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Sweatpants & Relationships | How I Made Peace With My DNA Test Shocker

By Emily Parker

Ancestry DNA tests are all the rage right now. While the idea of finding out “who you really are” is fun and appealing, there’s always the possibility of discovering something shocking! I mean, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that you are not, after all, 20% Native American like Grandma always claimed. But revealing that you have a secret brother is another can of worms entirely!

These people got some news about their heritages which they did not expect, but handled it with grace and dignity, and ultimately, everything was okay; proving once and for all that surprises – even great, big, insane surprises – don’t have to be derailing!

Stories are from Reddit and may have been edited for clarity / content.


Saint Grandma

We found out that the neighbor kid growing up down the street from my mom and her five brothers in Boston was actually their half brother! Our Grandpa had had an affair with the lady down the way and the poor boy was told when his parents died, but never told my family. Our new “uncle” finally told us on the day of our Grandfather’s funeral, telling the family he had promised his mother he would keep it a secret until then. Of course, this posed the interesting situation of my Grandmother learning of her husband’s affair 65 years ago – and also realizing that boy she had over to play with her own children for years was the product of said affair. We expected fireworks. Instead, her response was one I am still amazed by: “What a blessing! I have another son!” She passed away two years later, having firmly accepted him as one of her own. – TashInAwe

Real Dad is Real Nice

highly encourage people to do these DNA tests based on my experience. For 45 years, my mother insisted my father was one particular man, although he always denied it.

It was only at the age of 45 that I did a family tree DNA test and had someone ask me shortly after if I was related to a surname completely different than mine (Grelle). When I relayed the new (to me) surname, mom said “Oh my God; that was the guy I dated before Grelle.” It took 45 years and a DNA test to get her to admit the truth!

The good news is, my biological father is a very welcoming, kind man and I’m glad to finally know him. – technofiend

When in Russia…

My mother found her true biological father through one of those DNA tests. My grandma had been married and divorced many times and never told any of the kids who their real fathers were. She was apparently quite a floozy! To the point that some of the men she claimed were the kids’ dads weren’t even really sure themselves. I had always been raised with a grandpa who was supposedly legitimate and a few step-grandparents. My mom took a DNA test and tracked down some potential cousins and was finally able to force the real answer out of my grandma. He passed away 10 years ago, sadly, but it turns out he was a special effects pioneer in Hollywood, which is pretty damn cool.

I now just revel in the fact that my family has had an “old family recipe” for Russian food that has been passed down multiple generations and we’re apparently not even Russian. – SpacemanSenpai

Lose a Husband, Gain Two Sisters

This sort of thing happened to a friend of mine, but it wound up being the best thing that happened to her. About a year ago, her husband bought her one of those tests as a Christmas gift, and shortly afterward, he died in an accident at work. She got her test results back a few weeks after that, and found out that her dad had fathered two daughters with another woman. She was mildly shocked, but since she was feeling particularly alone after the loss of her husband, she made contact with them (she thought she had no siblings before). The three of them have been close ever since, and it’s really helped pull her through the tough times this past year. – Libribot

Twin Jeffs

It turns out I have Uncle that no one knew about. Apparently, my grandmother had an affair while my step-grandfather (her second husband) was in Vietnam, got pregnant, and gave the baby up for adoption all before he got home. My dad and aunt were too little to really remember her being pregnant but they both remember going to stay with a distant relative out of town for a few months around the time she would’ve been pregnant/given birth. We learned this when my uncle came looking for his birth family and found us.

The real kick in the pants? He’s actually my dad and aunt’s full biological brother. The man my grandma had the affair with was her ex-husband, my paternal grandfather! He died before he knew he had another son. Also, my uncle’s adoptive parents named him Jeff – my dad’s name – and they could be twins. Our family went through some serious turmoil when this all came to light, but it’s all calmed down and I’m so glad to know my uncle now.  – Misty2484

No Koreans Here

Did my own test a few months back. My entire life I was told I’m German and South Korean. Finally take the test and my results come in: Scandanavian and Mongolian. The European percentages made more sense. The funny part was that Mongolia was heavily circled, China & Japan lightly circled. Korea, though? None. I proceed to call my parents and as soon as I hear “Hi”, I respond with “What the hell, mom? You lied to me my whole life?” I explained to them what I found, and we all had a good laugh. Nobody knew. Take it with a grain of salt. – Zakdermutt

Double the Grandpas

My mom found out that her father wasn’t her biological father last year when she was 54 years old. Her dad told her everything. We ended up finding and contacting her biological father. He mentioned to her that he has been looking for her for for so long. We ended up meeting him and his family and he couldn’t be a more sweet guy. My grandpa (mom’s father that raised her) is also a great guy and was very hurt that his wife cheated on him (she passed away over 15 years ago). He didn’t want to tell my mom the truth because he is her father no matter what, but he felt like he had to say something before it was too late. – iron1088


Have you done an Ancestry DNA test? What did you find out? Tell us in the comments!

Emily Parker is a musician, writer, and avid reader who started Bucket List Book Reviews, the ‘1,001 Books to Read Before You Die’ project. For Sweatpants & Coffee, Emily hopes to inspire the reading of the classics by a whole new audience by only reviewing the really good stuff.

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