MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (CNN) — It was just for kicks — an enjoyable exploration of family ancestry.
But the fun turned to devastation when a Minnesota woman learned the results of her DNA test — the man who raised her wasn’t her father.
Lee Wolfe Blum and her sister both have blonde hair and they look like twins.
But, they’re not.
In fact, as close as they are, they’re biologically quite different.
“There has been a secret about me, held in the family for 46 years, and everyone promised when I was born not to, not to tell,” Blum said.
The secret unraveled one year ago.
“The ads even make it like it’s this awesome thing. You’re gonna find out this awesome history,” Blum said. “You’re gonna find out everything about your family that you never knew, but what they don’t tell you is that you’re gonna find out everything about your family that you didn’t know.”
The results showed Lee and her sister are half-sisters.
“I was devastated. You get into a state of shock, like I can’t even explain,” she said. “So I called Ancestry. I was on hold forever, and then said, you know, ‘How can this be true? How can I spit in a tube and you can find out this? My sister and I look just alike.’ And the woman on the phone said, ‘You need to call your family.’”
She says she felt stranded with no guidance.
She found an online community with 7,000 others in a similar predicament.
“My whole entire life unraveled. Everything about me, the way I look, my DNA,” she said.
After questioning her now-estranged mother, Lee realized the father who raised her was not the man whose genes she shares.
She says her mother had an affair with a man from Georgia, a man she recently went to visit.
“I’ve always thought I look like my dad. I’ve always thought my face looked like his. And then I met my birth father, and…,” she said.
She realized she looks more like him.
She still doesn’t understand the details, just that her mother, birth father and the man who raised her all knew.
“I get it why they did what they did. I think as time went on, it just became too difficult to say it,” Blum said.
Regardless, the woman is glad she found this out.
She says a simple test complicated everything, so she plans to take her knowledge and write a book, hoping DNA companies will broaden their support systems.
She says she’s still close to the man who raised her and is forming a bond with her birth father.
Ancestry DNA says it has a group of representatives dedicated to speaking with customers about sensitive matters.