Adoptee Celebrates First Christmas with Her Biological Siblings Thanks to MyHeritage DNA Quest – December 23, 2019

I saw this on MyHeritage today – Adoptee Celebrates First Christmas with Her Biological Siblings Thanks to MyHeritage DNA Quest – December 23, 2019:

I will caution that many adoptees have the opposite reaction when it comes to finding parents, siblings, or half-siblings.

 by Esther December 23, 2019 User Stories

In the first #HolidayHeritage challenge, we asked for your oldest family photo from the holidays. We got this unusual and moving response from a user named Bethany: she posted a blank black box.


“My oldest family photo doesn’t exist yet,” Bethany explained in the post. “My mom was adopted and we will be meeting our family for the first time this Christmas! So ask me next year.”

We asked Bethany if she would be willing to share more information with us. It turned out that Bethany’s mother, Diane Riminiscenza, found her biological siblings thanks to DNA Quest — a pro bono MyHeritage project that sends free kits to adoptees looking for their parents.

Diane was adopted as a baby and grew up with her adoptive parents and older sister in Massachusetts. While her parents were very open with her about the fact that she was adopted, she didn’t know anything about her biological family.

Diane applied for DNA Quest in March 2018. “I would love to know my roots, not just for me, but for my children and grandchildren,” she wrote in her application. “I would like to answer my own questions as well as my extended family’s questions about roots and health history.”

When her MyHeritage DNA results first came in, she received matches for distant cousins. Discouraged, she stopped checking her new matches regularly.

“I was actually out,” she recalls, “and suddenly I get this message on Facebook, saying ‘I hope you’ve been looking for us…’”

Aimee Goudas of Chicago, Illinois, had recently done a MyHeritage DNA test — and her results showed that Diane was her sister.

“I double-checked on MyHeritage, and then all of a sudden, you know… boom,” Diane remembers. “I was in tears, and so excited.”

Aimee filled Diane in: their mother had unfortunately died of cancer, but she’d had 3 more children after placing Diane for adoption: Aimee, Nikole, and Chris. Diane also learned that her own birth name was Jennifer — and that her mother’s name was actually Linda-Diane!

“She sent me pictures of my birth mother,” she says. “We look so much alike. It’s amazing. It was just amazing to see someone who looked like me.”

Diane and Aimee have been texting each other every day since. After a lifetime of being apart, their families came together in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the first time in an emotional reunion.



About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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7 Responses to Adoptee Celebrates First Christmas with Her Biological Siblings Thanks to MyHeritage DNA Quest – December 23, 2019

    • Glad the family was receptive. These cases usually go great or turn out badly, sometimes a mix of both as some bio family members are willing to accept the new found relative and others are not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SLIMJIM says:

        Yeah someone I know was a son of a Vietnam War refugee…his mom’s mom was a prostitute and the reunion with her biological dad didn’t turn out well since he was a soldier and was embarrassed to have had a child…

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a common reaction, a lot more common than the positive reactions I see from finding new family members. It’s worse if a parent was married when the pregnancy happened – be it a military person away from home.

        I always warn people don’t expect a happy ending if you find out one or both of your parents aren’t who you thought they were. Best to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SLIMJIM says:

        Good point about hoping for the best prepared for the worst

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it’s important because I have seen too many people snubbed by members of their biological family. Some go so far as to claim the DNA is lying. At close levels – 1st – 2nd cousins, it’s very unlikely to get wrong unless someone knowingly submitted someone else’s DNA sample to avoid owning up to a relationship.

        Liked by 1 person

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