bio family.
Life is full of different perspectives. It helps to take a step back, reevaluate your life and ask yourself what is it that you want…
“Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance and it allows us to appreciate their true value.” – Rafael E. Pino
(We officially adopted this little doll 2 months prior to meeting my family! This all couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time! The way she came into our lives permanently is whole different story! Ill save that for another time 😉 . I will say though, she has brought so much joy and happiness into our family. She is a total blessing and I thank God for her. )
Don’t Judge Another Persons Journey -we are all on our own path. Be patient with yours. You may not know what you’re looking for but just start searching.
Please do not feel sorry for me or anyone else that is adopted. Adoption is an amazing thing. Who in the world knows where I would be right now if God didn’t choose this path for me. I am incredibly thankful. But that is a huge reason those that are adopted don’t go off shouting or sharing, “Hey, I’m adopted.” A typical response we get is, “I’m sorry.” Which, I can imagine makes some people feel bad because they are thinking….wow, I cant imagine not knowing who my mom, dad or siblings are. I understand that. But don’t tell an adoptee “I’m sorry.” It makes us feel bad, and afterwhile you keep it to yourself because you’re tired of hearing that. You also get tired of answering questions you really don’t know the answers to….but deep down inside you wish you did know. If you know anyone adopted or adopting get excited for them! Adoption itself it pretty remarkable journey.
Alright, that’s a little backround for you. Now, I will share how this all came to be.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
Being adopted and not knowing an bio family lead me to wonder a lot about my ethnicity. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been asked, “What nationality are you?” Many times my reply was “mostly Mexican.” Because well, that’s all I knew and was told. And then, I would be told countless times, “Really, I see middle eastern in you.” Or, I would get asked, “are you middle eastern?” and I would just start saying, “Yes…yes I am.” (hahah) and they would say, “I knew it!” (hahah who knows! At that time I didn’t know!) It became rather funny just making up ethnicities for myself. My friends that knew my life had fun with it too. This all lead me to ask myself then, what the heck am I?! I was told numerous times by my family, “you’re full Mexican” and I would argue saying that I had to be something else because everyone thinks I’m something else. I was convinced and I was just curious. Once I gave birth to my daughter I had to know more about my DNA and background. Not just for myself, but for my daughter and any other possible children I might have in the future.
(My first born. My little answered prayer. Being adopted and never knowing any biological family is what made me actually want to be a Mom so bad. I wanted someone that was apart of me if that makes sense.
To be a Mother became a dream of mine when I was very young and I always feared and asked what if I can’t have children. I’ll never know what that connection feels like….it scared me. You can imagine the emotions I felt holding this little baby that actually shared my DNA. I can’t express how much love and joy this little girl gave me when she was born.)
You have to learn how to control your thoughts and not let your worries and regrets consume you.
For 27 years, I never knew what my ethnicity was, and then, because of ancestry my answer was just a click away. My results read; Native American, Italian, Greek, Iberian……and less then 3% Middle Eastern. Go figure. This was a huge and very exciting thing for me!! I can’t really describe the joy of finding out this information.
Now if you are unfamiliar with the way Ancestry works. Here it is in a nutshell. You order kit, you receive kit, you spit in a tube, you mail it, and then receive results via email in about a month. I currently have access to my detailed DNA and I can see if I have any DNA matches with family members.
Its amazing, I definitely recommend this service even if you are not adopted. Keep in mind, I didn’t do ancestry to find family. I did it to answer a prolonged question that had been nagging me for years. When I received my results the only DNA matches I had at that time were 3rd cousins and below. I did reach out to one of them but we couldn’t nail it down to exactly how we were related. Still in contact with him today via social media.
“Remember and honor family who come and gone before you, because they had a hand in shaping who you are.” – unknown
(A small preview of my DNA results via Ancestry)
Sometimes what you’re looking for in life comes when you’re not looking at all. The unexpected is what changes our lives.
Fast forward about a year and half. I receive an email from Ancestry out of the blue in June of this year. The last time I had visited the Ancestry web was a few months prior. The message read, “Hola Marie! Me sorprendi al obtener mis resultados y ver somos primas en primer grado.”
I don’t know spanish very well, so when I first read that my response was, “que?” haha! Jk…kinda of.
In other words, this translates to, “Hi Marie! I was surprised to get my results and see that we are first cousins.”
I of course messaged her back explaining that I was adopted and didn’t know much about my biological family, just my biological parents name. I provided the name of my bio dad and you know what her response was….”OMG, that is my Mom’s brother!” Crazy right! Strait out of Telenovela! *Where are my Jane the Virgin fans at!*
“Marie’s life now was the stuff of Telenovelas.” -Narrator
MI PRIMA! (MY COUSIN! The one that set this all up! AND our first selfie. )
She proceeded to answer any questions I had and let me know how huge our family was. It was incredible. We exchanged numbers and just began texting. It was overwhelming and emotional for both us in different ways. By the end of that day, my whole family knew of me and my cousin finding me via ancestry. Which BTW was completely by accident! She joined ancestry for a whole different reason! She basically demanded that we need to visit and that everyone wanted to meet me. Especially those family members that actually knew about me since the day I was born. The only thing was almost all of my family resided in Tijuana, Mexico. A complete foreign place to me. I was being asked to bring my husband and daughters to a part of Mexico I’ve never been…. with people that I have never met. I was very hesitant as you can imagine.
After many texts exchanges we agreed on a date and time to travel to see everyone. We would meet in San Diego and then go from there.
“Have faith in your journey. Everything had to happen exactly as it did to get you where you’re going next!” -Mandy Hale
(I had butterflies the whole time driving to California from Arizona)
I kept thinking to myself is this real life, is this really happening? Am I really going to go through with this? Something that I thought would never happen or even planned on happening was HAPPENING!
I let my family and closest friends know my plans and I could tell they were thinking this whole ordeal was a little crazy. Probably thinking, this is dangerous. Yes, they are my family, but at this point they were still strangers as well. I was definitely reminded that countless times by close people in my life.
My husband surprisingly was never worried. I began to think all these what ifs…..and it really freaked me out. I became scared and untrusting, thinking of all these different scenarios. I actually reached out to my cousin and allowing her to know that I was nervous and scared. Her response to my fear was so genuine and so assuring I knew I had to go through with this. I told my fear to shut the eff up!
“Go find yourself first, so you can find me.” -Rumi
Long story short…WE DID IT! We ended up traveling to San Diego and agreed to meeting at a fun little Italian Restaurant before traveling to Mexico together the following day. I ate way to much bread with oil and vinegar. Remember I mentioned it was my birthday too! Talk about an amazing birthday present! I got to meet my family! We hit it off instantly! Thank God my husband nor myself said the word, “biscuit.” That was our code word in case we had to make a run for it. Come on now, of course we thought about them kidnapping us.
(Waiting in front of Buca di Beppo to meet my cousin for the first time! Excited!)
The interaction was so great we decided to go through with staying the night with them! Close your mouth, its not that crazy, is it?! Her family is amazing! Now I am just reminiscing how great of an experience this was and so thankful I trusted God for this gift of meeting my family. I know this was a gift. I just do.
The best things in life are on the other side of terror.
The following morning we all piled into an SUV and traveled to VIVA LA MEXICO! Oh my gosh it was amazing!! We were scheduled to meet the whole family at 1pm for a gathering. Beforehand we ate some delicious food, they showed us around the city, and we took some fun pictures. One being on a donkey painted like a Zebra. Check it out!
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Theresa
BREAKFAST! Mmmm……que rico!
Talk about awesome architecture! I swear, sometimes I look at things and I’m like, “Man made that….”. My husbands typically laughs at me.
Look at this beautiful church. Its an open church, there was actually a funeral going on when we walked by. Anyone can go in during any ceremony. Whatever service you have done at this Catholic Church is welcomed to anyone.
I really enjoyed the markets while visiting! Very authentic and captivating.
A Downtown Mall…very cool and original. It was almost like a maze.
Crickets anyone? I’m not kidding, the ones on the left are crickets! No gracias!
OH HEY! It’s the DONKEY I mentioned! Hey Ruben!
In finding yourself you will have moments you can’t put into words.
The afternoon came closer and we began to make our way to my Uncles house. Butterflies began to swarm in my belly. I was about to meet a group of Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins. I was about to meet the people I always wondered about. I was about to have a dream become a reality, and my husband and daughters got to share this amazing moment with me.
This was so special to me I’m getting choked up just writing this. I felt alone so many times not knowing these people, curious as to the characteristics that run in the family, facial features that I picked up, and inherited traits that I may have acquired. This moment was very surreal.
Some of my Cousins! (Primas)
We had gorditas for lunch. These were being made while we sat around a table just laughing and crying! Like I said before, this was very emotional for all of us. The food was SOOOOOO GOOD! I’m craving some now!
Everything you will come to you at the right moment, be patient and always be grateful.
Many smiles, many hugs, many laughs, plenty of happy tears and plenty of food happened that afternoon. My face even got pushed into a cake! But I’m not sharing that picture! The love that was surrounding all of us that day is indescribable. This moment I shared, was something I will treasure forever and I already cant wait to plan our next trip and see my family! Hope you all enjoyed getting to know me a little better.
Special thanks to for its amazing service and countless opportunities. Thanks to my cousin and her family for arranging this gathering and taking a leap of faith to allow us into their lives. Huge thanks to my family and friends that supported this adventure and kept us in their prayers. And one more huge thank you to my family in Tijuana that welcomed us with loving arms and took such great care of us! Love you all!
SOME OF YOU might be asking wait….did she meet her birth dad or does she know anything about her birth mom? Does she have other siblings out there too?
I guess you’ll have to wait and see.
Embrace the Journey, Embrace Change, Embrace life. Go Find Yourself. Know Your Roots.
Share this story, comment, or ask me any questions!
Thank you for taking your time to read some of my journey! As my family says,
“Primero Dios!” If God wants it to happen, it will happen.