I Found My Birth Father with MyHeritage DNA and It Feels Like Coming Home

I Found My Birth Father with MyHeritage DNA and It Feels Like Coming Home

Xandra Bakker-van de Weerdt, 29, from the Netherlands, tracked down her biological father after years of searching with a combination of DNA testing with MyHeritage, family tree research, and the aid of DNA expert Annemieke van der Vegt.

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Here is her story:

When I was told, around 2016, that my father was probably not my biological father, it felt like the ground had been knocked out from under my feet. I had to move forward without any information or clues about my real parentage.

My search for my biological father started more than 7 years ago, shortly after the birth of my oldest daughter. The desire to find him grew day by day and slowly occupied my thoughts more and more. It became a deep-seated longing that wouldn’t let go of me; perhaps precisely because I had just become a mother myself.

In 2018 I took part in the television program DNA Onbekend (“DNA Unknown”), hoping it would finally bring me the answers I so longed for. Three possible birth fathers were put forward, and I hoped that one of them would be my true father. The shooting was an emotional rollercoaster. But the result did not bring salvation: none of the 3 men turned out to be a match. That message hit like a sledgehammer. I felt lost. How was I supposed to continue my search for my identity?

A cycle of hope and disappointment

In 2022, I stumbled upon a Facebook page called “Ik zoek iemand” (“I’m looking for someone”), a place where people shared their stories and searched for their biological family. I decided to share my own story in the hope that someone could help me. The responses poured in and there were people who wanted to support me in my quest. Although there was a possible match, another DNA test brought disappointment again. It felt like I had entered a cycle of hope and disappointment.

Eventually, I came into contact with DNA Hulp (“DNA Help”), where I shared my story in January 2023 and called for help. To my surprise, I received a quick response and a very pleasant collaboration developed. Step by step, the DNA Matches were researched through MyHeritage, with the tireless help of Annemieke from DNA Hulp and my ever-supportive husband.

It was a tough and intensive search. My highest match was 108 cMs; all other matches were below 100 cM. The first common ancestral couple of the matches found was born around 1810. Fortunately, all the hard work and determination finally started to pay off. We discovered a couple who may have been my grandparents. We also found their children and made contact, and a DNA test was taken. And then came the redemptive moment on March 28, 2023: the result confirmed with an overwhelming certainty of 99.999996% that I had found my father.

The first bouquet of flowers Xandra received from her father

The first bouquet of flowers Xandra received from her father

I am not alone in this world

The relief and joy that flowed through me was indescribable. It felt like coming home, like an ever-missing puzzle piece fell into place. The similarities between us were striking and I felt a kinship that I had never experienced before. Finally, I can now get to know my biological father step by step and build a relationship with him at our own pace. I was touched when he remarked, “What lovely children you have.”

I am very grateful for the unfailing support of Annemieke, my husband, and everyone who has stood by my side during this quest. I realize that I am not alone in this world, that there are people who care about me and want to help me find my way. My search has helped me better understand my heritage and start a new chapter in my life.

Hopefully my story will provide inspiration for others who find themselves in a similar situation. I want to show that it is always possible to find answers, no matter how difficult the process. My advice is therefore: always keep going, even if the road is bumpy and painful. Because in the end you too will succeed in discovering the truth — and you will find the sense of identity that completes you!

Many thanks to Xandra for sharing her beautiful story! If you have also made a wonderful discovery with MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it. Please share it with us via this form or via email at stories@myheritage.com.

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