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Looking for lineage

DNA search leads to biological grandmother

The+adoption+records+of+Loria%27s+mother+await+investigation.
The adoption records of Loria's mother await investigation.

The adoption records of Loria's mother await investigation.

Blake Loria

Blake Loria

The adoption records of Loria's mother await investigation.

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My adoptive grandparents are my “real” grandparents. I call them “Grandy” and “Papa” and have looked up to them almost all my life. Yet, about a year ago, my mother started searching for her birth parents.

I was optimistic: how cool would it be for my mom to get to meet her biological parents? My mom and I scoured the internet looking for DNA testing services such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe. We started with a simple plan: take two DNA tests and see what happens.

This was as close as she had ever been to finding one of her parents since she was a young adult.”

— Blake Loria, 10

Our search commenced, and both my mom and I were extremely excited. We put all our faith into DNA testing but didn’t consider how tedious searching through so-called “genetic matches” would be. We had to sift through our lineage and understand what we were looking at. It was hard to find anyone who could verify if my long-lost grandparents were even alive. After a few weeks of searching and paying for DNA services, my mother found a cousin of her father. “We finally caught a break,” I thought. But alas, this was a dead end.

Her father did not want to make contact. My heart almost broke, and I could barely comprehend what my mom went through. But we prepared for this. She was content with knowing he was alive. This was as close as she had ever been to finding one of her parents since she was a young adult.

When my mom turned 18, my uncle helped her petition the court of her adoption in Denver to unseal her records, though this was to no avail. I remember my mom telling me how hopeless and depressed she felt and how she would listen to the stories of adoptees who found their biological parents through DNA testing services. She didn’t start searching for her birth parents again until I bought her an Ancestry DNA test.

Our search stretched out to months, and I became less interested, but my mom persisted. I still held hope she would one day unite with her birth mother, but I was prepared to console her if the search didn’t pan out.

I still held hope she would one day unite with her birth mother, but I was prepared to console her if the search didn’t pan out.”

— Blake Loria, 10

Finally, the silver lining we’d been praying for appeared. I had just gotten home from school and started talking about my day when she told me she found another DNA website (DNAAdoption). I was skeptical but still excited.

She had stumbled upon the website while Googling for answers to questions she had about DNA. The site recommended adoptees check in with the court where their adoption was approved and see if the state they were born in has open adoption records for people of age. It turns out the laws changed in the last few years, and my mom decided to re-petition the court.

After a week, my mom received the information. She payed $18 for the copies of the documents and postage. She studied the papers holding the answer to a mystery she was trying to unravel since she was a teenager. After almost 30 years and well over $500, all my mom had to do was pay a small fee of $18 and wait a week.

At the end of the week, I came home to my mom crying in her car. I asked what was wrong. She spilt her emotions; she told me how she found her mom’s name in the adoption papers and her Facebook profile by Googling her. She sent her a friend request and a message explaining how she was her daughter and had been searching for her almost all her life. The anticipation I felt was overwhelming. I sat in that car with so many thoughts running through my mind: Will she respond? What will she say? I hope she wants to talk to my mom. The anxiety my mom had was clear, and she wasn’t sure if her mother would even respond.

She did, though, and my mother and new grandmother instantly connected. I discovered my mom’s birth name is Heidi, and my twin sister and I share a birthday with our “Meemaw” (she prefers to be called that). Suddenly, I had a new family. It was surreal. I thought about the grandparents I had known forever. The people who took care of me when times were tough. How would they respond? Would they be jealous? Or mad? It made both my mom and I anxious.

Finally, the silver lining we’d been praying for appeared.”

— Blake Loria, 10

Eventually, my mother mustered up enough courage to tell my grandma. I didn’t know what to expect but hoped for the best and was shocked when she was completely supportive.  I’ll never forget how excited she was for my mom.

After this very emotional journey I asked, ” How did you view Grandy after this?” Her answer has given me a unique outlook on life: “When I found my birth mom, it made me appreciate my adoptive mother even more. It made me realize how much she has done for me.” She proceeded to tell me how lucky she was to be adopted and placed in a home that could provide and take care of her. I now love and respect the grandparents I have known all my life even more and hope to one day meet my new grandmother, uncle and cousins.

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About the Contributor
Blake Loria, Staff Reporter

Hello! I am a sophomore, and this is my first year on staff. I love writing, and I’m eager to to start a student career in journalism as a staff reporter. I want to be a journalist someday, and I am honored to be a part of The Eagle’s Tale staff. I am also involved in Key Club, Spanish Club and iConnect. Outside of school, I enjoy listening to political commentary, so I read and scour the internet a lot. I spend a lot of time on YouTube and social media. I’m excited for this year.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Looking for lineage”

  1. Donna Lea (Gabbert) Saunders on September 20th, 2018 12:42 am

    This is a heart warming article by a very special young man that I am proud to call Grandson. Thanks to his devotion and love for his mother, I know have the missing part of my life back.

  2. Nancy Farren on September 21st, 2018 9:32 pm

    Wow! What a neat story. Great job, Blake!

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