Miki grew up as a child of divorce from the age of two. She spent her childhood splitting her life between two drastically different households. Continually adjusting to new moves and new step-parents always feeling as if she never quite “fit in.” Over the years, a quiet voice in her head nudged her to wonder if feeling out of place came not only from the result of so much change. Could it be that she was not the biological child of one or both of her parents?

During the quiet of the pandemic in late 2020, a mixture of curiosity and courage empowered her to take a genetic test that finally confirmed: she was a NPE. The man she believed to have been her father her entire life was not. Rather, she was the product of an affair. Upon discovering the identity of her biological father, Miki realized she had vague memories of him, and much more vivid memories of playing with his two girls, her sisters, as a child. When confronted with the news, much of her family did not receive it well, warning Miki that to tell her new sisters of her discovery could potentially destroy their lives. As a result of guilt, shame, and respect, she did not share her find with her “new” sisters for a year.

During that year, having no outlet to process her feelings, she turned to Tiktok to express to strangers all she felt she could not to her family or to anyone who knew them. Prior to her discovery, Tiktok had already become a place where she had entertained her friend group and her approximately 257 followers. But upon revealing her experience as a NPE; her following quickly grew. Tiktok became a safe place where she could share her experiences, use humor to tell her stories and relate to others who had gone on their own journeys after taking their own tests. Finally she began to heal the pain of being treated by her family as a shameful secret. Finally, she could unapologetically be her true self.

She has since revealed herself to her “new” sisters. To her immense relief, their response to the news was unbridled excitement and happiness. They are proud to have her as their little sister and have consistently reassured her she has caused no harm, and are happy to have her as an addition to their sisterhood. While occasionally, her friends and coworkers will stumble upon her videos, the Newsweek article about her discovery, or even one of the tabloids that picked up the story and comment about her internet “fame”, the idea of being Tiktok famous has never really resonated. From Miki’s perspective, she’s just herself. She remains an “introverted extrovert” who describes herself as a chaotic blend of Wednesday Addams and Pollyanna. A dedicated, divorced mother of 2 teenage boys, an advocate for her son who has special needs, a Midwesterner who enjoys a quiet and simple existence, a full time substitute for a local middle school, and a mom who will never grasp the rules or strategies of the athletics her sons participate in but will never miss an opportunity to cheer them on while they play their “sportsballs.”