Family Twist: A Podcast Exploring DNA Surprises and Family Secrets

Corey and Kendall Stulce

Welcome to Family Twist, the podcast that dives deep into the tangled webs of family secrets and DNA surprises. Each episode, hosts Corey and Kendall Austin Stulce explore the complex and challenging truths that come with discovering you are a non-parent expected (NPE) individual—someone whose familial origins aren't what they seemed. Through candid interviews with people from the NPE, adoptee, and donor-conceived communities, Family Twist offers a platform for stories of unexpected parentage, family secrets, and the quest for identity. From the joyful to the heartbreaking, our guests share their journeys of discovery, acceptance, and healing. Why subscribe? Family Twist isn’t just another family history podcast. It’s a support network, a place for healing, and a beacon for anyone navigating the emotional landscape of familial discoveries. Whether you’re directly impacted by these issues or just fascinated by the profound effects of family secrets, this podcast provides insights and company as you journey through the often-unspoken parts of family life. Join us as we unravel the hidden threads of the past, bringing them into the light to foster understanding and connection. Hit subscribe to never miss an episode of Family Twist — where family stories are heard, secrets are revealed, and healing begins. And remember, family secrets are the ultimate plot twist! read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

Adoptive Mom Builds Relationships with Birth Families
5d ago
Adoptive Mom Builds Relationships with Birth Families
Ever wondered how an open adoption can transform lives and bridge the gap between adoptive and birth families?In this episode of Family Twist, we dive deep into the profound experiences and insights of Lori, an adoptive parent and advocate for open adoption. Lori shares her journey of navigating the complexities of adoption, the importance of openness, and the lasting impact on both her children and their birth families. If you're an adoptive parent, a birth parent, or anyone touched by adoption, this episode will provide valuable perspectives and practical advice.Adoptive Mom Builds Relationships with Birth FamiliesBenefits of Listening:Discover the real meaning of open adoption and how it can positively affect the adoptee's life and family dynamics.Learn from Lori's personal experiences and professional insights on building healthy, honest relationships between adoptive and birth families.Gain practical advice on handling the emotional and psychological aspects of adoption for both parents and children.Don't miss this heartfelt and informative episode to gain new insights and practical tips on navigating the world of open adoption—tune in now!Guest bio:Lori Holden is author of the groundbreaking book Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies, co-authored with adoptee Sara Easterly and birth parent Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard. She wrote the highly acclaimed The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption with her daughter's birth mom, is host of the podcast Adoption: the Long View, and has explored adoption for 17 years at LavenderLuz.com. Lori was nominated by Senator Michael Bennet to be honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.Guest links:Book: The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up WholePodcast: Adoption: The Long ViewListen, Rate & SubscribeAppleSpotifyAmazonGoogle
High Vibrations with the Adoptee Author of Practically Still a Virgin
May 14 2024
High Vibrations with the Adoptee Author of Practically Still a Virgin
Adoptee Monica Hall discusses her journey from leaving corporate America to starting her own soap company and finding her indigenous roots. She shares anecdotes about selling peppermint soap to a gay community and the success of her products. Monica also opens up about her personal life, including her experiences with relationships and her challenging childhood. She talks about her spiritual practices and the importance of maintaining a high vibration. The conversation touches on the power of storytelling and the healing process, as well as the impact of adoption on individuals and families. Monica discusses her experiences with family dynamics, including distancing herself from toxic family members and the realization that she had been enabling their behavior. She reflects on her upbringing and the impact it had on her relationships and self-worth. Monica also talks about the process of writing her memoir and the challenges she faced in condensing her story. She shares her journey of reconnecting with her biological daughter and the complexities of being an indigenous person. Overall, Monica's story is one of resilience, healing, and the search for identity and belonging.High Vibrations with the Author of Practically Still a VirginBenefits of Listening to This Episode:Inspiration for Entrepreneurial Ventures: Learn how Monica turned her passion for natural products and herbology into a thriving business, providing practical inspiration for listeners looking to start their own entrepreneurial journeys.Insights into Personal Growth Through Heritage: Gain insights into how connecting with one's cultural and familial roots can lead to significant personal growth and self-discovery.Understanding the Impact of Adoption on Identity: Monica discusses her experiences with adoption from both personal and professional perspectives, offering listeners deeper understanding of how early life experiences can shape personal identity and relationships.Guest bio:Monica Hall is a speaker, writer, coach, and entrepreneur. In addition to working as a business consultant, Monica has founded several companies, including an eponymous skincare line and a successful business centered on natural, chemical-free body care, and has worked in advertising and marketing for more than twenty years.Her entrepreneurial spirit is fueled by the often traumatic experiences of her youth, which helped to cultivate the fierce and fearless personality that prepared her to build and direct successful industry-leading companies. Monica loves sharing her story and giving hope to those in crisis, which she has done for over three decades. She devotes much of her time to working with women by guiding them through life’s challenges. This has been instrumental in her development, and Monica describes it as a life-changing experience.Freely giving her time has helped her to shed a self-centered worldview and gain new insight into human motivation and interactions.Connect with Monica:https://www.instagram.com/monicahallauthor/About Practically Still a VirginA gripping memoir recounting a fifteen-year-old adoptee's experience of rape and the pregnancy that changed her life.Adopted and raised during Alaska’s lawless 1970s oil-boom era, Monica grows up amid trauma and dysfunction. As a teen, she rebels into delinquency.When Monica is raped and becomes pregnant, her religious parents push her into giving up her baby, her only known blood relative for adoption. These events kick off a decades-long search for family and belonging.Thread by thread, she weaves...
Family Shadows and the Children of Affairs
May 7 2024
Family Shadows and the Children of Affairs
Ever wondered how discovering hidden family secrets can transform your sense of identity and belonging?In this episode, Kendall continues the conversation with Pam, an NPE (not parent expected) individual. They discuss the possibility of being the product of an affair or open relationship, and the challenges that come with it. They also talk about the importance of love and acceptance in reunion experiences, as well as the complexities of family dynamics and secrets. Kendall shares her own experiences with her birth mother and the emotions that come with uncovering family secrets. The conversation highlights the need for processing and healing in order to move forward. The conversation explores the themes of self-discovery, the impact of family secrets, and the importance of love and acceptance. It delves into the movie "Soul" and how it relates to the journey of the soul and personal experiences. The conversation also touches on the idea that connecting with biological family members is part of one's soul's journey and the importance of embracing that connection. It concludes with a discussion on the complexities of family secrets and the need for honesty and open communication.Family Shadows and the Children of AffairsBenefits of Listening:Being the product of an affair or open relationship can present unique challenges and complexities in one's identity and family dynamics.Reunion experiences can be filled with mixed emotions, and it's important to navigate them with love, acceptance, and understanding.Family secrets can have a lasting impact on individuals and relationships, and it's important to process and heal in order to move forward.The journey of uncovering family secrets can be both painful and therapeutic, allowing for personal growth and a deeper understanding of oneself. Self-discovery is a significant part of the NPE journey, and it can be influenced by various factors, including personal experiences and external influences.Family secrets and shame can have a damaging impact on individuals, preventing them from acknowledging and accepting their true origins.Connecting with biological family members is seen as part of one's soul's journey, and it is important to embrace that connection and the stories it brings.Honesty and open communication are crucial in navigating the complexities of NPE discoveries and building meaningful relationships with biological family members.Discover more captivating family stories here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleSpotifyAmazonGoogle
Untangling Our Roots: The Power and Pitfalls of Genetic Discoveries
Apr 23 2024
Untangling Our Roots: The Power and Pitfalls of Genetic Discoveries
Have you ever imagined discovering a completely different truth about your past as an adult?This episode delves deep into the powerful, emotional journeys that unfold when hidden family truths come to light through DNA testing and genealogical discoveries. For anyone curious about their own family background or grappling with questions of identity, this podcast provides a compelling exploration of the complexities involved in uncovering one's true heritage. In it, we revisit past guests from Family Twist that are taking part in the Untangling Our Roots conference in April 2024.Untangling Our Roots: The Power and Pitfalls of Genetic DiscoveriesBenefits of Listening:Gain insight into the emotional and psychological impact of uncovering unexpected family secrets and how individuals navigate these discoveries.Understand the broader implications of DNA testing and genealogy in redefining family relationships and personal identity.Be inspired by real-life stories of reconciliation and the quest for truth, showing the resilience and transformation possible when confronting the past.Uncover the hidden stories of family, identity, and resilience that resonate with us all by listening to this insightful episode of the Family Twist podcast.Guest episodes:Brad Ewell: NPE Held Prisoner by Parental SecretsJon Baime: NPE's Documentary is Filling in the BlanksPeter J. Boni: Unveiling the Secrets of Assisted Reproductive TechnologyWendy Kramer and the Donor Sibling Registry Part 1Lauren LoGiudice: The Comedy of DiscoveryMichelle Tullier: NPE: Guess What? My Dad is Not My Dad.Right to KnowNational Association of Adoptees and Parents
Unregulated Donation with Spermworld Documentary Director
Apr 16 2024
Unregulated Donation with Spermworld Documentary Director
Have you ever wondered about the alternative ways people can become parents in today's world? This episode delves deep into the fascinating and sometimes controversial world of unregulated sperm donation, a topic that touches on ethics, identity, and the human desire to connect and find meaning through family.Unregulated Donation with Spermworld Documentary Director Listeners will gain insight into:The Personal Stories: Discover the compelling narratives of individuals who participate in sperm donation outside the conventional medical and legal frameworks, highlighting their motivations and the complex emotional landscapes they navigate.Ethical and Societal Implications: Understand the broader implications of sperm donation as it operates in the grey areas of legality and morality, raising questions about responsibility, rights, and the implications for offspring.Human Connection and Legacy: Hear how the desire to create a legacy and form connections drives people to extraordinary lengths, offering a raw look at the human condition and the innate need to belong and be remembered.Tune in to the Family Twist podcast to explore these gripping stories that challenge conventional notions of family and parenthood. Join us for a journey that promises to expand your views on kinship and identity in the modern world.Guest bio:Lance Oppenheim is a filmmaker from South Florida. Inspired by the larger-than-life stories that unfolded around him in his native South Florida, Lance has been making films since he was in his teens. In college, he became the youngest active contributor to The New York Times Op-Docs and received six Vimeo Staff Picks. Lance is a former Sundance Ignite Fellow, has been featured as one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film, and was named one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 in 2022. His first feature, Some Kind of Heaven, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures and Hulu in 2021 to critical acclaim.Link: SpermworldJoin the Family Twist family here!https://familytwistpodcast.com/Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle Spotify
Opening Up About Being the Child Result of an Affair
Apr 9 2024
Opening Up About Being the Child Result of an Affair
Are you grappling with the complexities of family identity and secrets?In this episode of Family Twist, we delve deep into the emotional journey of Pam, an NPE (Not Parent Expected) who discovers her true parentage through a DNA test, uncovering the reality of being conceived through an affair. If you've ever wondered about your family secrets or the truths that DNA tests can reveal, this episode is especially relevant in today’s age where genetic testing is becoming more common.Opening Up About Being the Child Result of an AffairWhat Listeners Will Gain:Insight into the Emotional Rollercoaster of NPE Discoveries: Understand the deep emotional impact and personal challenges faced by individuals like Pam who learn about their origins in unexpected ways.Awareness of the Stigma Surrounding Children of Affairs: This episode sheds light on the often unspoken stigma attached to individuals conceived through affairs, enhancing empathy and understanding.Strategies for Navigating Family Secrets: Gain strategies from real-life experiences on how to handle complex family dynamics and revelations effectively.Tune in to this gripping episode to explore the transformative power of truth and the resilience required to face it head-on. Pam's story could change your perspective on family, identity, and the secrets we keep. Listen now for a journey into the heart of what it means to discover oneself through layers of family history.Guest link: Discover more captivating family stories here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleSpotifyAmazonGoogle
Adoptee Writes His Own Script Part One
Apr 2 2024
Adoptee Writes His Own Script Part One
Have you ever wondered how uncovering hidden family truths could reshape your identity and relationships? Dive into the first part of this intriguing journey of Brian Stanton, an actor and writer who reveals the profound impact of DNA discoveries and adoption on his life.In this episode, listeners will explore the intricate dynamics of adoptive relationships, emotional support, and personal discovery. Whether you're connected to adoption personally, know someone who is, or simply love a gripping narrative of self-discovery and family secrets, this story will touch your heart and expand your understanding of family and identity.Adoptee Writes His Own Script Part OneListeners will gain:Insight into the emotional roller coaster of discovering one’s roots through DNA testing and its impact on personal and family identities.Understanding of the importance of support systems for adoptees, as shared through Brian's experiences and those of his supportive spouse.Awareness of the complexities involved in adoptive relationships and how adoptees navigate the quest for belonging and identity.Don’t miss this powerful tale of uncovering hidden truths and the journey toward self-acceptance. Search for "The Family Twist: Corey & Kendall Stulce" and immerse yourself in a story that promises not only to engage but also to enlighten.Guest Bio:Brian Stanton (He/Him) is a critically acclaimed playwright, actor, and a poignant voice in the adoptee and arts communities. His solo play, "Blank" and film, "The Ghost Kingdom," delve into his adoption story, exploring themes of identity, loss, and reunion. Through his art, Brian seeks to connect with others, fostering understanding and healing within the adoption community.Brian's work has been recognized across the United States, where he has performed his plays for a decade, earning accolades and touching hearts. Beyond his plays, Brian actively participates in conferences and workshops, sharing his journey and insights to support adoptees and their families.Brian is also involved in initiatives to promote openness and healing in adoption narratives, advocating for the rights and voices of adoptees to be heard and respected.Resources Mentioned:"Blank" and "The Ghost Kingdom" - Brian Stanton's play and film exploring his adoption journey.DNA testing services (23andMe, Ancestry.com) - Crucial tools in Brian's search for his biological roots.Adoption conferences and workshops - Platforms where Brian shares his story and connects with the community.Join the Family Twist family!Listen, Rate & Subscribe on your favorite platform to dive deeper into stories of family, identity, and the unbreakable bonds that define us.AppleAmazonGoogleSpotify
Adoptee Writes His Own Script Part Two
Apr 2 2024
Adoptee Writes His Own Script Part Two
Have you ever thought about the impact of meeting your birth parents can have on your life and existing family relationships? In this compelling second part of Brian Stanton's story, we dive deeper into his emotional experiences of connecting with his birth mother and the subsequent challenges with his adoptive family.Adoptee Writes His Own Script Part TwoThis episode offers a deep dive into the complexities of adoptive relationships, exploring the delicate balance between birth and adoptive families. Here's what listeners can expect to gain from tuning in:A firsthand look at the emotional negotiations and conflicts that can arise when an adoptee decides to connect with their birth family.Insights into managing the dynamics between adoptive and birth families, especially in scenarios where past relationships and emotions are complex.Strategies for adoptees to maintain and assert their identity while honoring all familial relationships.If you're intrigued by the intricate dance of relationships and identity within adoptive families, make sure to listen to this episode of the Family Twist. Guest Bio:Brian Stanton (He/Him) is a critically acclaimed playwright, actor, and a poignant voice in the adoptee and arts communities. His solo play, "Blank" and film, "The Ghost Kingdom," delve into his adoption story, exploring themes of identity, loss, and reunion. Through his art, Brian seeks to connect with others, fostering understanding and healing within the adoption community.Brian's work has been recognized across the United States, where he has performed his plays for a decade, earning accolades and touching hearts. Beyond his plays, Brian actively participates in conferences and workshops, sharing his journey and insights to support adoptees and their families.Brian is also involved in initiatives to promote openness and healing in adoption narratives, advocating for the rights and voices of adoptees to be heard and respected.Resources Mentioned:"Blank" and "The Ghost Kingdom" - Brian Stanton's play and film exploring his adoption journey.DNA testing services (23andMe, Ancestry.com) - Crucial tools in Brian's search for his biological roots.Adoption conferences and workshops - Platforms where Brian shares his story and connects with the community.Join the Family Twist family!Listen, Rate & Subscribe on your favorite platform to dive deeper into stories of family, identity, and the unbreakable bonds that define us.AppleAmazonGoogleSpotify
Discovering I'm 'A Stranger in My Family'
Mar 26 2024
Discovering I'm 'A Stranger in My Family'
In this surprise-filled episode of Family Twist, we dive into filmmaker Luke Davies’ compelling journey of self-discovery, ignited by the results of a home DNA test. Raised in Rochdale, England, Luke grew up believing he was white British, only to have a DNA test in his 20s reveal a rich tapestry of ancestral backgrounds, including West African, Portuguese, and more. This unexpected revelation leads Luke on a quest to find his biological father, a journey documented in the BBC documentary, “A Stranger in My Family.”What You'll Learn:How Luke's DNA test results shattered his lifelong perceptions of his identity.The emotional and psychological impact of discovering one's racial and ethnic heritage later in life.Luke's process of approaching his mother for the truth, leading to the revelation of a holiday romance in Portugal.The challenges and complexities of searching for a biological parent with limited information.The role of commercial DNA testing in connecting Luke with distant relatives and ultimately his biological father.Luke's exploration into filmmaking as a medium to document and navigate his journey.Insights into Luke's current projects and how his personal journey has influenced his work and passion for telling stories of marginalized voices.Episode Highlights:[00:05:22] - Luke's initial reaction to his DNA test results and the moment of revelation with his mother.[00:12:35] - The intricate dynamics of Luke's family relationships following the discovery.[00:19:58] - The challenges and breakthroughs in Luke's search for his biological father.[00:27:44] - Luke's transition from TV work to documentary filmmaking amid personal upheaval.[00:34:17] - The serendipitous events leading Luke to take the DNA test and start his quest.[00:42:55] - The impact of Luke's journey on his professional life and the development of new film projects.Guest bio: Luke Oliveira-Davies (He/Him) is an interdisciplinary Creative Producer and the Founder of Polari, an award-winning production company that champions the boundlessness of queer and intersectional lives through film, television, and more.His short films have premiered and collected awards from BAFTA and BIFA-Qualifying festivals around the world, and his latest short ‘Run(a)way’ received funding from the BFI Short Film Fund.Luke's debut documentary, Stranger in My Family, which he initially developed and produced, won the BBC Three Northern Docs Pitch at Sheffield Doc Fest (2022). It has been longlisted in the ‘Single Documentary’ category at the BAFTA Television Awards (2024), and received a ‘Best Documentary Programme’ nomination at the Broadcast Awards (2024).The film is out now on BBC iPlayer as a Nine Lives Media production, in association with Polari.Luke's work extends beyond Polari, including working as a Assistant Producer on Savage Waters, a multi-award-winning documentary by Emmy-winning director Mikey Corker, which released in UK and Ireland cinemas in 2023/24.Luke is a BAFTA Connect member and is currently taking part in the Momentum program from We Are Parable x Sony Pictures Television & Channel 4, as well as the Thrive Freelance Development Programme from Creative Access x Lee & Thompson. Luke is also alumni of the BFI Creative Producers Lab (2019), and was nominated for an RTS Futures Award (2020) for his 48-hr short film Tomorrow. Additionally, he was a finalist...
DNA Surprise Transforms Strangers Into Sisters
Mar 19 2024
DNA Surprise Transforms Strangers Into Sisters
In this gripping episode of "Family Twist," we delve into Sharon Adams' remarkable journey of self-discovery, initiated by a curiosity-driven DNA test as she approached her 70s. This quest uncovers a hidden lineage, introducing her to a father and two half-sisters, Beth Mamo and Kathy Reddy, she never knew she had. Kendall navigates through their compelling narrative of discovery, acceptance, and the profound connections of family that defy mere genetics.In This Episode, You'll Learn:Sharon Adams' motivations behind taking a DNA test and the astonishing family connections it revealed.The emotional labyrinth of connecting with unknown family members.The critical role of understanding one's medical history and its impact on personal health decisions.The dynamics of forming relationships with newly discovered relatives amidst a global pandemic.The immediate bond and welcoming embrace shared among the newfound sisters.How delving into one’s roots can lead to unexpected, life-altering realizations.Episode Highlights:The genesis of Sharon's quest for her medical history and the revelation of her biological family.The pivotal moment Sharon reads the email that would change her life.Beth and Kathy's perspective on gaining a sister overnight.Adjusting to new family dynamics during times of social isolation.The unforeseen medical insights gained from discovering one’s ancestry.The sisters' plans for future gatherings to strengthen their familial ties.Reflective thoughts on the essence of family, identity, and life’s unforeseen twists.As we wrap up this episode of Family Twist, we've traversed the emotional landscape of discovering family ties previously hidden in the fabric of DNA. Sharon, Beth, and Kathy’s story illuminates the profound impact of exploring our roots, reminding us of the unanticipated connections waiting to be unearthed. It's a narrative that underscores the importance of curiosity, the resilience of newfound relationships, and the enduring nature of familial love that extends beyond genetics.Thank you for joining us on this journey of discovery and emotional reunion. We hope it inspires you to delve into your own heritage, embrace the mysteries within, and possibly uncover stories of your own that reaffirm the deep-seated bonds of family. Until we meet again, keep weaving your own family twist, cherishing the old ties while being open to the new. This is Family Twist, where every episode is a new chapter in the larger story of who we are. Stay connected, stay curious, and who knows what fascinating tales your own family tree holds.Subscribe and Review:If you enjoyed this episode and Lauren's unfiltered humor, don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. We love hearing your thoughts!Connect with Us:Website: http://familytwistpodcast.comInstagram: @FamilyTwistPodcast
The Comedy of Discovering I'm Not Who I Thought
Mar 12 2024
The Comedy of Discovering I'm Not Who I Thought
Dive into an uproariously insightful episode with Lauren, a stand-up comedian whose journey from genealogical confusion to comedic triumph is anything but ordinary. With a warning for our listeners: we don't censor comedians, so expect some raw and real language. Lauren shares her tale of discovering her donor conception through a DNA test, her quest to find her biological father, and how these revelations have fueled her unique brand of humor.The Comedy of DiscoveryKey Moments:Lauren's childhood feeling like a "Viking" in a family of Italians and her path to questioning her identity.The life-changing moment Lauren took a DNA test and the cascade of discoveries about her donor conception.Finding her biological father and connecting with half-siblings, turning complex emotions into comedic material.Lauren's insights into "genealogical bewilderment" and using comedy as a way to heal and connect with others.A glimpse into Lauren's stand-up routines and how her unique background shapes her comedy.Lauren's journey is a powerful reminder of the unexpected ways our origins can shape us and the transformative power of laughter. Her story not only entertains but also offers profound insights into identity, family, and the courage to face life's surprises with a smile. Tune in next time for more compelling stories on Family Twist.Episode Links:Lauren's Comedy WebsiteFamily Twist Podcast WebsiteUntangling Our Roots ConferenceSubscribe and Review:If you enjoyed this episode and Lauren's unfiltered humor, don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. We love hearing your thoughts!Connect with Us:Website: http://familytwistpodcast.comInstagram: @FamilyTwistPodcast
DNAngels: Guardians of the DNA Galaxy
Mar 5 2024
DNAngels: Guardians of the DNA Galaxy
In this episode, we're thrilled to conclude the conversation Jennifer Schweibinz from DNAngels, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals unravel genetic surprises. From uncovering unknown biological parents to shedding light on forgotten familial bonds, DNAngels highlights the importance of knowing our roots, no matter how twisted they may be.In the conversation, we unravel the complexities and emotional journeys of individuals seeking to understand their genetic heritage.DNAngels: Guardians of the DNA GalaxySpecifically, we discuss:The mission and impact of DNAngels, including their success in solving over 5,000 cases.The unique challenges faced by individuals with genetic surprises and the specialized support provided by DNAngels.The emotional rollercoaster of discovering family secrets and the importance of having access to one's genetic and health history.How DNAngels navigates sensitive cases, such as those involving incest, with care and professionalism.The transformative power of finding answers and the sense of community and support fostered by DNAngels.The personal stories of discovery shared by Kendall, and Jennifer, highlighting the diverse experiences and outcomes of those seeking their genetic roots.The importance of grace, forgiveness, and understanding in the process of uncovering and accepting one's genetic heritage.Join us as we twist open the DNA bottle and spill the tea on family secrets, revealing the profound impact of genetic discoveries on individuals' identities and sense of belonging. Whether you're someone who has experienced a genetic surprise or simply fascinated by the stories of others, this episode offers a deep and compassionate look into the world of genetic genealogy and the quest for truth.About DNAngels:DNAngels is a collective of individuals, all of whom have been impacted either personally, or through a loved one. The organization is comprised of skilled genetic genealogy experts – Search Angels – along with other dedicated volunteers who offer support and advocacy for our clients. DNAngels was incepted in February 2019. They solve more than 90% of all cases accepted.Guest Bio:Jennifer Schweibinz is a Genetic Genealogist. Jennifer found her love for Genealogy when she stumbled across an old family secret. As she rolled up her sleeves and tapped into her Jersey Girl stubbornness, she relentlessly worked until she found answers. After that, Jennifer found herself volunteering as intake manager for an organization that could teach her a more methodical approach to being a Search Angel. When that organization merged with DNAngels, Jennifer was welcomed to the new team with open arms, and enjoys every moment of it.In her personal life, Jennifer lives with her husband, Mark. They have four sons together. She grew up in a close-knit, supportive family and loves when the entire crowd gets together for barbecues in the backyard.Jennifer’s love language is Acts of Service, which she attributes to her appreciation for everyone that reaches out to DNAngels looking for help. Jennifer was a keynote speaker for the 2022 Illinois State Genealogy Society Annual Conference, a presenter at 2023 Untangling Our Roots Summit in Louisville, KY, and an exhibitor at the 2023 National Genealogical Society conference in Richmond, VA.Join the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeApple
From DNA Trauma to DNAngel Part One
Feb 27 2024
From DNA Trauma to DNAngel Part One
In an episode that epitomizes the very essence of Family Twist, we unveil a story so captivating it blurs the lines between disbelief and destiny. Sit tight as they introduce Jennifer Schweibinz from DNAngels, whose DNA test unraveled a family secret so profound it challenged her identity and reshaped her understanding of family.From DNA Trauma to DNAngel Part OneEpisode Highlights:The Revelation: Jennifer's world turns upside down with a DNA test result that rewrites her family history.Parallel Paths: Kendall shares his own riveting story, creating a powerful echo of Jennifer's experience, highlighting the raw emotions surrounding family secrets and the quest for belonging.The Emotional Odyssey: From disbelief to determination, Jennifer and Kendall navigate the tumultuous journey of confronting their new realities.Finding Closure: The episode delves into the complexities of seeking acceptance, the pain of rejection, and the eventual peace in new beginnings.Closing Thoughts:The first part of our episodes with Jennifer isn't just about the shock of discovery—it's a testament to human resilience, the search for truth, and the creation of new family bonds from the fragments of the past. This episode is a must-listen for anyone who believes in the power of truth to transform lives.Guest Bio:Jennifer Schweibinz is a Genetic Genealogist. Jennifer found her love for Genealogy when she stumbled across an old family secret. As she rolled up her sleeves and tapped into her Jersey Girl stubbornness, she relentlessly worked until she found answers. After that, Jennifer found herself volunteering as intake manager for an organization that could teach her a more methodical approach to being a Search Angel. When that organization merged with DNAngels, Jennifer was welcomed to the new team with open arms, and enjoys every moment of it.In her personal life, Jennifer lives with her husband, Mark. They have four sons together. She grew up in a close-knit, supportive family and loves when the entire crowd gets together for barbecues in the backyard.Jennifer’s love language is Acts of Service, which she attributes to her appreciation for everyone that reaches out to DNAngels looking for help. Jennifer was a keynote speaker for the 2022 Illinois State Genealogy Society Annual Conference, a presenter at 2023 Untangling Our Roots Summit in Louisville, KY, and an exhibitor at the 2023 National Genealogical Society conference in Richmond, VA.Join the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle Spotify
From DNA Trauma to DNAngel Part Two
Feb 27 2024
From DNA Trauma to DNAngel Part Two
In the second half of our eye-opening episode, Family Twist host Kendall continues the conversation with Jennifer from DNAngels. This segment illuminates the incredible work of DNAngels in reuniting individuals with their biological families and the profound impact of finding community through this podcast. The discussion delves into the essence of healing, grace, and the friendships forged in the fires of shared experiences.From DNA Trauma to DNAngel Part TwoEpisode Highlights:The Mission of DNAngels: Jennifer explains the organization's goal to become a beacon of hope for those facing genetic surprises, offering their services free of charge for those seeking to find their biological parents.Success Stories and Specialized Support: With over 5,171 cases solved, DNAngels demonstrates the vast need for such services, highlighting their specialized teams that cater to unique cases, including those involving incest and adoption from various regions.Finding Community: Both Jennifer and Kendall touch on the importance of finding a community that understands and shares similar experiences, offering solace and support in times of turmoil.Healing and Moving Forward: The conversation circles back to the themes of healing, giving grace to oneself and others involved in the discovery process, and the strength found in newfound connections.Closing Thoughts:This episode not only showcases the remarkable efforts of DNAngels but also reflects on the personal growth and understanding that comes from facing our origins head-on. Through their stories, Kendall, Corey, and Jennifer remind us that while the journey may be fraught with challenges, the destination of self-discovery and community can offer unparalleled peace and reconciliation.Guest Bio:Jennifer Schweibinz is a Genetic Genealogist. Jennifer found her love for Genealogy when she stumbled across an old family secret. As she rolled up her sleeves and tapped into her Jersey Girl stubbornness, she relentlessly worked until she found answers. After that, Jennifer found herself volunteering as intake manager for an organization that could teach her a more methodical approach to being a Search Angel. When that organization merged with DNAngels, Jennifer was welcomed to the new team with open arms, and enjoys every moment of it.In her personal life, Jennifer lives with her husband, Mark. They have four sons together. She grew up in a close-knit, supportive family and loves when the entire crowd gets together for barbecues in the backyard.Jennifer’s love language is Acts of Service, which she attributes to her appreciation for everyone that reaches out to DNAngels looking for help. Jennifer was a keynote speaker for the 2022 Illinois State Genealogy Society Annual Conference, a presenter at 2023 Untangling Our Roots Summit in Louisville, KY, and an exhibitor at the 2023 National Genealogical Society conference in Richmond, VA.Join the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle Spotify
A Deep Dive into Donor Conception and Connection
Feb 20 2024
A Deep Dive into Donor Conception and Connection
This week, our guest, Jaclyn Frosolone, shares her compelling narrative, shedding light on the profound impacts of discovering one's origins in the world of donor conception. Prepare to be moved, educated, and inspired as we explore themes of identity, family secrets, and the quest for belonging.Beyond the Donor: A Deep Dive into Conception and ConnectionEpisode Highlights:Jaclyn's initial discovery through a DNA test and the emotional rollercoaster that ensued.The complexities and confrontations within her family following the revelation about her donor conception.An insider's critique of the fertility industry, underscored by Jaclyn's personal encounters and the shared experiences of her half-siblings.The formation of an unexpected community among Jaclyn and her half-siblings, despite threats and challenges, showcasing resilience and solidarity.Jaclyn's reflections on health, genetics, and her advocacy for transparency and change within the donor conception community.Contemplating the future: Jaclyn's musings on parenthood, hereditary health concerns, and the legacy of her donor's decisions.We hope this episode has opened your eyes to the multifaceted experiences of those touched by donor conception and sparked conversations on the nuances of modern family dynamics. As we close this chapter, let's carry forward the courage to face our truths, the strength to forge connections, and the grace to embrace the diverse ways families come together. Stay tuned for more episodes that challenge, enlighten, and celebrate the twists and turns of family life. Topics mentioned in this episode:‘I slept with my half-sibling’: Woman’s horror story reflects loosely regulated nature of US fertility industryLaura HighWomen discover 200 siblings from same sperm donorLove CanalJoin the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle Spotify
Navigating Multiracial Identity and Family Dynamics in Adoption
Feb 13 2024
Navigating Multiracial Identity and Family Dynamics in Adoption
In this soulful episode of the Family Twist podcast, we are joined by Janeen, a vibrant soul who embarked on an unexpected journey into her past, unraveling secrets that would forever change her understanding of identity, family and belonging. Following the death of her father, Janeen, along with her brother Jermaine, delved into building a family tree. Their quest for connection led to DNA tests, revealing a truth hidden for decades: Janeen was adopted. This discovery catapulted her into a whirlwind of emotions and revelations, including her mixed racial heritage and a vast, unknown family waiting to embrace her.Navigating Multiracial Identity and Family Dynamics in AdoptionEpisode Highlights:The Spark of Curiosity: Janeen's story begins with the loss of her father and a desire to connect more deeply with her roots, inspiring her and her brother to explore their family history.A DNA Test's Unexpected Turn: What started as an exciting exploration took a dramatic twist when Janeen's DNA test results uncovered her adoption, a fact unknown to her and her siblings.Revelations and Emotional Turmoil: Janeen shares the emotional rollercoaster of discovering her adoption, mixed racial heritage, and the existence of biological parents and family members previously unknown.The Search for Truth: Determined to understand her origins, Janeen reaches out to the adoption agency, leading to a series of revelations about her birth, foster care, and the loving intentions behind her adoption.Building New Bridges: Janeen narrates her poignant experiences of connecting with her biological family, including her parents and siblings, and the profound impact of these newfound relationships on her identity and worldview.The Power of Storytelling: Inspired by her journey and as a means to explain adoption to her children, Janeen authors a children's book, "Hello Sweet Baby," exploring themes of adoption, family diversity, and acceptance.Healing Through Therapy: Janeen emphasizes the importance of therapy in navigating the complex emotions and challenges that arose from her discoveries, advocating for mental health and the power of professional support.Closing Reflections:Janeen's journey is a profound reminder of the intricate tapestries that compose our identities and the strength found in embracing our truths. Her story not only highlights the complexities of adoption and the search for belonging but also celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unexpected revelations. Through her courage to confront the unknown, Janeen has forged new connections, redefined family bonds, and inspired others with her vulnerability and strength.Guest bio: Janeen Jackson received her B.A. from Norfolk State University and completed her Master’s in Education Leadership and Change in 2020 from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She has over 25 years combined experience in art and design, and equity and justice and education Currently, she works at Oakton College as an Equity Coordinator for Black student success. Join the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle
College Student Reveals I Have 75 Brothers and Sisters
Feb 6 2024
College Student Reveals I Have 75 Brothers and Sisters
This episode takes us through an extraordinary exploration of family, identity and the unforeseen connections DNA testing can reveal. Our guest, Brenna Siperco, shares her compelling story of curiosity, discovery, and the complex emotions surrounding donor-conceived relationships. This episode not only peels back the layers of Brenna's personal journey but also delves into broader discussions on the implications of genetic testing and the ethics of donor conception.College Student Reveals I Have 75 Brothers and SistersEpisode Highlights:The Catalyst for Discovery: Brenna details her initial decision to undergo a 23andMe DNA test, driven by a lifelong curiosity about her biological origins and the possibility of having siblings she's never met.A Sibling Network Unveiled: The revelation that Brenna has discovered 75 siblings through DNA testing, surpassing her wildest expectations and leading to a mix of astonishment and excitement.Emotional Encounters: Brenna recounts the profound experience of meeting her siblings for the first time, highlighting the surreal and immediate connections that challenge traditional notions of family and belonging.Navigating Anonymity: The discussion shifts to the anonymity of the sperm donor, known only by a number, and Brenna's nuanced views on privacy, respect, and curiosity about her biological father.Voices from the Donor-Conceived Community: Brenna shares insights into the donor-conceived community's perspectives, advocating for more transparency and regulation while respecting individual choices and circumstances.Shared Traits and Interests: An exploration of the diverse ages, interests, and talents among Brenna's siblings, revealing surprising similarities and the role genetics and environment play in shaping us.Support Systems and Future Aspirations: The episode touches on the support Brenna received from her parents, the dynamic within the sibling group chat, and dreams of a grand family reunion.Through Brenna's story, "Family Twist" listeners are invited to reflect on the meaning of family in the modern era, the power of genetic connections, and the evolving landscape of reproductive technologies.Closing Reflections:Brenna Siperco's journey into the heart of her genetic lineage offers a profound look at the unexpected paths our lives can take when curiosity meets science. Her story is a testament to the strength of newfound connections and the resilience of individuals navigating the complex web of donor conception. As we conclude this episode, we're reminded of the endless possibilities that come with opening the door to our past and the future relationships we might find on the other side.Join the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle Spotify
Going Down the Rabbit Hole with DNA Surprises
Jan 30 2024
Going Down the Rabbit Hole with DNA Surprises
In a captivating episode of the Family Twist podcast, Kendall Stulce sits down with author Kate Brody to explore the intertwining of personal narratives and fictional storytelling. Brody, drawing from her own experience of discovering a secret brother, shares insights on family dynamics, the complexities of blended families and the emotional journey of reconnecting with estranged family members. The episode dives deep into the nuances of adoption, secret siblings and how these realities can influence fictional narratives.Going Down the Rabbit Hole with DNA SurprisesHighlights from the Episode:Kate Brody discusses the connection between her personal story of finding her long-lost brother and her book "Rabbit Hole."The book's main character, Teddy, reflects Kate's family structure, with a focus on abandoned and restarted familial relationships.Brody's interest in exploring common yet often unspoken family dynamics such as secret siblings and family shame.The impact of Brody's piece in the Guardian, which resonated with many people experiencing similar family situations.Kate’s reflections on how fiction can serve as a means of rewriting history or extending an apology.The reactions of Kate’s siblings and brother to her book and Guardian article.Kendall Stulce shares his own adoption story, drawing parallels to Brody's experiences.Discussion on cultural shifts and the impact of DNA technology on family secrets and adoption.The exploration of sibling relationships in fiction, emphasizing genetic similarity versus shared history.Brody's book tour experiences and the response from readers who resonate with her personal and fictional stories.This episode of Family Twist offers a profound look into the delicate balance between fiction and reality, especially when it comes to familial relationships. Kate Brody's personal experiences with her long-lost brother and her family's dynamics provide a unique backdrop to her fictional work, blurring the lines between art and life. The conversation with Kendall Stulce adds depth, highlighting the universal themes of adoption, family secrets, and the pursuit of belonging. This episode is a must-listen for anyone intrigued by the intricate ways our personal histories shape our creative expressions.Guest bio:Kate Brody lives in Los Angeles, California. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Lit Hub, CrimeReads, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, and The Literary Review, among other publications. She holds an MFA from NYU. "Rabbit Hole" is her debut novel.Kate's essay in The GuardianKate's essay in The New York TimesJoin the Family Twist family here!Listen, Rate & SubscribeAppleAmazonGoogle