More DNA Cousins


Ancestry, FTDNA 23andMe, My Heritage, GEDmatch … always looking forward to seeing who’s new on the block!

If wasn’t for these sites, the many ‘cousins’ that are friends and confidantes; I wouldn’t have ever found my truth. I have been fortunate to match the paper trail with theDNA trail finally.

But the story is always unfolding…

What’s new?


Almost a year later after being matched with my sister’s child as close family on Ancestry –> I know almost everything there is to know.

I have met close family aunt, a cousin, nieces, nephews, my brother and my birth-mother.  I have spoken to numerous cousins from 1st, 2nd, 3rd and further out. 

I have spoken with those more knowledgeable in genetics and genealogy. With their support, guidance and suggestions I have arrived to this place of knowing – of peace in my mind and heart.

So many questions have answered! But some simple ones still evade me – I question my birth-mother, Linda.  The truth is out – what is it you still fear?  I catch her in half-truths.  She still denies me as being a live birth.

  • When was I born?
  • Where was I born?
  • Who put me in the car?
  • Why did you put me in that car?
  • Is there an excuse for not looking for me the last 50+ years?

She calls me; I have not returned her calls.   She has etched out the path she is on now, one built on secrets and lies and now that many have surfaced, her path is quiet and lonely.



My search continues …

With great assistance from cousins – newly found and those plugging away to help me; sincere assistance offered by their generous hearts!  ♥

With a hint or two from a P.I. I continue my search for my truth

I relish the relationships I have been fortunate to cultivate. These new found cousins I gladly call friends – we email, talk, text, FB and meet when we can. Some I can no longer refer to as new … for they have been there since the beginning of my DNA journey. 

But there is a glimmer of hope that my truth is not as far as it was when I began this journey

Always saddened that I didn’t know my true surname/s – or any surnames of the lineage of my original tribe – but now I do

  • Urdaz aka Urdoz

  • Correa

  • Rivera

  • Miranda

They have been added to my DNA profiles at FTDNA, 23andme and Ancestry.

I continue plugging away, reaching out and asking for tidbits of info – never knowing where they will lead me.

For now I graciously and happily accept that all arrows are pointing to the fact that 

I am the great granddaughter of

Hipolito Rivera b. 1866 & Francisca Correa y Urdaz b. 1865,

both from Arecibo, PR.

We are not the sum of all our parts; but so much more.


Looking Back – Today’s Thoughts

When I started this blog, I had only one major goal in my mind; to find my truth!! but in retrospect; when I look in the mirror there is so much more looking back. Hopes, expectations, memories from childhood years gone by, from a few years ago and some from just lat year. Looking back is the culmination of two tribes colliding into one.

Although I am still on that quest, time elapses and I am still without that answers I seek. However, I have all these other thoughts floating around my head. Sometimes I feel the frustrations setting in when I have to clarify relationships; which tribe I am referring to. The ones who understand that statement more than any others are fellow adoptees.

My family; my life sustaining tribe I depend on for the little everyday things. It is sometimes harder now when I speak to people about a relative or ‘cousin’ because they need some sort of clarification.

For me; my family is my life sustaining tribe. As far as I can remember and for all of my years; they have been just that; simply my family. I am who I am because of them. I learned all life’s basic lessons from my parents, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents, extended family. I continue to learn as my immediate family has grown over the years to include my nieces and nephews and my sons. I continue to grow to be a better spouse, mom, sister, aunt, niece and cousin, friend; and then more parts, Ewok lover, chef de cuisine, better baker, gardener – this year I hope, avid reader – again, international traveller. While I am at it – how about million dollar lotto winner – I guess I would have to play it. So many parts; have I covered them all?

This is where I get all my points of reference from; the day to day words and expressions that I share with my sister. The traditions I share with my surviving aunts and uncle and my many cousins. The language we all heard as children; but were never officially taught. Our parents felt comfortable using Italian phrases and words here and there; but adult conversations meant for their ears only went on in an Italian dialect from Sicily. Even the food and spices I go to daily; all stem from my life sustaining tribe.

DNA testing however has opened up a whole other side of who I am. another of my parts. I have discovered a slew of DNA cousins; mostly primas y primas. they too are supportive and wonderful. They have been welcoming and helpful. From them I have learned about some of my birth culture. I have learned some new words and sayings. I have learned about different traditions and foods.

From others I have learned the ins and outs of DNA testing and genealogy research. With these cousins I share a new found passion that has captivated so many of my waking hours. I have learned that there are some peculiarities common to my DNA matches. Many of us are nocturnal, we share some innate abilities. There is an unexplained easiness;  how quickly we became comfortable with and are able to know / understand each  another at some more intense level than what would be expected. After all we have only ‘met’ over the last few years. an understanding and acceptance that sometimes surprises me.

Most of all; I have learned patience for the answers I still seek from those that remain anonymous but show up as close DNA matches for me. First and second cousin matches; they are probably holding the key to the answers I seek.



Some Angst


It seems as calm as I try to be on the outside – there always seems to be a little bit of angst on the inside

This time I could not hide it

I had reached out to this 3 to 4th predicted cousin this past summer – still waiting for a response.

So, I decided to try him again. But why him? Good question!! It seems that there is something in DNA called a ‘haplogroup’. I am H5. On the 23andme site I have over 1100 matches; only one ‘MT’ is also H5. This haplogroup originates from your maternal side. You can only get it from your mother.

If you are female and have no male close relatives to test with on the DNA site; then the relative matches cannot be discerned as maternal or paternal.Since I do not know any ‘close’ male relatives a dad, brother, paternal uncle or paternal grandfather – I do not have the luxury of finding out how I am related to any of my matches. All I know is that we share DNA. Some of them can figure out if I am on their maternal or paternal sides – but that is where the buck stops!

This H5 match means I can be certain he is on my maternal side. I know that is probably an aunt or great aunt or 3rd cousins to him that can be mother. So, even though we share only 62cM’s over 4 segments, the H5 is HUGE in me finding out some of my truths. The road is blocked for me right now unless I can get some kind of response from him. [I probably should have peeped him on FB; but MT is there for all the world to find! and not so far from where I was found! Coincidence; I think not!]

I sent him my entire story back in August and had no response. So, again today I have almost pleaded with him for some kind of acknowledgment. Maybe it is here that I am having the hardest time –  acknoweldgement – almost like I don’t have enough value for MY FAMILY to say – hey – she’s ours – with all her quirks and funny nose and little bits of OCD – she is OURS!! Let’s put her on the front porch ’cause we got her back!!

Maybe I am hoping for too much!

Here is the excerpt of today’s plea:

Hi MT –

thought I would try to reach out to you again as I try to put the puzzle pieces of the start of my life together and try to figure out my true origins; my story …

This may be a tender subject – maybe you have heard rumors or know the story – maybe this is a big skeleton in someone’s closet.
All I want is to find the truth and some peace!
Hoping you can feel my plight, see my side and know that as an adoptee I have been living someone else’s life; someone else’s truth. Since you have done the DNA testing; maybe you are building your family tree; I cannot. I cannot answer questions about my health history because I don’t have any.
I am ready to live my truth; to know my story; to own it.           That is all!!!!



A promise to myself I didn’t have to personally keep!

I asked for an Ancestry DNA test for my holiday gift and I am getting it!

I am so excited and yet, maintaining an general attitude of ‘que sera’! I cannot get too excited; I cannot get caught up in the moment because I may not get any closer than 3rd+ cousins again.

I have hopes and dreams to find the truth; but I need to stay grounded. I see my new found cousins, also adopted or looking for their other parent because they have no information on them. They are making strides sometimes, sometimes not. Sometimes I am in awe of their relentlessness to find their truth and I am extremely happy for them.

We will see!

January 2015 Update –

test ordered / test received / test taken –> returned to

And now we wait!!