The symbol above may look like some odd form of tribal art, or a strange emblem from a tattoo or CD cover. But this emblem, it isn’t any of that. It’s actually a very personal representation of my DNA. Isn’t that crazy to think about?
I should start at the beginning. This year, in Jeffrey’s homeschooling unit on Exploring Countries and Cultures, we thought it would be interesting to find out a little more about the countries and cultures we come from. So as soon as we saw a groupon for a company called ConnectMyDNA, we jumped on the opportunity to buy a couple of test kits!
The kits arrived as a nondescript envelope, something small, that when you opened it up, held something very powerful and personal.
The inside of the envelope contained two swabs and an envelope, as well as information on how to register your barcode (which is also printed on the envelope) on the website.
You start by taking a cheek swab on each of the two swabs, making sure to twirl them as you swab, so you can totally collect your DNA.
Once your swabs are sealed in the envelope, you mail them off, and within a couple of weeks, you get an email letting you know your results.
I honestly didn’t expect to be surprised by mine at all. I’ve always known that I have some pretty strong ties to Ireland (as evidenced by the red tones in my hair and my incredibly fair skin), and it’s no shocker that I’ve got all kinds of European blood in me.
When I got my results, I looked them over. Irish. Number one. No surprise. Farther down the list, Bosnia and Greece… I had no idea about those! Portugal, Cyprus, Macedonia.
My number 2 match was more of a surprise… Peru? I had never known that I might have South American heritage. A look at my family tree reveals a lot of Europe, but not a lot of South America, if any.
I mean, I knew my ancestry was pretty mixed, pretty blended, but I had no idea what kind of diversity I had floating around in my own bloodstream!
I’ve always made a point to think about my Irish heritage, to learn more about the German heritage I got through adoption rather than blood. And I’ve worked hard to follow my family tree when I can. But… to find this whole world, literally, of heritage that I had never known was thrilling.
Countries I never expected to have anything to do with, I found out, were a part of me!
I am a huge history and geography junkie. I love to know about cultures, which is why I love the My Father’s World unit, Exploring Countries and Cultures. Every two weeks in the curriculum, we go to a different country, in our minds, and learn as much as we can about it.
To extend that into a chance to find out where we’re REALLY from using ConnectMyDNA is amazing.
And it definitely will make me think twice about using the “come here” motion with my index finger to ask someone to come to me– apparently, in Peru, that’s not a nice signal at all!
Check out my results below on my personalized DNA poster!
Have you ever been surprised by some family history you’ve stumbled upon? What do you think of the idea that you can have a DNA test tell you where you’re from?