For many people, myself included, this pandemic has challenged us to find a “new normal.” It’s also forced us to be more creative in how we communicate and do our work, while at the same time giving us some extra time to think, develop new relationships, and discover more about ourselves.
I will always remember this COVID time, as I’ve begun to think of it, as one of the most important periods of my life. It started the week of my 53rd birthday when I received the following text from my daughter, Melina.
“Dad, you have a match on 23andMe. YOU HAVE TO CONTACT HER.” At the same time my younger daughter, Jazmin sent me another text that came with a photo.
“Dad, I can’t believe that this guy is not related to you,” she wrote about the man in the photograph who really did look like me.
Within 10 minutes, questions I’ve been asking myself for more than 30 years about the mystery of my origins were getting answered. The match from 23andMe is my second cousin. The man in the photograph is my first cousin.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve seen anyone who looks like me, a very commom situation for most people, but not for me.
Since that day, I have experienced one revelation after another. I have gotten to know my biological mother’s family (unfortunately she passed in 2012). I have met aunts, uncles, cousins, and most importantly, a half-sister. Because of the quarantine in Argentina, my family members have all the time in the world to text me, message me, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. And slowly, during the time of pandemic, I am learning and discovering how amazing it is to have a sister and to be a brother.