Michelle Cehn was adopted. Her birth mother was a 23-year-old woman from New York who wasn’t ready to have kids. She knew that she wouldn’t be a good mother, but she wanted her daughter to have a good life. She decided to put her daughter, Michelle, up for adoption. She wanted to give her baby to a couple who had tried but couldn’t have a baby of their own. Michelle’s adoptive parents were going to travel from Oakland, California to New York to get their new baby.
She Knew She Was Adopted
Growing up, Michelle knew that she was adopted. This was something that her parents never tried to hide from her. She loved her adopted parents, but like most adopted children, she hated that she didn’t know any of her blood relatives. She didn’t know anyone who looked like her or acted like her. Growing up, she often wondered who her birth parents were and what they were like. She often daydreamed about a half brother or sister that was out there. She knew she wanted to know who her birth parents were, but she didn’t have much to go on. She only knew her birth mother’s name, and she had a photo of her.
Using the Internet
Michelle’s desire to know her birth parents only grew as she got older. When the internet was up and running, and social media was becoming so popular, Michelle thought that there was a good chance that she could find the woman who gave birth to her. She was going to use the World Wide Web to finally get the answers that she was looking for her whole life. Since she knew nothing about her birth father, she realized that finding her birth mother was her best chance. Using her mother’s name and a photo of her from 20 years earlier, she searched social media and family reunion websites to find her mother. Finally, she found what she was looking for.
An Emotional Reunion
Michelle sent her mother a message on Facebook when she found her. The next day, they talked on the phone. That same week, Michelle was on a plane across the country to meet her birth mother face-to-face. She said that their meeting was “magical.” During their first meeting, Michelle finally saw herself reflected in someone else. Her meeting with her birth mother made her want to meet her birth father even more. Since Michelle’s birth mother didn’t know who her father was, she realized that it was likely impossible.
She Couldn’t Give Up
Michelle says that she would have dreams of meeting her birth father. She dreamed that he worked in a bake shop. In other dreams, he was a Native American chef. Her dreams were all over the place, and her subconscious knew what she truly wanted. She wanted to meet her father. Without a name and a description, she knew that the chances of her finding him were slim to none. Michelle’s birth mother told her that her birth father didn’t even know that she existed. She tried to make peace with it. She had loving adoptive parents and a wonderful connection with her birth mother. She knew that she had more than most people had. As much as she made peace with it, part of her never fully gave up hope that one day, she would meet her father.
Moving On With Life
Michelle decided to put her desire to meet her father on the back burner and move on with her life. She started her own YouTube channel and blog called World of Vegan. It included vegan recipes, shopping tips, and her life as a vegan. Michelle lived her life, and as years went by, new DNA technology was available. Michelle realized that she could use her own DNA as a clue to finding her father.
The First Genealogy DNA Kits
DNA kits have been around for a long time. The first consumer DNA kit was called GeneTree. It provided swab paternity tests beginning in 1998. Just two years later, FamilyTreeDNA became the first DNA kit to learn about your ancestry. In 2007, 23andMe released their version that used saliva rather than a cheek swab. This kit could help you learn about your ancestry, and Michelle wondered if it could help her find her relatives.
Trying the Tests
Michelle tried all of the DNA tests on the market. Most of the ancestry DNA results could tell you where your DNA came from. Some offered a relative connection service. The only way to connect with a relative is if one of them submitted their DNA to the company as well. Michelle thought that this was the answer to her prayers.
She Found Matches
Michelle didn’t get a match from her father, but she did find many 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins. Sadly, this didn’t help her find her father. Michelle started to message her distant relatives to try to find her father. As time passed, more people were using these kits. Finally, someone important had their DNA tested and wanted to find family members. When Michelle saw him on her account, she was thrilled. The match was her first cousin, Christopher. She knew that he would be a link to her biological father. After sending him a message, she searched his online profile. She knew that his father was her father’s brother.
The Answers She Needed
Michelle finally had her father’s name. His name was Gregory Hicks, and Michelle had his eyes. She sent her father a message and the next day, he called her from California. At first, he was hesitant. He thought that maybe she was after him for his money. When Michelle told him her story, he believed her. They learned that they both had ulcerative colitis and they had both torn their ACL. Before the meeting, they had a paternity test performed, and he was really her father. The DNA results proved what they knew in their hearts all along. Michelle flew to California to meet her biological father. Finally, she felt complete.