DNA Kit – My Birthday Gift


For my 58th birthday last month my youngest daughter, Melinda, gave me a DNA kit from AncestryDNA!

You see, I was adopted when I was 5 days old…my adoptive Mom and Dad brought me home straight from the hospital in Chicago, IL to my brother who had been adopted from another family 6 months before…he was almost 3 years old at the time.

Here’s the Readers Digest version of my life so we can get right to the DNA test and my results…

My {adoptive} parents separated when I was 6 months old.  My brother stayed with my Dad in Morris, IL and I, being an infant and all, went with my Mom to my Aunt’s house in Virginia, IL for awhile.  I never knew I had a brother until I was 10ish – my Mom had told me I was adopted when I was around 8.

As time went on, I finally did meet my brother and my Dad (I’ll dispense with the “adoptive”… at this point they are my family!) and we had a long distance relationship.  My Dad passed away in 2007 and you can read all about him here.  My Mom passed away in July of 2018.

So….on to the birthday gift…

Ever since my three daughters were young they have always wanted me to find my birth family.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “I just want to know what your real Mom looked like”!  Of course I always wondered about them – did I look like them?  And of course I always wondered about my medical history too, especially now that I am getting older!

About 15 years ago I wrote to the Cook County Illinois Department of Vital Statistics to see about getting any non identifying information (in 1961 adoptions were “top secret”, not open like they are today) and the only information they gave me was that both of my biological parents were 16 and I was the first child for both of them.  That’s it.  That’s my family “history”. Until last week!

I mailed my DNA to Ancestry on February 26th and got text messages when they received it, started processing it, and then finally when it was done on March 17th I got an email!  I was about to cook breakfast before we headed out to church and I couldn’t believe it!!  The results were finally here!  Did I have any biological relatives?  Should I message them if I did?  Would I even be able to find them?  Would they message me back?  Did they know about me?  Would they accept me?  There were soooo many thoughts running through my head.  The first thing I did was text my daughters in our group text…the results are here!  Well, the mass texting began!

When I finally got control of my senses, I looked at the results and the first match (after my middle daughter – she did hers in January) was a man named Daniel Tvrz.  My first thought was – thank God his name isn’t something common like John Smith!!!  How many of those would I have to go through to find the right one?  My second thought was thank God his last name is so unique!  So…I sent Dan a Facebook message before I went to church.

We were all soooo excited all day, waiting to here what Dan had to say!  Early that evening he sent a reply – I didn’t see it until about 7pm.  We “talked” for a little bit and he WAS the “right” Dan, my first cousin – his Dad and my biological Mom were brother and sister!  Dan gave me his number so I called and we talked on the phone for a bit.  Another huge blessing is that Dan is a genealogy guru so I had tons of family history in minutes!  This was soooo much more than I ever could have imagined!!

Dan told me that I had a sister and 2 brothers in Morris, IL (where my adoptive Dad was from!), and then he contacted my sister, Trudi Tvrz, that night and she messaged me the next day!!  A sister!!!!  I had a sister!!!  And TWO brothers!  Trudi and I have been chatting on messenger for the past week…getting to know each other and she has been a huge help in helping me learn more about our Mom. Hopefully Trudi and I will get to meet soon!!!!

Sadly, my “real” Mom (as my girls would say when they were young) passed away in 2015 but Trudi and Dan have sent me many photos of her and I am learning more and more about her.   I have said my entire life that I am so grateful to her for putting me up for adoption rather than choosing abortion!!!  What a responsible decision for a 16 year old.  I applaud her for that and wish I had been able to tell her.

My Mother, Delores Tvrz Phillips



I also have 2 awesome 2nd-ish cousins that I have chatted with, Dan’s daughters – Bridgette and Kristina!  They have been so sweet and encouraging!  One day we are gonna do a road trip to TX to meet Dan and his family!

So….there you have it!!  My family.  People that look like me.  People that have the same DNA.  Until last week, the only people I knew that looked like me and had the same DNA were my 3 daughters and 5 grandkids!   I couldn’t be happier that my family has exploded into a huge, loving, family in the past week!  God is good y’all…God is so very good!

Until next time….





It’s time to LOSE some weight!

Actually, it’s way past time to lose it!  For those that don’t know, here’s the condensed back story…

In July of 2004 I had Gastric Bypass Surgery.  I weighed in at 308 pounds, had severe sleep apnea, was taking anti-inflammitories daily, and two types of blood pressure medication.  I was only 46 years old.  My second grandchild {my first granddaughter} was to be born in 2 months – my grandson was 13 months old.  I wanted to be able to play with them, carry them around for more than 5 minutes, and most of all…be alive to see them grow up!


The surgery was a HUGE success – no pun intended (well ok, maybe a little).  Over the next 11 months I lost 157 pounds – I was down to 151 and tickled pink!  I had fun playing and keeping up with my two grandbabies, and then 3 more grands after that!



After 5 years or so, I got complacent.  I started to allow myself to do things I wasn’t supposed to do after having weight loss surgery.  I was drinking diet drinks, sometimes with a little “adult additives” (which brought about snacking on sweets), I was smoking again, and drinking caffeine…lots of it!  All the time know that these things were on my pre-surgical “no-no” list from day one.


  • Carbonation
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Sweets


Fast forward to today…I am 67 pounds, SIXTY SEVEN, heavier than my lowest post-surgical weight!  That’s totally unacceptable and inexcusable!



So….yesterday, I started Intermittent Fasting!!!

I’m trying to work my way into it slowly.  If you know me, you know I LOVE my McDonald’s coffee in the morning – WITH cream and Splenda!

For now, until I can ditch the cream (ditched the Spenda today!!!),

I am drinking “dirty” coffee in my fasting window – but I figured at least it’s a start!!  My eating “window” is 12 noon – 8pm each day!

I’ll be updating my progress here to keep myself accountable.

If you have any tips, tricks, or advice drop them in the comments below!

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Until the next update….


Blessings ~



“You Are What You Eat”

Our health is determined by what we put IN our bodies (genetics too…but we have control of what we ingest)

As I have gotten older, I soooo wish I had actually CARED about nutrition and natural health when I was raising my girls (please forgive me Melanie, Melissa, and Melinda!!!)

Getting older doesn’t have to stink. BUT…if you are like me and didn’t pay attention to – or cared – what you put in your body up til this point, getting older will definitely make you re-think EVERY food choice…and also every choice about medications {or not}, natural choices, and toxic chemicals.

I am ready to meet Jesus and when He calls me home, I’m out! BUT…until then, I want to live a happy and healthier life – I wanna hang around as long as I can and spend time with my loved ones!

If this resonates with you…check out Dr. Hyman…click on his podcasts, read his articles, learn about health and the Gut-Brain connection!!!

Don’t wait til your old like me!

Blessings ~