She Began Life As A Number, But Eventually Found Two Families

Heather Lewis grew up not knowing anything about her Korean family or identity. Thanks to DNA matching, she found both.

By Joy DiazDecember 1, 2020 8:15 am,

Heather Lewis didn’t get her name from her birth parents. It’s “made up,” she says, as is her birthday. She was born in Busan, Korea and left on a doorstep – abandoned as an infant. She believes her abandonment could have happened because her family wanted a boy. She was taken to an orphanage where she was, like other Korean orphans, assigned a number – K446. A Michigan couple eventually adopted Lewis. She says she had a loving childhood home, but experienced the emptiness many adoptees do who don’t know much about where they came from. She submitted her DNA to 23andMe, hoping she might one day find connections to her family. She did, and her journey also includes several of what she calls “plot twists.”

Heather Lewis and her adoptive family

“I find a lot of us who end up with this thing that Koreans call haan. And it’s this hole. When I learned about that, it kind of described – oh that’s what’s always been in the back of my head.”

“About two months ago, I get this email. It says ‘My name is Jessica… I just noticed that we share 28% of the same DNA, and there’s a chance that we could be related on my mother’s side…’ My world just stopped right then. I yelled for my husband. It was like, oh my gosh, it was everything that you wanted as a Korean adoptee, to maybe have that moment where, oh my gosh, I found a biological tie.”

Heather Lewis’ Parents with their only boy after seven girls.

“Plot twist: I have six sisters. The other five live in Korea. I gained an instant family. I Brady Bunched myself.”

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