Biological Parents, DNA, and a Tent: Move over Rachel Dolezal

Life offers multiple choices.

Biological parents are not included.

© Violet Carr Moore, 2006-2015

Rachel Dolezal says about the couple who claim to be her parents, “I’m not necessarily saying that I can prove they’re not.” She adds, “But I don’t know that I can actually prove they are.” She questions her birth certificate because it was delayed a month before official recording. Rachel claims to have been born, or at least lived, in a teepee, then skirts the issue later. Looking for somebody born in a tent? Forget Rachel. Look my way.

My sister and I, Monoamniotic twins, were born in a farm labor tent camp near the end of the Great Depression. Mother had no prenatal care. No physician. No hospital bed. But wait! There’s more. Maybe I should say there’s less. The tent had no electricity. No running water. No sanitation facilities.

Nancy Dragoo Carr 1915

Nancy Dragoo Carr 1915

My dark-skinned, black-haired mother born in Indian Territory before Oklahoma attained statehood, depicted her Cherokee/French image. Growing up pallid blondes, my twin and I looked nothing like her. A yearning to learn about our ancestors, not parentage doubt, triggered our genealogy research.  One year, my twin in California was so convinced of our Cherokee heritage, she identified herself as part Native American on the federal census. Far away in Louisiana, I checked the Caucasian box on my form. What a quandary that presents. With no ancestral DNA and the absence of our grandfather’s name on the Indian Rolls when we visited the Cherokee Nation at Tahlequah, Oklahoma, we can only document our maternal French heritage and paternal English roots.

Like Rachel’s claim, my birth certificate is questionable. It’s signed by a physician, but the women present said our father’s sister, the midwife, had facilitated the all-natural delivery before the doctor arrived. My weight isn’t accurate, or so I’m told. The hanging cotton scale wouldn’t weigh such a light bundle, so the newborns combined eight pounds was halved and recorded as individual weights.

Cotton Scale-001

One certainty is this snapshot of twin babies on a standard pillow backed by a quilt dividing the bedroom from the kitchen in the tent where we were born.

Babies in tent-for blog




1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Events, Memoir

One response to “ Biological Parents, DNA, and a Tent: Move over Rachel Dolezal

  1. What a beautiful woman your mother was. I love the photo.

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