If a genie popped out of a magic lamp and granted you 3 wishes what would they be?

For many people one of those wishes would be to have a family; to find long-lost families, to find and meet someone who is a blood-relative, or to build on their sense of identity by discovering about their relatives and ancestors, where they come from; their roots. That this wish or need in people is very common as proven by the huge numbers of people that have taken ancestral DNA tests which are estimated to be more than 26 million

Picture Credit: Kaboompics from Pexels

It is by granting these wishes for people, which are so fundamental to people’s sense of belonging in the world, that ancestral DNA testing can seem truly magical. 

Real-Life Stories

From a mother who wanted her son to have a sense of his true cultural identity to a woman who was missing a true sense of belonging and a man who had been looking for his daughter for 30 years. The following three stories of family history research simply would not have been possible without the magic of DNA testing

Picture Credit: geralt from Pixabay

  • Aiyana Lakes, as reported in The World, was able to give her son, as well as herself and her mother, the gift of roots. After taking a DNA test she was able to get in touch with a meet a distant cousin; Jean Kapenda. Kapenda had spent a lot of time researching their family history and found many relatives. He was able to fill in many blanks for himself and for the many relatives he tracked through his DNA testing company. This supplied a whole history that had been lost as a result of slavery. Through Kapenda, Lakes found out that her ancestral heritage lies within the Lunda Tribe from the Congo.  Lakes understood through her life experience that not knowing about her heritage ‘kind of weighs on you’ and is now happy in the knowledge that her son will not grow up feeling ‘like he doesn’t have a connection to his ancestors or to his roots or anything’.
  • Another story of DNA testing magic is that of Pepa Paniagua. Paniagua was adopted when she was just days old and despite growing up in a loving family wanted to know more about her DNA heritage. After doing an ancestral DNA test she found a whole new family. The sense of self and identity she found by meeting people who shared her genetic makeup, and that looked like her gave her a ‘sense of comfort and belonging’.  
  • For Milton Wiley, a DNA test result which linked his niece to the daughter he had been searching for without any luck for decades, gave him ‘one of the greatest days’ of his life when they finally got to meet. He had ‘prayed that God would allow me to see the baby I never held’ but had met nothing but dead ends until DNA testing answered his prayers. 

Picture Credit: geralt from Pixabay

We All Need a Bit of Magic in Our Lives

It is remarkable to think that something as easy as spitting into a test tube or doing a cheek swab and sending it off for DNA testing can have such magical consequences either for yourself or for a relative. In times like these, we all need a bit of magic in our lives. We all need things to feel good about and to give us a sense of belonging and connection in a world that it can be hard to find that in. 

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