When I heard my mom, an adoptee, telling her story on the Who Am I Really? podcast, I realized the importance of telling your DNA story in your own voice.
I have told my story about finding my mom’s birth family dozens of times. I have shared it in lectures, in personal conversations, live-streamed to thousands, in podcasts, on airplanes, and countless other situations.
But I haven’t ever recorded my MOM telling the story from her perspective.
Who Am I Really Podcast
I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to Damon Davis for righting that oversight, when he captured her story in Episode 133 of his Who Am I Really? Podcast. Hearing her tell the story changed everything for me.
Damon is a master storyteller. He wove our story together with just the right sound clips and just the right questions. The recording itself is a treasure, but the reminder it has given me about each person telling their own part of the story is invaluable. Even when we share DNA with others—as I do with my mom—what we each learn from our DNA and how we each change is totally unique.
Finding Your Story—and Your Voice
Storytelling is an art, and it helps to think about your “DNA story arc” before you want to share your DNA discoveries over dinner or at your next family gathering. The more you tell it, the more you’ll develop your own storytelling voice that makes your unique story even more personal.
After seeing and hearing Damon at work, I want to add a storytelling tip: Find someone who is good at asking questions (and a good listener) and let them interview you. Record it. Listen to it. You’ll realize new things about your own story. What’s interesting. What you would have left out—that you shouldn’t. What’s meaningful. Sometimes you’ll find a larger message or meaning in your story that you hadn’t previously seen. And you’ll hear your own voice, which is a powerful thing. Don’t be critical of its cadence, accent, hesitations, or tone. Your voice is good, however it is. It matters. It should be heard. Especially by your loved ones.
What’s MY DNA story?
Many people don’t have a DNA story as dramatic as adoption or the discovery of birth relatives. But most of us have tales about compelling DNA discoveries—or we will, once we’ve looked long and hard enough.
I’m inspired by the many and varied DNA stories shared on our blog. There are stories about solving family mysteries, finding birth relatives, identifying unknown ancestors, meaningfully connecting with matches, and more. We’re always interested in other people’s DNA journeys. (If you like, send us your story.)
Not sure yet what your DNA stories are? Haven’t thought of the questions you want to ask? Unsure how to answer the questions you DO have (or whether they even CAN be answered by DNA)? Read about the limitations of DNA testing. Just for context. Then….
Let us help you find your DNA story
Our entire business is built on the belief (well-proven!) that YOU can DO the DNA! It’s science, but it’s not rocket science, if you know what I mean. You can learn it. Especially if you have an expert teacher who breaks things down with doable step-by-step instructions. Who encourages you. Who uses analogies and humor to make things clear and FUN. I am that teacher.
If you’re not sure where to start, head over to our free download on next steps to take with your DNA test.
For those who like to learn entirely on their own, I’ve written the ultimate do-it-yourself DNA instruction manual, Your DNA Guide—the Book. This popular resource helps you define a DNA question and then pursue it, wherever it leads. Depending on what you discover, you’ll skip around in the book to your next action item. Like a DNA scavenger hunt. Get your copy of Your DNA Guide—the Book.