Zakyra Fox-Holland learns of family members she had never met
When Zakyra Fox-Holland returned home from school one May afternoon, she did not expect to learn about more than a dozen family members she never knew existed. Fox-Holland was surprised, yet happy to hear of the discovery.
“It was reassuring to know that there was a bunch of new people that shared the same DNA as me,” Fox-Holland said. “They were strangers but were still connected to me in a different type of way.”
Fox-Holland’s mother was adopted and hired the investigator to see what she could learn about hereditary illnesses in her family, not to seek out her biological parents. She had no interest in meeting the parents that put her up for adoption. She eventually had her DNA tested and uploaded to an ancestry website, which led her to find and connect with her biological father. The biological father explained he was told by the birth mother that their child was stillborn following the two splitting up, and that he learned the child was alive decades later after finding no records of a miscarriage. From there, Fox-Holland’s mother was connected with ten half-siblings through social media. Fox-Holland will meet her new-found relatives in person this fall.
“They’re all pretty close and they invited us on their family trip to DC. For the most part, I’m excited to meet them because our personalities match and I feel there will be an instant connection.”
Overall, Fox-Holland is optimistic about the addition to her family. She has found that the new members offer something special to her that her non-biological family could not offer.
“The exciting thing about having my new family members is that for the first time I was able to see a visual resemblance with my family members,” Fox-Holland said. “Before I only saw a resemblance with my mother and sister,”
In addition to meeting new family members, Fox-Holland has learned more about her maternal family’s history, closer connecting her to people she once considered strangers. Story by Hayden Sisemore