Morgan Richardson, 31, discovered her half siblings over the last four years after submitting a DNA sample to 23andMe, The Chicago Tribune reported. The website analyzes DNA to provide information about a person’s ancestry, health and other traits.
“It’s exciting, but it is a little bit jarring,” Richardson said. “I always wonder: ‘What do they do?’ ‘Where do they live?’ ‘What are they like?’ ‘What’s their experience as a donor-offspring child?’”
Morgan Richardson and her twin sister Lauren Richardson, who lives in Michigan, have known for years that they were conceived through in vitro fertilization. Their mother was divorced and single when she decided to have children.
The twins were 16 when their mother died of breast cancer. So Morgan Richardson turned to 23andMe when she wanted to learn more about the donor’s background.
Morgan Richardson discovered that she was British, Irish, German, French and Eastern European. Then she discovered that she had a half-sibling.
The sisters soon found more matches through the website, as well as Ancestry.com and the nonprofit Donor Sibling Registry. The Richardson-related half siblings have created a Facebook group to keep in touch.
Marie McCulloch, 35, of New York, is one of the half-siblings. McCulloch was also excited to learn about her heritage and has tracked down an 80-year-old man who she believes could be their father. They have yet to meet.
She said she’s sometimes sad about having gone for so many years without knowing about her relatives, but that the experience has been largely positive.
“Finding these people I didn’t know I was related to, I feel a lot more grounded and more sure of myself,” McCulloch said. “It’s like I discovered a limb I didn’t know I had.”
Both babies were little Christmas miracles, born 31 minutes apart on Dec. 19. Their parents undoubtedly beamed with pride.
It would take 72 years before anyone realized they’d been switched at birth. During which both women stood out from their families for various reasons, such as hair color, eye color, and natural talents.
The women now face many questions about how different their lives would have been had they stayed with their biological parents. Their names, early interests, and decisions until reaching adulthood could have been very different.
A simple DNA test kit. (Lisa Zins/Flickr CC BY 2.0 [ept.ms/2haHp2Y])After receiving her results, Juneski was so surprised by what she saw on the report that she thought it was a mistake. So, she tested herself again but the result stayed the same.
Gepostet von KARE 11 am Montag, 11. Juni 2018
In fact, the revelation answered many questions that had baffled both families.
An illustration showing the biological relationship between parents and their children. (Genomics Education Programme/Flickr CC BY 2.0 [ept.ms/2haHp2Y])Similarly Juneski found herself the only blond among redheads and brown-haired family members.
Knowing the reason behind the “mailman” and the “milkman”, Juneski and Jourdeans have taken the development in stride. The two have met several times since learning the news in April, becoming friends.
Joneski was no longer grieving the death of her only sister to cancer, she had now gained three new sisters. Jourdeans, on the other hand, gained her biological mother in her 70s after losing hers when she was just 17.
“It is a whole new beginning in a way for them,” Yogi told KARE11.
Jourdeans has since met her birth mother Marianne Mayer, 99, who is struggling with her memory. She regularly visits. The two women retell the story whenever they visit her, and their mother is always happy to hear she now has more grand children.
Neither Juneski or Jourdeans appeared interested in understanding how or why the switch took place. The responsible hospital workers on duty have most likely passed away already, and would not remember much about the switch even if they were still alive to tell their stories.