Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NAR: New Storm Trojan variant spreads in blogs, forums, Webmail

Just a public service announcement to be on the lookout for this one....

February 27, 2007 (Computerworld) A new variant of the "Storm" Trojan is injecting its come-on into blogs, Web-based message forums and Webmail as part of an effort to spread itself to an ever-widening net of PCs, according to a security researcher.

Dmitri Alperovitch, principal research scientist at Secure Computing, said today that the Trojan -- best known as the "Storm worm" but also pegged as "Peacomm" and half a dozen other names by anti-virus vendors -- is using a novel approach to spread. "This is a really neat twist, through the Web channel," said Alperovitch.

An initial infection is still carried out via e-mail, which touts a link that when clicked downloads a number of malware components to a victimized machine. Once on a PC, however, the malicious code injects itself into the network stack as a rootkit and analyzes all outbound Web traffic

"It has hooks for boards, e-mail, and blogs," said Alperovitch. When a user on an infected PC posts a message to a forum or blog, or sends a message via popular Web-based mail services such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail the Trojan adds text to the entry or message.

"It inserts 'Have you seen this link?' along with a link to what seems to be a video," Alperovitch said. Anyone clicking on the link will only find their system infected. "He's not targeting particular sites. Instead, his code is generic enough to work on lots of sites." Secure Computing has seen evidence of the bogus posting on messages forums, including one for Men's Health, as well as "thousands of blog entries," said Alperovitch.

The Trojan has been making the rounds since January, when it first surfaced and was slapped with the "storm" name because it debuted with subject lines shilling news of damaging weather that rampaged across Europe. Since then, it has been collecting compromised PCs into a botnet of zombies that can be used for sending spam. Other malware downloaded to infected machines tries to steal passwords or uses the PC to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

"This looks like it's working," Alperovitch said, adding that users can protect themselves by not clicking on links.

Have you seen this link?


What if she has another family now? What if she has kids? What if they don’t know about you? That could be traumatic for the family.

I am looking for my brother and sister that were adopted out around 1953/54... There was also another brother who was adopted out but his adopted family helped him to reunite with his original family while we were all still in high school. We would all love to meet one or both of you if at all possible.

Searching for child put up for adoption in 1979. If you read this, please give your father a chance... I am your birth father's wife.

Am desperately searching for my little brother…... he just turned 27... He was adopted at birth

He is our brother. We would very much love to find him. We didn't know of his existence until a year ago.

I need help searching for my sister's child. She was 17. I found out about the baby last year, while I was pregnant with my little girl.

I am searching for my sister. I just found out about you & I hope we find each other.

I am your sister. I have been trying to trace you since I was 15 when I first found out of your existence. Please contact me, there is not a day goes past when I don't think of you.

Longing to find a sister that was given up for adoption.

I am seeking my older sister.She may not even know she is adopted!! Could it be you?? Please help me get the word out that I am searching for her.

I am searching for my birth sister. I was told when I was 13 years old that my mother had given a child up. I have tried since I was 18 to find her. I would love to meet her, and let her know she does have biological family that cares about her.

I am her sister. I have only found out recently that my mother was forced to give her up for adoption when she was 16 years old.

We are your siblings. Please call us. We never knew about you. We love you.

Can anyone please help me find my sister who was adopted...



Would somebody please tell these damn fools posting all over the internet that they are supposed to be traumatized and devastated by the knowlege of us? Obviously they didn't get that memo.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Yanno, sometimes... living with an adoptee isn't easy

Thus spoke my cool husband, seconds before being hospitalized from a severe whack upside the head.

Nah, I wouldn’t do that to him. Wanted to….maybe.

Yeah babe, I do know. I live with one everyday. Me.

The idea that perhaps I could be… challenging… at times, shall we say, is a remote miniscule microscopic possibility. Of course I’m so worth any challenge, simply because my passive, aggressive, people pleasing, opinionated, dominating, submissive, please don’t leave me, I’ll leave you first you schmuck, frigid, nympho, agnostic, pagan, catholic self is always an adventure!

Is that because I’m adopted, or is it simply because I’m what’s officially classified in the DSM as a nut job?

Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure.

All I know is that outdated image of the triad is so 10 minutes ago. The triangle image of the first parents, adoptee, adoptive parents should now be updated with the times to include adoption agency, courts, adopted siblings, first siblings, ex-spouses, current spouses of ex-spouses, children, step-children, children of current spouses of ex-spouses, and last but not least, spouses. At least for mi vida loca, that is.

Here’s a better image I think:

Yeah that about sums up my relationships.

Margie over at Third Mom wrote about this brave soul who is, at least to my limited blog reading, the first I’ve seen in her category: the blogging spouse of an adoptee.

Yippee yahoo yet another voice singing out. You just can’t shut us up.

I love all these voices who are blogging their experience. As an adoptee I may not agree with what she has to say, hell sometimes I don’t even agree with what I have to say when I come back and read it later (it’s that DSM nut job thing again)… However, as someone who is NOT married to an adoptee, I think I ought to listen. And also as a blogger and a fellow human being touched (or punched) by adoption, I sure respect her for telling her story. I’ll be reading. Thanks to Margie for that link.

Oh and my cool husband is not allowed to comment on this post, if he knows what’s good for him.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Likely Suspects #4, #5 and #6: Any member of The Angels

“My Boyfriend’s Back” was a secret coded threat to the adoption agency by my first mom, letting them know a world of trouble was coming their way for what they did to her. By forcing her to put me up for adoption, her boyfriend was gonna open a can of whoop ass on them. Sadly, which member of The Angels actually is my first mother is unknown to this day. Probably that chick in the middle. I always did need to be the center of attention.


Likely Suspects #2 and #3: Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon

In 1963, Annette Funicello was filmed entirely from the chest up in “Beach Party” to hide her pregnancy with me. All shots of her in a bathing suit were actually a body double.

Annette and Frankie wanted to run away to raise me in peace, but their contracts with the record and movie studios prevented them from doing so. In spite of all this, they planned to sneak away one night under the cover of darkness, but were thwarted by the evil Eric Von Zipper, who received a commission from the adoption agency for stealing me away from them.


Likely Suspect #1: Gary Lewis

Often incorrectly attributed to songwriter Al Kooper, the true story is that “This Diamond Ring” was written by Gary Lewis, describing the heartbreak over his lost love, my first mom.

They were to be married, but her parents did not approve of her getting involved with an aspiring musician – and a mere drummer to boot! Enraged upon discovering her pregnancy, they forced her to return the ring and break the engagement. They did not allow her to tell him of the pregnancy. He never heard from her again. Finally, after two years of intensive therapy to get over his crushing depression, he emerged with “This Diamond Ring”, the song he wrote about the heartache over the girl he could never forget.

You never know. It could be true. When all you got is blanks, you get to really fill them in big time.


The Likely Suspects

Ungrateful Little Bastard, Girl Detective

As a child, anyone and everyone was fair game to be "my real parents". "My real parents" were primarily musicians, although a fair number of movies stars, female relatives of my adoptive mother and even several younger nuns in my elementary school had their time in the sun as well.

As mentioned in a previous post, the term "my real parents" was allowed for a season when I was a child, but then I was encouraged to change my language. As I still struggle with what language to use, for my list of childhood "real parents", I've decided to begin to adopt (pun intended) an investigative tone of voice. This will be in preparations for my upcoming private investigator work that I shall do once I hear back from the courts, and will always be done while wearing a tan trench coat and carrying a large magnifying glass.

Hence: The Likely Suspects.

Likely Suspect #1 was actually in fact the earliest Likely Suspect I can remember, and one of my fondest memories. I adored Gary Lewis and The Playboys and played "This Diamond Ring" over and over and over. Actually, I still do.

The three Likely Suspect posts here were the earliest Likely Suspects I can remember. The Likely Suspects all had intense, epic, sweeping, failed love affairs, and were torn apart by evil forces. The evil force was usually the adoption social worker who was called "that nice lady who came to the house", but whom in my mind resembeled Cruella De Vile.
Evil forces also included the parents of Likely Suspects as well.

They never, ever, ever, ever wanted to let me go. They always intended to find me one day. The fact that they didn't meant something horrible happened to them.

It's up to me, Ungrateful Little Bastard, Girl Detective, to discover what happened. I'll bring the Likely Suspects up from time to time as I wade through old memories.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How ungrateful are you?

Who else did this as a child or teen? Give yourself ten points for every HELL YEAH answer.

When pulling up to a shopping center, start to scream wildly from the back seat “Don’t leave me in the car! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me in the car! Please don’t leave me!”, causing onlookers to glare at the bewildered woman in the driver’s seat, who had no intention of leaving said screaming child in car, as well as having no idea where the “don’t leave me’s” came from.

When being met after school as a first or second grader, start to hyperventilate if mother was not the first woman you saw as you turned the corner, bursting into tears, falling to the floor and curling into a fetal position with fear. She’s not coming to get me. I knew she wouldn’t come to get me. Something horrible happened to her. Now I’ll have to go to the orphanage.

When getting that first puppy or kitten as a pet, burst into hysterical sobs at the thought of puppies and kittens being taken away from their mothers and siblings. Throw a fit at the pet store / breeder / rescue shelter insisting on keeping the animal family together. Finally after being threatened with we will leave this store right now young lady if you don’t stop this immediately, demand on the ugliest puppy* you see because you’re afraid nobody else will want it, much to the chagrin of mother who really wanted you to get that French Poodle or Irish Setter.

When old enough to pick out books on your own from the library, focus primarily on books revolving around two distinct subjects. You get five points for each: 1.) The slavery of African Americans – with specific focus on books about children separated from their mothers. 2.) The Holocaust – again with a slant towards the experience of women and children during the Holocaust, in particular mothers and children separated from each other during the Holocaust. 10 Bonus points for caucasian and/or christian folks only: Into adulthood, consider that childhood obsession not such a bad thing. Your readings left you with a better education and awareness than many of your counterparts, some of whom mistake the terms “The Holocaust” with the American-Russian nuclear arms race and “The Middle Passage” to mean menopause.

At family gatherings, eye female cousins in the 15-20 year older than you age range with suspicious “Are you my mother?” gazes from the corner of the room. Imagine that bitch of a mother of theirs forcing them to give you up. Jesus you always hated Aunt Sally, you knew she’d pull some shit like that.

Have recurring dreams about beautiful buildings with really dirty bathrooms. This has actually nothing to do with adoption. It’s just a recurring theme in dreams that freaks me out. What the fuck does that symbolize? Is there a Jungian psychologist in the house? Seriously – how screwed up am I for having this dream? Somebody tell me please.

In junior high and high school, strike up friendships with the cool female teachers in their thirties. Hang out after class and offer to help out with grading papers or cleaning up. Have chatty conversations about art films and literature. Be the BEST STUDENT in any class taught by a woman in that age range.

As female friends start to get into plastic surgery, despite having the financial means to do it, absolutely positively refuse to have the ugliest mole in the world removed from your neck, convinced that someday you’ll be in a store, and some older woman will look at your mole and start to cry. She pulls her scarf away from her neck in slow motion as the store speakers play a muzak version of “Mother and Child Reunion”, revealing the exact same mole. You rush into each others arms, crying, as you drop your shopping bags, revealing you were both shopping for the exact same things (cat food, coffee, cigarettes and half ‘n half).

EVERY SINGLE VIDEO ON MTV is about adoption. Every one. I’m serious, dude, I swear. Listen, I’m sorry you can’t hear the adoption themes in “The Safety Dance” but you would if you were adopted. You totally don’t understand, totally.

Be the last one of all of your friends to lose her virginity. By years I’m talking here, because you’re terrified of getting pregnant. The first time you have sex, use three forms of birth control at the same time. 10 Bonus Points: Continue insisting on the pill/condom/spermicide combo for the next three years. 10 More Bonus Points: Keep supply of pregnancy kits on hand at all times for the next three years after that and begin testing three days before your period is due. Every month. Even on months you didn't have sex.


0 points: You’re happy happy happy. You’re so happy happy happy you now work as an adoption professional matching loving fun financially secure couples with darling bundles of joy. Or, you're like this chick I found over at Amy's blog, who wants to criminalize searchers.

10-20 points: You only admit those things to yourself, and go to confession immediately after thinking them to repent for your sins. Three Our Father’s, two Hail Mary’s, and donate some money to charity for pagan babies. Your soul will be as good as new again.

30-50 points: You are so much better adjusted than I.

60-80 points: Not so much ungrateful. But thankless, you can call yourself that. You rank as thankless. There, that’s not so bad. Be grateful you rank as thankless.

90-100 points: Congratulations! You are completely and totally ungrateful for being special, chosen and wanted. You obviously could care less about hurting the feelings of your adoptive parents by searching for and afterwards invading the privacy of your original family who loved you enough to want the best for you. You simply refuse to get over it and let it go. All the things you were given and how much you were loved, and you’ve got problems? Really, now. Geeze if you’re so unhappy tell your mom she can adopt me already. You got the best stuff here. I wish my parents would let me have cable in my bedroom.

110-130 Points – You are my twin! I knew I had a twin damnit! We were separated at birth, damn them, damn them, damn them to hell for what they’ve done to us! We’ll get them, we’ll get them all. They’ll pay, oh yes, they’ll pay.


*PS. It was this kind of puppy. Whom to me was beautiful but I was afraid that no one else would think she was. And that's why I wanted her. Mom really wanted either that Poodle or Irish Setter. A few weeks months later puppy disappeared. Supposedly she was "insane". An Irish Setter replaced her shortly. RIP Puggy


Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh my god

There is a particularly powerful (as always) post over at Writing My Wrongs about adoptees being given back to an agency or the state because they are ungrateful enough to be either sick, failed to save a troubled marriage as was their purpose, or just plain not really wanted in the first place after a-dad up and dies.

The one about not really being wanted in the first place really got to me. My cool husband got a Rottweiler that I didn't really want in the first place. I'm trying to imagine if he kicked the bucket, me turning her back over to the rescue group after all these years telling them, "Well I never wanted this bitch to begin with." But you know what they say. People treat animals better than they do kids. Like adoptive mom Frances Hammels, who wins today's Joan Crawford Award.

Newsday brings this lurid tale of another ungrateful adoptee who scammed some bucks out of her former adoptive mom who gave her the boot at 12. She had been adopted at 8. And, brace yourself friends because there's a world of triggers coming in the next line. She got molested by her adoptive father. Guess what happens after that?

"Behavioral issues"

Poor Irene just wasn't good enough, so back to the state she goes. She's now facing 14 years as a ward of the state, right back where she began. It's all coming full circle for Irene. Adoptive mom lost $60,000. What did Irene loose?

I'm sorry, that was depressing. I'll give you something else to end on an up note. For those of us who always felt like stolen princesses, exiled from our rightful royal heritage, cheer up. We just might have been.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Let the SpamFest begin

I've taken the word verification off my comments because it's driving me nutty.

I can't begin to count the number of times I've commented on someone's blog, only to have mis-typed the code letters again and again. Or to comment and then close a window. Later on when I visit the blog again and don't see my comments, I'm always left wondering... Did I screw up again, or did I write something so stupid and inappropriate that they deleted it?

Anyway I took it off in the event there is someone else as irritated by it as I am. If the spambots hit too hard I'll put it back on. Sometimes I get really busy at work or home and can't visit for a few days. If so, I apologize in advance if any whacko spam gets posted on the blog.


Thursday, February 15, 2007



The flu.

See you soon.



Monday, February 12, 2007

Minus 6 Hours

So, it was amazing. Got all my info at 11, called my first mom at 11:15 and we had lunch at noon. We’re going shopping this weekend. All is cool.

Nah, not that easy.

But progress at least. Very nice lawyer whom I did not need to retain, at least not yet. She did verify the somewhat trickiness of the two forms required, and gave me a name at the County to call. I verified this with the PAFind mailing list.

I spoke with the Orphan’s Court representative, another very nice woman, and she directed me to the official format over at She wanted to know if I was looking for my identifying or non-identifying information. I told her it was just non-identifying at this point, and she gave me a much needed kick in the ass to file the identifying request too. Thank you very much, kind lady on the phone, who sensed what a yellow bellied fraidy cat I am and the push I needed.

So… updated official Waivers of Confidentiality filed with the State and Couty – check

Petition for Identifying Info notarized and mailed – check

Petition for Non-Identifying Info notarized and mailed – check

Request for Decree of Adoption notarized and mailed - check

Now I wait. Rumor has it the wait could be six months… time will tell.

So what to do in during the next six months? Why, make fun of more adoption news reporting, that’s what!

Alabama Adoptees: She Doesn’t Want To Talk To You! Get Over It Already!

More warnings to the ungrateful from the state adoption department and the gramatically incorrect A Angel Adoptions agency. Scary stuff of searching adoptees on a rampage wreaking havoc!

Read this little ditty over, though, and you do the math.

The article warns that many first moms don’t want contact. Let’s break down the numbers, shall we?

700 searchers go to the state’s adoption search bureau. The agent is able to assist with 60% of the cases. OK, that’s 420 first moms found. Out of that 420, 15% do not wish contact. So that means 63. But that also leaves 357 who did want contact.

There are a few other special and invalidating tidbits in this article as well Bottom line to adoptees in Alabama considering the reunion dance: Move along. Nothing to see here. EXCEPT THE 85% OF FIRST MOMS WHO WANT TO MEET!

This irks me to no end. As if being rejected at the end of a search isn't something that's always a fear. As if this isn't a situation we are all well aware of. As if we need media fear mongering and the voices of the adoption industry reminding us the glass is 15% empty.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

59 hours

It’s midnight as I write this. This has been just one of those days. After posting this morning, I got a rare burst of some sort of strength and made a phone call to the county. It’s interesting, because what I was told today was the exact same thing I was told a few years ago when I called asking how I go about getting my non-identifying information. I was told just write a letter. Okie dokie, I can do that.

So I did. And received this in return:

"In order for this Court to act upon your request you must file with the Clerk of the Orphans' Court a verified Petition and proposed Decree which complies with the State and County Orphans' Court Rules of Procedure.”

That’s it. Now friends, if your hard drive up and dies on you, I can help. If your computer is infected with some bizarre virus or Trojan or adware, I can help. If you need to configure your Outlook to automatically process meeting notices and at the same time send a special reply to certain people under specified conditions and run a macro to update a Word document, I can do that.

What I can’t do is file with the Clerk of Court a verified Petition and proposed Decree which complies with the State and County Rules of Procedure asking for my non-id ‘cause, gee, I have this bizarre vascular disorder, my son has the same bizarre vascular disorder, and we’d really like to know if anyone else in our family has this same bizarre vascular disorder, because I’m not a lawyer.

But I can find one who can.

And I did. All on my onesies. And 59 hours from now I’m speaking with her.

D’ya think I’ll get any sleep between now and then? Probably not.

You might say I could do this on my own. And you might be right. But can do something on my own and actually do it are mutually exclusive entities when it comes to me. I know myself way too well. I know what happens when I send something adoption search related off in the mail. I know the expectations I set up for myself, and I know my reaction when something I want doesn’t go my way.

59 hours from now, I may be one well-represented step closer to knowing my nationality.


So, what am I going to do in the interim? Well, we have a rare child-free weekend going on here. So unrepentant and proud geek nerds that we are, my cool husband and I are watching every single movie ever made about my two favorite adoptees from long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. And you know friends, let’s all be grateful for closed adoption records in Tatooine and Alderaan. If they were open records, well shit, that story would have been over before the first movie was ever made.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Passive-Regressive Searching

“Out of all the states in the nation, Pennsylvania has the toughest search laws. And out of all the counties in Pennsylvania, your county is downright medieval. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and I’ve yet to make a reunion from there. I’m not saying this to discourage you honey, but you need to know what you’re up against.”

She called me about 16 years ago. She was a searcher who had been hired by a first mom to help find her daughter.

It wasn’t me.

She spent a lot of time on the phone with me though. She raised my consciousness and blew my mind. And she was the real deal – never once did she try any type of a sales push with me. On the contrary, she told me spending money on a searcher would be a bad idea. She said if I did hire a searcher, it should be one with a “no fee if no find” type of deal.

Pennsylvania sucks.

Unlike most states (or even a few rare enlightened counties in Pennsylvania) I am not even entitled to non-identifying information. If I wanted a redacted form that would have little to no information, I’d need to hire a lawyer to petition the court. I’ve run across some baaaaaaaaad apples in Pennsylvania. My favorite was about twenty years ago. Some woman who told me,

“Yes your entire record is right here. I’m looking at it right now.”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Do you have any idea what type of a crazy-maker that is? That some lowly-paid backwoods batshit insane civil service flunky could be holding in her greasy orange Cheese-Its fingertips my information, but I don’t have the right to look at it.

I told her to have a nice fucking day, further perpetrating the stereotype of the disturbed angry adoptee. What the hell. I was only 22.

There are active searchers and passive searches. I tend to think of myself as a passive-regressive searcher. I start out tentatively, make a few minor steps, hit a wall, and then go hurling backwards in time to a tantrum throwing two year old stomping around and throwing a fit because she can’t get what she wants.

A lot of it too has to do with the fact that I’m a yellow-bellied chickenshit guided by fear coward who is terrified of rejection. So I register at a zillion different places in an infantile YOU FIND ME NOW MOMMIE emotional plea. Although God knows, if mommie ever did find me now through this blog, she’s run for cover after listening to a few of my choice rants.

I completely stopped searching a few years ago after sending a certified notarized letter to the county court respectfully requesting my non-identifying information, as suggested by the great, fantastic and all-around wonderful Pennsylvania Adoption page. A few months later I got a three line fuck-off from them in return telling me to seek counsel and petition the court.

That was it for me. Every now and then I’d pop into the PA Find mailing list, post my search info, and then sign out. Sometimes people would give me advice, but I’d run from it. That two year old thing again. You find me, Mommie. You find me.

Until… I got involved with The Geographic Project. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional response. This amazing thing, DNA, that can’t be written off in court. It can’t be legalized, it can’t be renamed, and it can’t be lied to or about. It is what it is. And suddenly, I had a family. True, we are separated by about 12,000 years, give or take a few centuries, but there they were. Imagine that.

And then imagine this: a list of other who had participated, in my haplogroup, who based on their DNA samples were related to me.


Not closely related. From what I’ve been able to figure out on the MitoSearch and Family Tree DNA websites (which just ain’t all that user friendly for those of us who flunked science in school), we share a common female ancestor approximately 50-100 generations ago. But that brings the search a whole lot closer. From time to time I get an email when a new match is found. They are all far matches.

Maybe someday I’ll get an email that there has been a close match. Maybe I won’t. But after I started getting those sporadic emails notifying me there had been a far match, there was a little click in me. Like, it’s time to get busy. Damnit I have a family. I know they are out there.

So I started the engines slowly. I sent an updated info form to ISSR. And two more updated forms to the bare bones minimum that Pennsylvania provides.

And next week it’s a phone call back to the county again.

Or maybe the week after that. I am a chickenshit remember.

Nothing may ever come of this. My far distant DNA relatives may be the best thing I’ll ever get. I better be grateful for that.

And I am grateful to this whole mysterious DNA thing-a-ma-bob. Truly. But not too content.

Bear with me folks. Next week, I’ll be two years old. Damnit, Mommie, you find me. Why do I always have to do the hard work?


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hurray for the database admin that does not pay attention to details

Adoptees in Wisconsin had a brief window of opportunity to get the names of their first parents, before some tattle-tale know-it-all goodbody reported the security breach. Gee, thanks Dave!

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater associate professor David Munro discovered private adoption records late last year that were accessible via the Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) database.

You know I'm just being ungrateful here. There are all sorts of horrifying nuggets that get leaked on the web when supposedly private databases aren't protected.

I'm most ungrateful though that it didn't happen in Pennsylvania. Damnit all.

I had to amend this a bit to include something my buddy Dave said

“What if a student from my class found that they had a half-brother or sister that they didn’t know about?” Munro said. “It could be devastating for a family.”

Now, lest you think Dave teaches vulnerable babes in the woods, think again. He teaches college, for chrissakes. By all means, Dave! Shield those legitimate kids from the devastation of their bastard siblings! We could be – (gasp!) disturbed!


Friday, February 02, 2007

I am of the tribe of Velda

My earliest known ancestor is yours too. Her name is Mitochondrial Eve.. She lived in East Africa between 150,000 to 170,000 years ago. She was not the first woman, but she was the first woman from whom we can all trace our lineage. Her DNA lives in all women alive today.

Approximately 100,000 years ago, one of her descendants had a slight mutation in her DNA. She was different from all of her sisters. You couldn’t see this mutation, but it was there deep within her anyway. This woman had migrated southwest of her original tribe. She would pass on that same maternal line for another 20,000 years, until yet another daughter had this slight change.

80,000 years ago the tribe began to move north. With them was one incredible, unremarkable woman, unremarkable save for the fact that there was another tiny change in the DNA sequence singing inside her. She would have daughters, and they would pass down this other tiny hiccup in our matrix through today. This was the group that left Africa.

We’re not sure when the next mutation happened in my maternal line. The earliest guess is 60,000 years ago, but more research needs to be done. She lived in the eastern Mediterranean region, until there was yet another split in the DNA, creating group R.

R’s group migrated north and then west, settling across Anatolia, which is today known as Turkey.

Then again, 40,000 years ago, another of my ancestors had a slight change in her DNA. This was group pre-HV. They migrated west across Asia and began their way towards Europe, where another mutation in my ancestral DNA, group HV, the last until the appearance of my ancestor, Velda.

I am of the tribe of Velda. She lived approximately 12,000-17,000 years ago today in northwestern Spain. I don’t know of her life, but do I know this one fact:

She is 100% without a doubt related to me. She is my ancestor. I am descended of her.

My participation in The Genographic Project was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It gave me something I’ve been searching many years for. It gave me a relative. It gave me a sense of belonging, of history, of family.

I worship precious Velda, unassuming girl child born with my genes, holding within her the daughters of countless future generations, holding within her….. me.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Feast of the Inaccurate Conception

Oh thank GOD January is over. I can start to get back to normal a little.

I am always so ungrateful during January.

January is when I was conceived. Oh I know, it's ookie to think of your parents having sex. It's not so much the sex I think about, it's more that unhappy moment two weeks later when someone's world turned upside down because Aunt Dot failed to come and visit.

I am so lucky. I've only been pregnant when I wanted to be pregnant. But boy do I know that "Wait -- what's today's date??" feeling well.

, you know of which I speak. When you're so busy running around and doing a million things. In the middle of your internal mind conversation of "Damn I gotta get the car inspected it's over due when am I going to have time to do that I am so busy this job sucks that crazy bitch at work is out to get me I know she is ooh look at those shoes those are nice I gotta get me a pair of those but can't afford it really things are so expensive and-----"(insert screeching sound here ) "----- wait! What's today's date??"

And you run your shaking little ass over to the drug store, and spend a sleepless night waiting for the morning to let any discernible levels of hGC build up and and pee on a stick. When it comes back "NOT PREGNANT" 60 eternal seconds later you breathe a sigh of relief and think "That asshole isn't going to get laid for two weeks after what I just went through."

Somebody didn't get a chance to feel that relief, some January decades long ago. It sucks feeling your existence ruined the life of your Creator.

But you know what, here's a secret I don't tell a lot of people. I do think about the sex sometimes. More I should say I wonder about it. Was it consensual? Was I the result of a rape? Whoa, that's a downer to consider. If I ever do get the chance to make that tentative first contact, is my contact going to bring back memories of a violation as well as an implantation?

Celebrate February, all.

January is over.


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