An Irish-American New York woman did not expect to discover that five of her younger siblings live so close to her until she took a DNA test. Caryn McCabe, 63, a retired teacher from Massapequa Park, tried the test after her son wanted to learn about his Irish roots.
McCabe, who knew she was adopted since she was a little girl, said that all she wanted was to learn about her heritage from the tool provided by 23andMe, a private DNA testing company. However, she gathered more information than just her Irish background because the results identified a first cousin who also lives in Massapequa Park.
23andMe provides a tool that allows users to link a relative, and McCabe, for some reason, decided to select this service. However, the New York woman didn't try to contact the cousin on the database because she "didn't want to rock the boat" and upset people who may not even be aware that she exists.
Instead, it was the cousin, Ellen Connolly, 53, who got in touch with McCabe because she wanted to know who she was. Connolly figured she was just another cousin in their large family.
Confirming the Bloodline
John Kearns, 55, also took a DNA Test and received a text message informing him that he has another sister in Massapequa Park. After McCabe's contact with Connolly, Kearns reached out to her next, and they agreed to meet up in person along with Kearns' four sisters, Eileen, Denise, Tricia, and Kathleen. Three of them actually live so close to McCabe's community.
According to Kearns, their parents, Jane McMahon and John Kearn Sr., never told them about having a child outside of wedlock in the 1950s. The siblings believed that their parents had to keep McCabe's identity a secret and then give her up for adoption because their strict Irish Catholic families might have pressured them.
In 2020, McCabe finally saw her pre-adoption birth certificate after the state of New York passed a law allowing adopted children above 18 years old to get a copy of the original document. It showed that McMahon was listed as her mother, but her birth father was not named.
Paths May Have Crossed Before
However, after placing her for adoption, her birth parents eventually got married and had five other kids as they raised a family in Little Neck, Queens. While this was going on, McCabe grew up with her adoptive family in Breezy Point, Queens.
When McCabe was older, she decided to move to Massapequa Park, not knowing that some of her real siblings also did the same. Their paths might have crossed paths before, and they had no idea they were related by blood.
The siblings said that their mother is still alive but battling dementia, so she could not relay the real story behind McCabe's adoption. Their father, on the other hand, passed away long before their reunion.
Soon, the sisters and their brother, along with McCabe's other adopted sister, are planning to go on a trip to Ireland to visit their mother's family.
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