Anita Mallant


I grew up in a home in Phoenix, Arizona where I was loved and doted on by my Dad—I was his princess. My three siblings had to deal with him being strict with them, I didn’t. My mom on the other hand was strict with me and lenient on my siblings. At a very young age, I knew there was something different in how I was treated. When I was about seven years old, I recall my mom taking me to the doctor’s office. She told me they were doing a “blood test” because something was not “right” with me. I remember the doctor shaking his head and my mom crying. My dad said it was okay.

At age nine I was diagnosed with being allergic to the sun which lasted through my youth until I had my children. The sun would give me hives as a child and I always burnt to a crisp. None of my siblings had this problem. Crazy, right. All of my darker siblings tanned. I thought, “Whoa, how am I a mixed child too? You see, my dad was Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Sub-Saharan, and Dutch; he had a pretty dark complexion. He was born in Indonesia.

In Kindergarten, some kid said I was so lucky to be adopted by such a nice family because I didn’t look like my family. I went home and asked my mom if I was adopted and her face fell but she just deflected. She wasn’t ready to tell me the truth.

My mom was born in the Netherlands (she and my dad emigrated from there). Once when visiting family in Holland, my Aunt and her had an argument about how light I was. She replied that I was the third child, and the third child is always lightest. My mom was in denial. My mom left my dad for about a year and lived with another man. When she discovered she was pregnant she decided to return to my dad

I had a deep love and curiosity for Scotland, Ireland, and Russia. We always went to the Netherlands when I was younger and I was constantly asking to visit Ireland and Scotland even though I was born in Indonesia. It’s weird there are things that really call you and pull you to them.

My dad, my protector, passed away when I was just 16 years old from a heart attack. I was afraid I too had the possibility of a heart attack when I was older. My mom became depressed after his death. I made sure she was taken care of though. I lived with her in the Netherlands for the next 12 years. At 28, I moved 8000 miles away from her because I felt it was time for me to live my own life.

In 2010. My mom became sick and she passed away two years later. I am grateful that the 8000 miles of distance between us helped us to become very close. Two days before my mom passed away, she was very clear and we had the best video chat. Her final words were, “I love you, I always have. I wish I had as much strength as you do. You taught me forgiveness and compassion. When I’m gone you will find the answers to all the questions I never could answer because I felt shame when I should have been more like you.”

In November of 2017 after my best friend had done DNA and I confided in her that deep down I didn’t think my Dad was mine biologically. She was the first person I had ever voiced out loud my doubts in almost 50 years of life. I did Ancestry on November 28, 2017, and on December 9, I received my results. My brother’s daughter was on my match list but above her was another name listed who I didn’t know nor did anyone in my family know who it was. Once I reached out to her, within three days I was able to identify the name of my biological father. My older sister immediately recognized his name. He had passed away before I realized he was my biological father.

I called my sister said nothing is changed I am still me, my love for my mom is still strong I feel for her having to feel ashamed for living in a time when it was frowned upon I am blessed I am here because of three people the two who created me and the man who loved me with his whole heart and taught me love compassion and to forgive.

Learning my genetic identity helped me to identify a rare disease that I couldn’t diagnose until after my DNA results. I was able to finally find a path to physical healing. I have four siblings from my biological father, two are deceased, one I have a great relationship with, but the other is not interested in contact. My biological father’s sister who is 93 is still alive and as soon as COVID abates, I plan on visiting her immediately!