Finding Sisters: How One Adoptee Used DNA Testing and Determination to Uncover Family Secrets and Find Her Birth Family by Rebecca Daniels
Publisher: Sunbury Press (September 14, 2021)
Category: Non Fiction, Memoir, Genetic Genealogy, Adoption, Family Reunion, Extended Families
Tour dates: January-February, 2022
Available in Print and ebook, 125 pages
Where does she come from?
Who are her genetic parents?
Who is she?
Does she even want to know?
With almost no information of her genetic heritage, adoptee Rebecca Daniels follows limited clues and uses DNA testing, genealogical research, thoughtful letter writing, and a willingness to make awkward phone calls with strangers to finally find her birth parents.
But along the way, she finds much more.
A slew of cousins on both sides.
A family waiting to be discovered.
With the assistance of a distant cousin in Sweden and several other DNA angels on the internet, Daniels finally comes face to face with her birth mother just months before her passing. Join in on this author’s discovery of family and self in ‘Finding Sisters: How One Adoptee Used DNA Testing and Determination to Uncover Family Secrets and Find Her Birth Family.’
ADD to GOODREADS ~ Buy Links: Amazon ~ Sunbury
What are some Tips, Tricks, and Tools you use to keep your life organized, so you can accomplish all you have to do?
I’m a long-time list maker, especially when it comes to things I need or want to accomplish for my work, so I tend to work from detailed to-do lists, sometimes created electronically, sometimes by hand. I keep the various tasks separated (literally on different sheets of paper or computer documents), so I can easily prioritize which list to pay most attention to at any given point in time. When I was still working as a university professor, I had separate lists for classroom preparation (usually at the top of the priority list), grading tasks, creative tasks (especially relevant in the semesters I was directing a play with students), research/writing tasks, general administrative tasks required of me as an associate dean or department chair (I served in both roles during the last decade of my working life), and service tasks (required of all faculty at the small liberal arts college where I worked for 25 years). I also kept due dates highlighted on each of my lists. Some goals were more open-ended than others, but the ones that were time or date-specific also got a note on my calendar, which would usually say something like, “finish prep for advising committee meeting tomorrow” or “be ready to block act two, scene three for rehearsal on Monday,” etc.
My university used specific software for the entire school, so I had no agency in the choice of online calendars or document creation software on my work computer, but I was able to do everything I needed within their institutional choices of Microsoft Outlook for my calendar and Microsoft Word for my text-based documents. I have never been much of a user of phone or tablet apps, mostly because I have a visual deficiency that makes using a small screen nearly impossible, so I did all of my organizing on a computer with a somewhat larger than normal screen size to accommodate that particular challenge. And sometimes I simply made those lists with paper and a pen.
When I retired in 2015, the habits of list-making and calendar notes were so ingrained that I simply kept doing the same thing in retirement that I’d been doing during my working years, though the categories and priorities changed, with a stronger focus on my own non-academic writing goals. For a couple of those years, my lists were also focused on creative/theatrical goals as I continued to work with a small professional theatre company for a few years after retirement. The lists got shorter and less focused on the needs of others (my students, my department, my university) and more focused on my specific personal post-retirement creative goals, but the methods stayed more or less the same. As an emeritus professor, I was able to keep using the university software, and I saw no need to look for an alternative since what I was already doing was keeping me pretty well organized, and I felt like I was able to keep track of everything that was important to me.
I also keep separate file folders for every project I have active at any given moment in time, whether there’s only one piece of paper or dozens of items in each folder. And I make sure to put any new notes into the appropriate folder as soon as I’ve created it or am finished with it. There’s nothing worse than getting behind in that kind of filing or knowing that you have some
important notes for a new chapter, for example, and not being able to find those notes when you need them. Though I have file cabinets and file stands for those projects that I don’t need to get into very often, I usually keep the most immediate or time sensitive folders spread out on my dining room table, so I don’t lose track of them as deadlines get closer. I live alone and don’t need to worry about clearing things to accommodate others in the household. I also don’t have a dedicated office in my retirement, so there’s really no other place to put them that’s useful to me.
As far as my writing practice goes, I’m not someone who writes every day. When I have a specific project I’m working on, I set myself a series of mini-goals (usually dates to present a chapter draft to my writing group), and I focus my to-do lists on meeting those goals. I can’t say enough about the value of having a regular writing group that can give you feedback on works in progress and how those groups can provide you with a strong motivation for continuing to stay organized and focused on your particular writing goal of the moment. Having those “due dates” has been a driving force in keeping me organized and keeping my work moving forward.
Of course, the most important “trick” of all is to remember to check your to-do lists daily and to commit yourself to completing tasks and taking them off the list with some regularity.
About the Author: Rebecca Daniels (MFA, PhD) taught performance, writing, and speaking in liberal arts universities for over 25 years, including St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, from 1992-2015. She was the founding producing director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR, and directed with many professional Portland theatre companies in the 1980s.
She is the author of the groundbreaking Women Stage Directors Speak: Exploring the Effects of Gender on Their Work (McFarland, 1996, 2000) and has been published in multiple professional theatre journals. After her retirement from teaching, she began her association with Sunbury Press with Keeping the Lights on for Ike: Daily Life of a Utilities Engineer at AFHQ in Europe During WWII; or, What to Say in Letters Home When You’re Not Allowed to Write about the War (Sunbury Press, 2019), a book based on her father’s letters home from Europe during WWII.
She had always known she was adopted, but it was only as retirement approached, and with a friend’s encouragement, that she began the search for her genetic heritage through DNA testing. Finding Sisters explores how DNA testing, combined with traditional genealogical research, helped her find her genetic parents, two half-sisters, and other relatives in spite of being given up for a closed adoption at birth.
She is currently working on a new memoir about her late-in-life second marriage and sudden widowhood titled Adventures with the Bartender: Finding and Losing the Love of my Life in Six Short Years.
Website ~ Facebook ~
This giveaway is for 1 print copy and 1 pdf copy. Print is open to the U.S. only and pdf is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on February 26, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.