Thursday, June 19, 2014


The truth always come out. Always always. No matter what, at some point, it’ll rear its ugly head and those supposed secrets that are dead and buried come to light.

So as part of all this fertility treatment, ORM asked if I wanted the genetic testing component of it, just to make sure there are no weird genes I need to be concerned with. Sure, why not, I say. It’s just money, and when you’re robbing the bank, you don’t worry about double-parking, I always say.

They set up the call day/time beforehand, so I had my call with the genetic counselor scheduled for this week. I speak to a lovely woman, who informs me that, unbeknownst to me, I’m a recessive carrier for some kind of@^#$(CAUR Syndrome.

Me: Huh?
Genetic Counselor: GRACILE Syndrome. I’ll send you the info on it.
Me: What is that exactly?
GC: Well, it’s very rare, so that’s good, but it’s also really bad, so that’s bad. Basically any baby with it dies at birth or shortly thereafter, after a painful and agonizing brief life.
Me: So if I read between the lines you’re saying this isn’t a good thing to have.
GC: Right.
Me: Well damn.
GC: Since it IS so rare, the chances of you finding a donor with the same gene isn’t likely, but because of this you need to make sure that any donors you choose have done the Counsyl testing as well and aren’t carriers.
Me: What in the world…I mean, where did this come from?
GC: It’s common among the Finnish people. So yes, you should avoid donors with a Finnish background too.

Damn. There likely goes by chance of choosing Othello.
And….Finnish? Wth?

I do some research after we get off the phone, and indeed, this is considered a “Finnish Heritage Disease” – basically no one else has it. Wth? I decide to go right to the source.

Me: Hi mom, what’s up?
Mom: Oh nothing, how are things going there?

This is where I decide it’s best to be wily and subtle, perhaps calling upon my imagined newfound Finnish trait of being a crafty and cunning people. I mean all those James Bond movies were always set in Finland, right? Right next to Russia, spies and all that? Right.

Me: So, I was wondering…..niin ketkä ovat oikeita vanhempia?
Mom: What?
Me: As I just said in a language familiar to all those on this line, niin ketkä ovat oikeita vanhempia? Or to put it another way, kuka minä olen ja mistä minä olen tullut?
Mom: I think something’s wrong with your phone again – you’re all garbled.
Me: No no, I was just speaking the language of my people, “mom”….
Mom: That didn’t sound anything like Ukrainian.
Me: Aha! J’accuse!
Mom: Have you been spending too much time out in the sun?
Me: The jig is up! When were you going to tell me that I’m actually FINNISH? What, was I found in a fjord wearing a little red bonnet and clogs by two Finnish people who then left me on your doorstep in Chicago?
Mom: You realize that makes no sense.
Me: Whatever.

I explain to my mom my exciting knowledge about my true roots, and rather than getting the whole sad and mysterious tale of my forgotten land and people, I’m treated to hysterical laughter, with occasional sputters of “we…were still paying for you 2 years later!” and “hahaha……troublemaker….who else…would want…..” and so on. Sigh.

Me: Okay mom, so I can see you’re going to be of no help. Excuse me, I’m going to go have some pickled herring for dinner.
Mom: Pickled her… hate that stuff!
Me: Yes, but that was before I knew I was FINNISH, hello! I’m sure I’ll love it now, since it’s part of my culture.

As I hang up, I idly wonder if my mom is coming down with some kind of laughing disease in her older years, as we somehow seem to have conversations like this a LOT. I can’t figure out why.

I then decide to look up more on the character of the Finns, aka Miss Tasha’s new tribe. Pretty quickly I manage to find the following:

“A taciturn people, who “rarely start conversations with strangers.” Slow to share their opinion, and “they don’t boast about their own achievements.”

Okay, so, maybe I'm not Finnish after all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Huh. Finnish. My mother said that my blonde hair came from Swedish ancestors. I guess she was wrong. Finnish.

Also on MY father's side of the family thousands of years ago is Neanderthal ancestry.

-Cousin S'toon