2018: A year of extraordinary discoveries thanks, in part, to DNA testing

Early December 2018 in a Daegu, South Korea, restaurant, the evening before meeting my husband’s biological family. We were excited but incredibly nervous!

The year 2019 is almost upon us, and I am sorry to have been AWOL for a good chunk of 2018. Too many distractions came my way. As some of you know the previous year (2017) was a non-stop marathon of crises, but I am pleased to report that 2018 was a really busy but very healthy, happy, and POSITIVE year. For my husband, who was adopted as a baby from South Korea to the US and who until this past year had no knowledge of any biological family, it was a year of astounding discoveries—one that was partly made possible by DNA testing. It started last spring with the discovery (via Ancestry DNA) of an older biological half-sister who was also adopted as a baby to the US from post-war South Korea. They met for the first time in August. That discovery was the spark that ignited my husband’s search for biological family in South Korea. Very methodical and thorough in his approach, he sought out and found a remarkable team of helpers on the ground there. Suffice it to say, it was an amazing year. The whole story is his to tell, however; so I am only including a few photos here from our trip to South Korea in early December. Once my husband has managed to put his whole experience into words, something he is aiming to do, I am hoping he will let me share some more of his story here with you.

Apart from acquiring at least some basic Korean conversational skills in time for a hoped-for repeat visit to South Korea in late 2019, I do plan to get back to this blog even if only to post at least on a monthly basis. Meanwhile, I’m delighted that my husband’s biological family tree finally has some leaves on it for him to enjoy and admire. It’s been a year full of blessings, and we are so incredibly thankful.

Happy New Year, everyone! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, productive, enlightening, and peaceful 2019.

Posing outside the Catholic-run White Lily orphanage (Deagu, South Korea) which is now a daycare center for underprivileged children. (In Korea they like to make a little heart shape with their thumbs and forefingers in case you were wondering 😉 ). My husband’s new-found aunt is in the middle in red, and her son is second from the left. Between them is my husband’s newly discovered biological half-sister, who is also related to the aunt and her son. Sister Teresa stands behind me (pink scarf) — she preserved White Lily records, making it possible for many of White Lily’s past orphan residents to get clues about their origins—clues their agency records don’t necessarily have. The gentleman on the far left is my husband’s half-sister’s boyfriend. The two gentlemen on the far right are the Daegu detectives who helped crack the case and connect my husband to his Korean next of kin.

With my husband’s father’s cousins at their village southeast of Daegu



Categories: DNA, Miscellaneous, NE Asia, South Korea | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “2018: A year of extraordinary discoveries thanks, in part, to DNA testing

  1. Roselane Polnick

    So glad to hear from you!!! I have just proven Elias Woodruff as my 2X great-grandfather, who fought in the War of 1812. He was at the Battle of New Orleans, and was the first Post Master of Florida!

    Roselane Magee polnick


  2. Roselane Polnick

    I am so proud to hear that your husband has found his family through DNA!! I have done mine, and I found a 1st cousin that I did not know existed!! We have seen each other several times and find that we are so very much alike! Even to the fact that we are both nurses.


    • That’s great, Roselane. These discoveries are indeed life altering, sometimes in a not so pleasant way. Glad to hear you and your new-found cousin have so much in common and are enjoying getting to know each other.


  3. Good to see you back and hear of your husbands good fortune in tracing his roots. A very Happy New Year to you. –Curt


  4. Great to hear from you. I do hope you are back to your blog writing soon.


  5. Roselane Polnick

    If you are ever in N. J for an extended period of time; I would love to meet you and hear about our Woodruff Family! I would love to see the old Woodruff house and the First Presbyterian Church cemetery!

    Roselane Magee Polnick


  6. Roselane Polnick

    how do I get a picture of Royal Street Antique Shop in 1918? Who was the artist? It looks so much like my great-aunts shop in New Orleans. I am trying to get her address from a family member. When the first T.V. station was opened in N.O., it was right on the corner by her shop. They went “on air” several times a day and I watched them through the glass!


  7. Barbara Brodhead

    Such a wonderful story and exciting event!!!! I am so happy for you and your husband! I love stories like this that connect families together- such a great blessing. You indeed had an eventful year. May 2019 bring you even more joy. Love, James and Barbara



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