Monday, September 4, 2017

My Sunday Best #15 and Another DNA Update

Happy Labor Day! 

It has been almost two months since my last blog post. I didn't plan to take a two-month break, but life has a way of changing one's plans in surprising ways. Before, I get into the surprise of my life (I had thought that finding myself pregnant one month before my 40th birthday was the surprise of my life, but I was totally wrong), how about a picture of Mary Rose and me in our Sunday best. 

I took pictures every Sunday of our outfits, but I decided to show three weeks of our Sunday attire because a couple of our outfits were repeats. Plus, I shared one of our Sunday Best photos to Instagram. Isn't Mary Rose the cutest? She is cutting more teeth right now, so that is why she looks so grumpy in the last section of the picture collage. She is growing so fast! We will celebrate her first birthday in October. Time really does fly! 

Next up, the big news. 

On July 21st, my father contacted me.

He had his DNA tested through AncestryDNA, and in addition to receiving his ethnicity results, he gained a daughter, me. After what I imagine to be a moment of shock, he contacted me through email, and then later in the day through Facebook. We have been getting to know each other through texts and phone calls. He is coming to visit in the fall. 

I didn't write about it sooner because I couldn't. Writing is how I process my thoughts and feelings. Honestly, I didn't want to explore some of the emotions that I knew were begging for my attention. Looking back, I can see now that I spent the first couple weeks in shock, which is entirely understandable. The man I had decided I would never meet had contacted me, and I was learning that some of the things I had thought I knew about him were not exactly correct. 

Once the shock wore off, old emotions and memories resurfaced. I got angry. That emotion surprised me. After all, I thought I had already moved past the negative feelings of my childhood and into a place of security and comfort. I didn't know where to direct the anger or how to let it go, so I took it to confession. It was the right decision. I left the confessional, having received wise counsel, feeling more focused and better equipped to move forward, away from the anger and into a place of acceptance. 

Here is where I am today; I am no longer fatherless. The man whose DNA I share is alive and well, putting forth the energy to get to know me, and being open about his life so that I may get to know him. I am unsure of what our future relationship will look like, and I have no expectations because, let's be real, feelings for another person aren't automatic just because of shared DNA. What I am certain of is that this is a perfect time for us to start this journey together. There have been 41 years of life experiences, personal development, and maturity that has brought us to our current life situations, which include people we love and trust and who support us in our decision to build a relationship with each other. 

We both have choices to make about the future. Right now I choose to be open to learning and understanding the man who, by right of DNA, is my father. 

In case you are unfamiliar with my story, you can read about it here, here, and here

For more My Sunday Best, please visit Rosie

Monday, July 10, 2017

My Sunday Best #14: Temperaments and Mass Behavior

It's Monday morning, and Mary Rose in napping so right now is the perfect time to share a few personal details on the internet unabashedly!

How about I start with what Mary Rose and I wore to Mass. I wore a Lularoe maxi as a dress with an Ann Taylor cardigan. Mary Rose wore an adorable outfit that my aunt gave her. I love the way it bubbles out around her chubby legs!

For the last several weeks I have been rereading The Temperament God Gave You, and The Temperament God Gave Your Kids, written by Art and Laraine Bennett. I am very interested in the four temperaments, and I am trying to use what I have learned to better communicate and relate to my family members. My husband and I took the quiz, as well as our oldest son. Our youngest boys did not take the quiz, but I know what their primary temperament is based on the information in the books. My husband is choleric/sanguine. I am melancholic/phlegmatic, and our oldest son is phlegmatic/sanguine. Our middle son is melancholic, while our youngest son is sanguine. I first read the books about three and a half years ago but did not get the rest of my family involved with learning about the temperaments. This time around everyone is involved in the temperament discussion, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. We have had a blast learning and discussing each other's temperaments.

I think that our Mass behavior is the perfect example of our temperaments in action. My husband, a choleric, leads our family by dictating where and in what order we sit. Ralph, a sanguine, thinks that Mass is the perfect place to see and most importantly be seen. Thomas, a melancholic, sits quietly, looking serious and a bit embarrassed by the rest of us. Holden, a phlegmatic, has always been quiet and content to follow everyone else's lead. As a melancholic, I feel a little sorry for myself because I am sandwiched between the wiggly baby and the outgoing nine-year-old yet again, longing to be able to participate in Mass with my full attention. 

Have you read any of the books about the four temperaments? Do you know your temperament?

If you are not familiar with the four temperaments, I encourage you to get the books or at the very least take the quiz and read about your temperament. 

Please visit Rosie for more My Sunday Best

Monday, July 3, 2017

My Sunday Best #13: Three Sunday Outfits and a DNA update

Every Sunday for the last three weeks I have taken a picture of what Mary Rose and I wear to Mass, but I have been so busy that I haven't made the time to write a My Sunday Best post. Well, not today, friends! The laundry can wait!

Working backward, yesterday I wore a Lularoe maxi and an old but not faded black t-shirt. Last week I wore a Lularoe Irma with an old skirt. The week before that was Father's Day, and I wore a dress that is from Torrid. I wore the dress through my pregnancy. I love it! There you have it. All three weeks of Mass attire presented to you with poor quality photos!

Speaking of Father's Day, this year I thought about my father a lot. I have never met my father, and I usually do not spend time thinking about him. I made peace with that area of my life years ago. Last year in my first ever My Sunday Best post, I wrote about my Ancestry DNA results. I enjoyed getting my results and learning more about myself. Growing up, all I knew about my father was that he had been raised in the foster care system in Brooklyn, and he told my mom that was Puerto Rican.

Recently, Ancestry started placing people in genetic communities based on their DNA results. I was placed into one genetic community, and it is very likely, like 95% likely, that I belong to that community.

At first, finding out that I am part of the Eastern Puerto Rico genetic community made me laugh and then made me feel satisfied. I will never know my father, and I am okay with that fact, but knowing with a 95% certainty that I belong to the ethnic group that he identified with makes me happy. This Father's Day I thought about him more than I had in a long time, and I decided that I should make an effort to pray for him daily. Praying for him will be good for both of us!

Anyway, I am still thankful for the friend that gifted me with my Ancestry DNA kit. It is like the gift that keeps on giving. Seriously, it keeps giving me cousins! Now I am up to 1,677 fourth cousins or closer. My mother also had her DNA tested, and it has been fun comparing our DNA matches.

Have a happy week!

Please visit Rosie for more My Sunday Best posts.

Monday, June 12, 2017

My Sunday Best #12: C'est la vie!

Yesterday, our oldest son, Holden, turned 21 years old. Also, Mary Rose hit her 8-month mark. This morning I am drinking my coffee out of a mug that says "C'est la vie." I bought the mug a couple of months ago, and it instantly became my favorite. Not only because it holds 16 ounces of hot, delicious goodness, but because it sums up how I feel about my life. Not in the negative way that the phrase is often used to acknowledge a disappointment. No, my mug is lovely, covered in flowers and swirly script. It proclaims "That's life" in a boldly beautiful way!

On Saturday a family member cackled, "Tomorrow your oldest turns 21, and your youngest isn't even one year old yet! That's crazy!" I smiled and replied, "It's not crazy. It's my life." I thank God for it, and for all the people, big and small that He has placed in my life. What a blessing it has been to sit and talk to my son, the man, about college classes and work schedules, while holding a wiggly baby on my lap. I know it looks undesirable to other people, but to me, it feels like perfection, a gift. Yes, life is a beautiful gift.  

I am wearing a Lularoe Carly.

My life isn't perfect. There have been days, weeks, and months that have been hard, with moments of sadness and feelings of loneliness and uncertainty. But those times seem so short compared to the years that have been full to bursting with happiness. 

This is the life. My beautiful life. And I thank God for it!

Please, check out more Sunday attire over at Rosie's blog. In case you missed my update about finally getting some sleep you can read that here.
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