With a new fire I began researching DNA matches. Knowing our donor was alive gave me motivation I hadn't previously had.
At the time I really didn't know how to approach the research. Honestly, I still don't have an approach that feels methodical and thorough yet. I sought experienced researchers who were willing to share their procedures.
In May 2018 my husband, Jeff, brought to my attention a new podcast, hosted by someone in our extended social group. One of my favorite aspects of that particular social group is the creativity and passion among them. With that in mind I was excited to start listening. CutOff Genes, hosted by Julie Dixon Jackson, started with a beginner's introduction to DNA research. Julie, a Genetic Genealogist, or "Gen Genie," deftly presents ideas in each episode that enable listeners to enforce the building blocks of their own research.
I cannot say enough about how much I enjoy listening to CutOff Genes each week. The podcast is smartly organized in sections. Each episode includes a wrap-up of recent DNA news, and a story. Early episodes of CutOff Genes include Julie sharing a serialized telling of her own epic odyssey.
Once Julie brought the telling of her own DNA journey up to date, she asked listeners if we had a story to share. Julie resides in the Los Angeles area. On Labor Day weekend of 2018 Jeff & I planned a long weekend at the Hollywood Bowl. I asked Julie if she'd be interested in hearing my story.
Even though listening to my own voice is deeply dis-pleasurable for me, I suggest checking out Episode 25 of CutOff Genes. It brings my story up to date as of early September 2018.
At that point to re-cap, I knew one half-sister, M, and one half-brother, J. We knew our biological father was alive.
Because of the TV show J had filmed, we knew our donor lived in California, he know of J's existence, and hadn't reached out in the nine months since the show aired, until I recorded the podcast.
Soon after Julie recorded our conversation I would learn I had a few assumptions incorrect about my DNA matches on Ancestry. Next time, connecting some dots.