Part of me always suspected I was adopted, because my mom’s story about my birth never quite added up. She claimed I was delivered in a random town in another state because she happened to be taking a trip there. As a kid, I even found adoption magazines in my parents’ garage, but when I confronted my mom about it, she got really defensive. She was adamant that she was my biological mother, so for the most part, I let it go.

Then last year, I got one of those at-home DNA tests, thinking I would take it just to put my suspicions to rest. Turns out, it did the exact opposite, and at the age of 24, I finally confirmed what I’d kind of known all along: genetically speaking, there was no way I was my parents’ biological child. 

My test results showed I was nearly 100 percent Irish, Scottish, and British—a background that didn’t match either of my parents’ whatsoever. My dad passed away a few years ago, but when I confronted my mom with this new information, she tried to deny it meant anything. Eventually, though, she couldn’t dispute the obvious: I wasn’t her biological daughter, and she’d lied to me about being adopted for my entire life.

At this point, my mom broke down. She told she’d tried to tell me the truth so many times through the years—when I graduated high school, when I graduated college, when my dad was sick, when we went on a trip together after that. But the timing was never quite right, she said, and she was afraid I’d hate her and never speak to her again for having misled me all these years.