Thanksgiving is about family. A ritual that weaves together each generation, sharing old memories, making new ones, and seeing in all that, the common heritage we share in our DNA.
A few days ago 23andMe invited about half a dozen families to come together for a holiday dinner and a chance to meet a newfound father, mother, brother or sister for the first time.
“It’s an emotional thing for me because I always thought I was as an only child,” said Barbara Saunders, just before meeting her sisters Ida Sturgill and Joyce Randall.
The meeting in New York just before Thanksgiving was the culmination of months of talking and email after the sisters had connected using 23andMe. Now they were getting a chance to see each other for the first time.
“I have chills,” said Ida, before Barbara walked in and all three sisters hugged.
Their embrace and disbelief at seeing and touching their newfound sister were much like what rippled through each family that came together.
Standing with her son, Travis, Ida Pollock looked both excited and nervous, as she waited to meet “my son that I gave up for adoption 55 years ago.”
Barrie stood with his son, Alex, pinching himself that this was all possible. As she entered the room and their faces flushed with emotion, he uttered, “Oh my goodness,” and embraced his mom, and then his brother.
Ida said she felt thankful. Bodie felt overwhelmed.
“To have everything come full circle like this is just beyond being thankful,” he said.
As Natosha Brown walked in and saw her biological father, William, and her four sisters and a niece, her father said he had been searching for her since he’d learned of her birth.
“I feel like we have 36 years to make up for,” Natosha said.
Smiling and crying the sisters embraced. Her father captured the feeling of everyone who was there.
“It’s a blessing and its thanksgiving, so what better time,” he said.
See more about the families that met for the first time using 23andMe here.