More confessions of a previously former Hispanic

Photo credit: The Positive Psychology People.

I’m baaack!! After a year-long hiatus, I am once again Hispanic and didn’t have to do anything to reclaim what I’d believed all my life, pre-2018. So, I’m taking back my frequent-user points and membership card and am falling in line again with the beautiful Hispanic people.

Why, you ask? Stick with me.

This type of occurrence is not without precedence.

Example 1: My paternal ancestors come from northern New Mexico. In the 19th century, some of those ancestors went from living in Mexico to living in The United States without ever relocating. From Mexicans to Americans practically overnight.

Example 2: Since opening an account with the bank down the street from our home in 2007, our money has been held by five different banking institutions without us ever opening an account with another bank.

Apparently, this type of thing can happen with DNA testing, too.

The change

In a previous post, I shared the astonishing fact (to me, at least) that in spite of my last name and skin color, my DNA report said that I was not Hispanic. This was news that I struggled to comprehend because I grew up thinking I was half white, half Hispanic. To learn that I wasn’t who I thought I was was a bit of a challenge.

Almost exactly a year after receiving my initial DNA report, I received an update that informed me that after some reclassifying on the tester’s end, I have 2% Spanish blood in me, which means I’m Hispanic, after all! 

I’m still mostly white (about 75%), but it’s a relief to know that what I believed all of my life is true: I am at least part Hispanic.

Don’t doubt your mama

Since I can remember, my mother taught me that I was English, Irish, Scottish, French, Native American, and Spanish. Last year’s DNA report proved Mom wrong, but this update proves she knew what she was talking about. Who needs fancy science and high-tech computations when we’ve got Mom to steer us right?

I sometimes wonder what it was like for her to know that her brown little boy had a lot of white running through his veins. I remember once being separated from my mom in a store. I couldn’t find her and went to a store employee for help. When my mom came to claim me, the store personnel didn’t believe I was her son. My mom, you see, was about as white as they come and there I was, a brown little boy. I don’t recall how she convinced them, but I left in tow with my mom.

As a grown man, I think I know what it was that my mom thought about me and my skin color: she didn’t care. Neither should I.

What do you think?

The experience of leaving and returning to my Hispanicness has taught me something: what matters most is not where my ancestors come from, but where it is that my heart is in the here and now. As long as I am doing my best with what God has given me and treating others as I want them to treat me, I’m on the right path.

The sense of belonging that so many people look for in their heritage can be found by surrounding themselves with like-minded people who see the value of their character and actions, not their facial features and color of skin.

We’re bound to find differences in others, even if they’re like-minded, but that doesn’t mean that we focus on those differences. Rather, it’s best to focus on our commonalities and to put the differences aside.

Whatever your genes say you are ethnically, what’s most important is to realize that you are a child of God with divine potential. Focusing on this can bring peace about who you truly are and come from, for our lineage from God is all that really matters.

Make it so, Number One.

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