Dani Shapiro Opens Up About DNA Shocker That Changed Her Life | TODAY


>>>WELCOME BACK, AUTHOR DANNY>>>WELCOME BACK, AUTHOR DANNY SHAPIRO HAS MUCH OF HER CAREER SHAPIRO HAS MUCH OF HER CAREER WRITING ABOUT HER OWN LIFE. WRITING ABOUT HER OWN LIFE.>>SHE’S EXPLORED EVERYTHING>>SHE’S EXPLORED EVERYTHING FROM HER CHILDHOOD TO FAITH. FROM HER CHILDHOOD TO FAITH.>>A BOMB SHELL — EXPOSED A>>A BOMB SHELL — EXPOSED A SHOCKING FAMILY SECRET MAKING SHOCKING FAMILY SECRET MAKING HER QUESTION EVERYTHING SHE HER QUESTION EVERYTHING SHE THOUGHT SHE KNEW ABOUT HERSELF. THOUGHT SHE KNEW ABOUT HERSELF.>>WE USE THE EXPRESSION A LOT>>WE USE THE EXPRESSION A LOT THE RUG WAS PULLED OUT FROM THE RUG WAS PULLED OUT FROM UNDER ME. UNDER ME. THIS ACTUALLY FELT LIKE THE RUG THIS ACTUALLY FELT LIKE THE RUG HAD BEEN PULLED OUT FROM UNDER HAD BEEN PULLED OUT FROM UNDER ME. ME.>>BEST SELLING AUTHOR DANI>>BEST SELLING AUTHOR DANI SHAPIRO GREW UP WITH A RICH SHAPIRO GREW UP WITH A RICH FAMILY HISTORY. FAMILY HISTORY.>>MY FATHER CAME FROM A FAMILY>>MY FATHER CAME FROM A FAMILY THAT WAS VERY CONSCIOUS OF ITS THAT WAS VERY CONSCIOUS OF ITS LINEAGE IN THE ORTHODOX JEWISH LINEAGE IN THE ORTHODOX JEWISH WORLD. WORLD.>>SHA PEER ROW’S RELATIONSHIP>>SHA PEER ROW’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HER FATHER WAS CLOSE. WITH HER FATHER WAS CLOSE. SHE THOUGHT SHE KNEW EVERYTHING SHE THOUGHT SHE KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. ABOUT HIM.>>MY FATHER WAS A VERY KIND,>>MY FATHER WAS A VERY KIND, VERY BIG HEARTED GUY. VERY BIG HEARTED GUY. HE GAVE A LOT OF BEAR HUGS. HE GAVE A LOT OF BEAR HUGS. HE WAS JUST A VERY LOVING HE WAS JUST A VERY LOVING PERSON, AND I FELT A REAL BOND PERSON, AND I FELT A REAL BOND WITH HIM. WITH HIM.>>WHEN SHAPIRO WAS 23 YEARS>>WHEN SHAPIRO WAS 23 YEARS OLD, TRAGEDY STRUCK WHEN HER OLD, TRAGEDY STRUCK WHEN HER PARENTS WERE IN A TERRIBLE CAR PARENTS WERE IN A TERRIBLE CAR ACCIDENT. ACCIDENT.>>MY FATHER DIED AS A RESULT OF>>MY FATHER DIED AS A RESULT OF HIS INJURIES IN THAT ACCIDENT. HIS INJURIES IN THAT ACCIDENT. HE WAS DRIVING. HE WAS DRIVING. MY MOTHER WAS IN THE PASSENGER MY MOTHER WAS IN THE PASSENGER SEAT, AND SEAT, AND SEAT. SEAT.>>AFTER HER FATHER’S DEATH,>>AFTER HER FATHER’S DEATH, SHAPIRO WENT ON TO GET MARRIED SHAPIRO WENT ON TO GET MARRIED AND STARTED A FAMILY OF HER OWN. AND STARTED A FAMILY OF HER OWN. ALMOST THREE YEARS AGO HER ALMOST THREE YEARS AGO HER HUSBAND WAS INTERESTED IN HIS HUSBAND WAS INTERESTED IN HIS ANCESTRY AND ASKED SHAPIRO IF ANCESTRY AND ASKED SHAPIRO IF SHE WANTED TO TAKE A GENEALOGY SHE WANTED TO TAKE A GENEALOGY TEST. TEST.>>I FELT LIKE I WAS PRETTY>>I FELT LIKE I WAS PRETTY CLEAR ON MY FAMILY TREE. CLEAR ON MY FAMILY TREE. I SAID SURE, WHY NOT. I SAID SURE, WHY NOT. AND I DIDN’T GIVE IT ANOTHER AND I DIDN’T GIVE IT ANOTHER THOUGHT. THOUGHT. I WOULD HAVE EXPECTED IT TO BE, I WOULD HAVE EXPECTED IT TO BE, YOU KNOW, WELL INTO THE 90% UP YOU KNOW, WELL INTO THE 90% UP TO 100% EASTERN EUROPEAN. TO 100% EASTERN EUROPEAN.>>SHAPIRO’S TEST RESULTS TOLD A>>SHAPIRO’S TEST RESULTS TOLD A DIFFERENT STORY. DIFFERENT STORY.>>IT SHOWED THAT I WAS 52%>>IT SHOWED THAT I WAS 52% EASTERN EUROPEAN OSHKINAZI, THE EASTERN EUROPEAN OSHKINAZI, THE OTHER PERCENT WAS ENGLISH, OTHER PERCENT WAS ENGLISH, IRISH, GERMAN. IRISH, GERMAN. MY INITIAL RESPONSE TO THAT WAS MY INITIAL RESPONSE TO THAT WAS THAT’S CRAZY. THAT’S CRAZY. THAT’S NOT TRUE. THAT’S NOT TRUE. THAT’S A MISTAKE. THAT’S A MISTAKE.>>BUT THAT WAS NOT ALL WHEN SHE>>BUT THAT WAS NOT ALL WHEN SHE COMPARED HER RESULTS WITH COMPARED HER RESULTS WITH ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER, TESTS ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER, TESTS REVEALED SHE WASN’T RELATED TO REVEALED SHE WASN’T RELATED TO THEM AT ALL. THEM AT ALL.>>THAT WAS THE NIGHT THAT MY>>THAT WAS THE NIGHT THAT MY LIFE CHANGED. LIFE CHANGED.>>AT AGE 54, DANI SHAPIRO>>AT AGE 54, DANI SHAPIRO DISCOVERED THE FATHER SHE HAD DISCOVERED THE FATHER SHE HAD KNOWN AND LOVED HER WHOLE LIFE KNOWN AND LOVED HER WHOLE LIFE WAS NOT HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER WAS NOT HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER AFTER ALL. AFTER ALL.>>AUTHOR DANI SHAPIRO SHARING>>AUTHOR DANI SHAPIRO SHARING THIS INCREDIBLE STORY IN HER NEW THIS INCREDIBLE STORY IN HER NEW MEMOIR. MEMOIR. IT’S CALLED INHERITANCE, A IT’S CALLED INHERITANCE, A MEMOIR OF GENEALOGY, PATERNITY MEMOIR OF GENEALOGY, PATERNITY AND LOVE. AND LOVE. SO YOU LEARNED THIS AT 54. SO YOU LEARNED THIS AT 54. YOU’RE A 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, HOW YOU’RE A 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, HOW DID YOU EVEN BEGIN TO TRY AND DID YOU EVEN BEGIN TO TRY AND MAKE SENSE OF IT? MAKE SENSE OF IT?>>WELL, AT FIRST IT WAS JUST>>WELL, AT FIRST IT WAS JUST SHOCK, AND EVENTUALLY THE SHOCK, AND EVENTUALLY THE FEELING WAS OF BEGINNING TO FEELING WAS OF BEGINNING TO METABOLIZE SOMETHING THAT IN A METABOLIZE SOMETHING THAT IN A WAY WAS ALWAYS A TRUTH THAT WAS WAY WAS ALWAYS A TRUTH THAT WAS INSIDE OF ME. INSIDE OF ME. I THINK WHEN OUR IDENTITY IS I THINK WHEN OUR IDENTITY IS HIDDEN FROM US OR NOT REVEALED HIDDEN FROM US OR NOT REVEALED TO US THERE’S SOME WAY IN WHICH TO US THERE’S SOME WAY IN WHICH WE ALWAYS KNOW THAT ON SOME WE ALWAYS KNOW THAT ON SOME REALLY PROFOUND LEVEL, AND SO I REALLY PROFOUND LEVEL, AND SO I WAS AT ONCE SHOCKED AND ON THE WAS AT ONCE SHOCKED AND ON THE OTHER HAND IT ALSO MADE A KIND OTHER HAND IT ALSO MADE A KIND OF PERFECT SENSE. OF PERFECT SENSE.>>SO WHEN DID YOU KNOW?>>SO WHEN DID YOU KNOW? YOU TOOK THE DNA TEST. YOU TOOK THE DNA TEST. WAS IT WHEN YOU COMPARED IT TO WAS IT WHEN YOU COMPARED IT TO YOUR HALF SISTER THAT SHOWED YOU YOUR HALF SISTER THAT SHOWED YOU GUYS WEREN’T EVEN RELATED? GUYS WEREN’T EVEN RELATED? IS THAT WHEN IT HAPPENED? IS THAT WHEN IT HAPPENED?>>YES, SO THERE’S A WAY OF>>YES, SO THERE’S A WAY OF COMPARING KIT NUMBERS. COMPARING KIT NUMBERS. IT TOOK A NANOSECOND, A FRACTION IT TOOK A NANOSECOND, A FRACTION OF A SECOND I WRITE IN THE BOOK, OF A SECOND I WRITE IN THE BOOK, AND IT SHOWED THAT WE WEREN’T AND IT SHOWED THAT WE WEREN’T RELATED. RELATED. I KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT. I KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT. SHE’S MUCH OLDER THAN I AM AND SHE’S MUCH OLDER THAN I AM AND THE PRODUCT OF MY FATHER’S FIRST THE PRODUCT OF MY FATHER’S FIRST MARRIAGE, AND SO I KNEW THAT MARRIAGE, AND SO I KNEW THAT THAT MEANT THAT HE WAS LIKELY THAT MEANT THAT HE WAS LIKELY MORE FERTILE AT THE TIME, A MORE FERTILE AT THE TIME, A YOUNGER MAN, AND ALSO SHE LOOKED YOUNGER MAN, AND ALSO SHE LOOKED JUST LIKE HIM. JUST LIKE HIM. SHE SOUNDED LIKE HIM. SHE SOUNDED LIKE HIM. SHE WALKED AND TALKED LIKE HIM, SHE WALKED AND TALKED LIKE HIM, AND IT WAS THE STORY OF MY LIFE AND IT WAS THE STORY OF MY LIFE THAT I DIDN’T, THAT I SEEMED THAT I DIDN’T, THAT I SEEMED OTHER IN SOME WAY IN MY FAMILY. OTHER IN SOME WAY IN MY FAMILY.>>SO YOU DECIDED TO TRY TO>>SO YOU DECIDED TO TRY TO TRACK DOWN YOUR BIOLOGICAL TRACK DOWN YOUR BIOLOGICAL FATHER. FATHER. HOW DID YOU EVEN START TO GO HOW DID YOU EVEN START TO GO ABOUT THAT? ABOUT THAT?>>IT WAS STUNNINGLY FAST.>>IT WAS STUNNINGLY FAST. I RECALLED A CONVERSATION THAT I I RECALLED A CONVERSATION THAT I HAD HAD WITH MY MOTHER MANY HAD HAD WITH MY MOTHER MANY YEARS EARLIER IN WHICH SHE LET YEARS EARLIER IN WHICH SHE LET SLIP THAT I HAD BEEN CONCEIVED SLIP THAT I HAD BEEN CONCEIVED BY ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION AT AN BY ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION AT AN INSTITUTE IN PHILADELPHIA. INSTITUTE IN PHILADELPHIA. THOSE WERE THE WORDS SHE USED, THOSE WERE THE WORDS SHE USED, INSTITUTE IN PHILADELPHIA. INSTITUTE IN PHILADELPHIA. SO MY HUSBAND AND I ARE THINKING SO MY HUSBAND AND I ARE THINKING WE LOOK UP THE INSTITUTE. WE LOOK UP THE INSTITUTE. THAT TAKES TEN SECONDS TO FIND, THAT TAKES TEN SECONDS TO FIND, AND WE THOUGHT, WELL, WHO WOULD AND WE THOUGHT, WELL, WHO WOULD A DONOR HAVE BEEN IN THE EARLY A DONOR HAVE BEEN IN THE EARLY 1960s IN PHILADELPHIA, PROBABLY 1960s IN PHILADELPHIA, PROBABLY A MEDICAL STUDENT. A MEDICAL STUDENT. WE JUST HAD THIS KIND OF — I WE JUST HAD THIS KIND OF — I DON’T KNOW HOW WE KNEW THAT. DON’T KNOW HOW WE KNEW THAT. I JUST SOMEHOW KNEW THAT. I JUST SOMEHOW KNEW THAT. AND THEN THERE WAS A FIRST AND THEN THERE WAS A FIRST COUSIN WHO APPEARED ON MY COUSIN WHO APPEARED ON MY ANCESTRY PAGE WHO WAS A STRANGER ANCESTRY PAGE WHO WAS A STRANGER TO ME, AND ONLY HAD INITIALS BUT TO ME, AND ONLY HAD INITIALS BUT WITH THOSE INITIALS AND SOME WITH THOSE INITIALS AND SOME JOURNALISTIC KIND OF CHOPS AND JOURNALISTIC KIND OF CHOPS AND THE OBSESSION TO KNOW, IT TOOK THE OBSESSION TO KNOW, IT TOOK 36 HOURS FROM THE TIME THAT I 36 HOURS FROM THE TIME THAT I UNDERSTOOD THAT MY FATHER WASN’T UNDERSTOOD THAT MY FATHER WASN’T MY BIOLOGICAL FATHER UNTIL I WAS MY BIOLOGICAL FATHER UNTIL I WAS LOOKING AT A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF LOOKING AT A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE MAN WHO WAS. THE MAN WHO WAS.>>AND THIS MAN HAD STARTED –>>AND THIS MAN HAD STARTED — HE HAD HIS OWN FAMILY. HE HAD HIS OWN FAMILY.>>YEAH.>>YEAH.>>HE HAD HIS OWN CHILDREN.>>HE HAD HIS OWN CHILDREN.>>HE HAD BEEN MARRIED FOR 50>>HE HAD BEEN MARRIED FOR 50 YEARS AND HAD THREE CHILDREN AND YEARS AND HAD THREE CHILDREN AND SIX GRANDCHILDREN. SIX GRANDCHILDREN.>>SO YOU’VE MET HIM, AND HOW IS>>SO YOU’VE MET HIM, AND HOW IS IT NOW? IT NOW?>>THE AMAZING THING I THINK>>THE AMAZING THING I THINK THAT’S HAPPENING JUST ALL OVER THAT’S HAPPENING JUST ALL OVER THE PLACE THESE DAYS IS JUST THE PLACE THESE DAYS IS JUST KIND OF A NEW WAY OF KIND OF A NEW WAY OF UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS AND UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY. FAMILY. HE DOESN’T FEEL LIKE MY FATHER HE DOESN’T FEEL LIKE MY FATHER TO ME, BUT IT WAS VERY — I FEEL TO ME, BUT IT WAS VERY — I FEEL VERY, VERY LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MEET HIM AND GET TO KNOW ABLE TO MEET HIM AND GET TO KNOW HIM A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE HE DOES HIM A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE HE DOES FEEL LIKE THE COUNTRY I’M FROM. FEEL LIKE THE COUNTRY I’M FROM.>>WOW.>>WOW.>>IT’S AN AMAZING STORY, DANI>>IT’S AN AMAZING STORY, DANI THANK YOU FOR COMING BY TO SHARE THANK YOU FOR COMING BY TO SHARE IT WITH US.

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