November 03, 2021
Dorothy took a DNA genetic assay as a joke, looking for distant relatives, only to be told she had a daughter, even though she had never been pregnant.
Dorothy Weaver had never considered herself a lonely woman until she lost her husband at 57. Dorothy and her husband Thomas had both been human rights attorneys and their passion for their cause had been all-absorbing.
They met in college at a student protest and had fallen in love at first sight. Over the next thirty-five years, they had occasionally thought about having children, but then another cause would appear, and the baby project would be set aside another year.
Dorothy always believed she was destined for a lonely old age | Source: Shuterstock.com
The decades followed each other faster than Dorathy had thought possible, and one day having a baby was no longer possible -- but they could still adopt. Tom and Dorothy had started the adoption process when he died.
Dorothy had been in the office, going over a last-ditch maneuver to save a teen on death row when the phone rang. She picked it up, irritated at the interruption. "This had better be good!" she'd snapped.
"Mrs. Weaver?" the quiet voice on the line raised the hairs on the back of her neck. "It's about your husband, Mr. Thomas Weaver..."
Dorothy let the phone slip from her nerveless fingers, drowning out the sympathetic voice and all the futile explanations. Tom was gone. That big, brave heart had failed. "I'm alone," Dorothy whispered, "I'm all alone."
While Tom had been raised by loving parents, Dorothy had been shuffled from one foster home to another until she aged out of the system, but her brilliant mind and tenacity had gotten her to college, and then law school.
Dorothy and her husband Tom had put their careers first | Source: Unsplash
There is always something inside us that calls us to where we are meant to be.
Now when she got home, there was no more Tom to share a glass of wine with over takeout pasta, no one to argue heatedly over the issues they were defending, no one to reach for in that cold empty bed.
The terrible feeling of being sundered, less than a whole person that she'd felt all her life had vanished when she met Tom -- but now that terrible loneliness was consuming her life.
Dorothy increased her office hours, poured herself into more cases until one day she simply collapsed in the middle of an impassioned closing, arguing in defense of a young homeless mother who had killed the social worker who had tried to take her baby. Dorothy, the woman of steel was no more.
After a long convalescence, she finally took stock of her life. She was now just 60, too young to retire but also not strong enough to practice law like she used to.
Tom passed away and Dorothy was left alone | Source: Unsplash
What could she do? Teach? She contacted the prestigious law school she and Tom had attended and cadged an offer to lecture a few hours a week. That was something! She'd be active, useful, and surrounded by bright young minds!
Teaching helped, but at the end of the day, she was alone, sitting up in bed watching late-night TV -- bad late-night TV! Later she would attribute what happened next to that late-night talk show and its ditzy guests.
It was 2 am and a big black woman in a massive wig was interviewing a thin white one with almost no hair. Their mouths were opening and closing soundlessly, and at last, Dorothy relented and turned up the volume.
"...my mother," said the thin white woman wiping at her rabbit-pink eyes. "I asked her, but the truth is she didn't know..."
The black hostess turned incredulous eyes towards the camera before looking back at her guest. "Honey, your mama didn't know who her baby-daddy was?"
One night Dorothy saw a late-night talk show about DNA testing | Source: Pexels
The thin woman blushed, or rather, she broke out in ugly red blotches. "My mother had some godless years, Mavis, but she's walking with the Lord now!"
"Amen!" cried Mavis enthusiastically, then she asked, "But how did she not know?"
"It was those Woodstock days, Mavis," said the woman. "People were sinning and following the ways of the devil and indulging their flesh..."
"But you found your father," Mavis interrupted before the thin woman started preaching. "How did that come about?"
"Well, my son sent in my DNA and my husband's as a Christmas present. And I can tell you, Mavis, I was mad...Some mysteries belong to the Lord..."
Dorothy sent in her DNA | Source: Unsplash
"Yes, yes," said Mavis impatiently. "We all know that, but how did you find your daddy?"
"They sent us this report, Mavis, and there it was as bold as brass: Sturgis Lee Kersey. And seven more names of siblings -- brothers and sisters, you know? You could have knocked me over with a feather..."
At that moment, Mavis gestured and a Dorothy saw a smartly dressed girl usher in eight scrawny people -- obviously the thin woman's long-lost relatives. "This is where I get off!" cried Dorothy, and she switched off the TV.
But the blotchy face of the thin woman kept rising in front of her eyes, and those purple cracked lips said, "I wanted to know where I come from, and how come he didn't love me."
Dorothy got up and went to her bathroom, turned on the lights, and looked in the mirror. She whispered, "I want to know where I come from, and how come she didn't love me." The next day, she decided to search learn more about her own roots.
Dorothy received a surprising report | Source: Unsplash
After doing a considerable amount of research, Dorothy settled on a company that seemed to be the most reliable. She ordered the DNA test, took the cheek swab, and sent it off.
A month later she received the results. One part was a bewildering flood of information about her ethnic heritage but in another section of the report, she saw the words '49.96% match' with the photo of a red-head young woman whom the company identified as Michelle Simpson, 33, her daughter.
"My daughter?" she whispered. "I don't have a daughter. I don't have any children whatsoever!" Dorothy sent off a blistering email, accusing the company of incompetence and threatening all kinds of legal mayhem.
The company replied to her through the telephone a few days later. "Mrs. Weaver," the smooth-voiced man on the other side said. "We've consulted our technical team, and faced with your assertion that you have never been pregnant or given birth, they offer the possibility of you having an identical twin."
"An identical twin?" gasped Dorothy, flabbergasted. "But...Oh my God! I was raised in the foster system...I had no idea..."
The genetic assay indicated that Dorothy had a daughter | Source: Unplash
So Dorothy sent Michelle Simpson a personal message through the heritage website and received an excited reply which included a phone number and a suggestion they meet up.
Dorothy agreed and two days later she walked into a restaurant towards a table where a slim red-head was sitting. The woman, Michelle, tried to get up but sank back down in her chair, white as a ghost.
"You..." she whispered. "You look just like mom. Exactly, that hairstyle, the type of clothes...you even walk like her!"
"Michelle?" asked Dorothy hesitantly. "Your mom, she was in foster care too?"
Michelle shook her red curls. "No! Mom was adopted when she was two. She had no memories of her mother, but she had a hard time adapting. So later on, my grandparents didn't encourage her to find her biological family."
Dorothy never knew she had an identical twin | Source: Unsplash
"Your mother..." Dorothy said. "She's my twin. Have you told her? Does she know?"
Michelle nodded. "Yes, she knows. She's scared though. She didn't want me to do this. She didn't want to know why her mother had abandoned her."
"Abandoned us," said Dorothy. "She abandoned us, and she let us be separated." Michelle lifted her cell phone and took a snap of Dorothy. She typed out a quick message and sent it.
"Sit!" said Michelle. "Tell me about yourself!"
"I'm a lawyer," Dorothy said. "And a widow. I have no children, I have no one which is why I sent in my DNA..." But Michelle was gazing over Dorothy's shoulder and her face broke into a wide smile.
Dorothy was delighted to meet her niece | Source: Unsplash
"Mom," she cried. "Come and meet Dorothy."
Dorothy got up on trembling legs and turned around to face herself!
"Dorothy?" her other self whispered, "I'm Susan."
Dorothy didn't even think. She just stretched out her arms and threw them around Susan. She discovered that she was crying, but it was okay, because Susan was crying too, and so was Michelle.
"I always felt there was something wrong with me, a part of me missing," cried Susan sobbing.
"Me too!" said Dorothy. "As if only half my heart was working..."
"Now we are together!" said Susan. They turned radiant faces towards Michelle and smiled identical smiles. Even their hair was cut the same way, and they were both wearing similar outfits.
The two sisters couldn't believe their uncanny resemblance | Source: Unsplash
Susan -- who practiced family law -- explained that she had been married to Michelle's father for over 15 years before the relationship fell apart. She and the teenaged Michelle had left Florida and decided to start life over in Denver Colorado -- which happened to be where Dorothy was living!
Michelle had married and had four children. "So you are a grandmother!" cried Dorothy enviously. "Tom and I kept putting off having children, we thought we had forever...And then it was too late and now I'm alone."
"No you are not!" said Susan fiercely. "You have me and Michelle, and her husband and her kids... You will never be alone again!"
So Dorothy ended up with a big family and lots of grand-nieces and nephews who looked just like her. As the two sisters got to know each other better they discovered that they had eery parallels in their lives and identical tastes.
Since they were both alone, the sisters ended up moving in together, and Dorothy spoils Susan's grandchildren shamelessly.
Dorothy found herself part of a big family | Source: Unsplash
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