Hi Switzerland (in French), we are back! With the whole family, we wandered beautiful Lausanne, the capital of the Canton de Vaud. Of course, Aby and Mamie wanted to go shopping, but I insisted we go to the historical center first.
There, we passed a bookstore and in the window, there was a book titled “Ce test ADN qui a bouleversé ma vie” (“The DNA test that changed my life”). The children started to ask many questions about what DNA was and were curious to know more about this book. As I was at the cash desk, I saw a woman who looked very much like the one on the book cover. I approached her and she smiled back, saying that she was the author of the book indeed. I asked her if I could have an autograph and she kindly accepted, while offering to tell us more about her autobiography and why she wrote it.
Why did you write this autobiography?
Béatrice: Since I was a child, I had doubts about my filiation. When I was feeling bad in my own skin, I used to write down what I was feeling. But it’s only after I got this DNA test done that I started thinking about writing a book.
At first, I just wanted to write it for me and my children, but later on I decided to get my book published. I needed to share my story with the public so that I could get more answers and avoid some traumas.
What message did you want to convey, Béatrice?
Béatrice: I wanted to show how a life can get disrupted when one doubts their identity. Living with lies and uncertainty is very stressful. I also wanted parents to realize that they shouldn’t hide anything from their children. Everyone has the right to know where they come from and who they biological parents are..
What were your best moments and your doubts while writing your book?
Béatrice: One of my best memories is when I realized that I had already written several pages in one go. I was amazed and thought wow, you can to do it!!!
I went through several phases throughout the writing process. Sadness, tears, but also joy and smiles.
Sometimes, I didn’t feel like writing for weeks. I was wondering if I should force myself. But then, when I started writing again, I was feeling better and it was easier to carry on.
Yeah sister, sometimes I feel the same when I’m writing a new song.
Can you give us a short summary of your book? And thank you for the autograph!
Béatrice: Sure. It’s about my life path since my childhood. This autobiography tells certain events that left a lasing impression on me, positively or negatively, until the day I decided to actually get this DNA test done. I really wanted to get rid of my doubts.
I invite you to read my book, and then we can discuss it if you want.
Yes, I can’t wait to read it!
How do you get a DNA test done?
Béatrice: As I live in Switzerland, it’s pretty easy, we don’t need approval from a judge.
First, you need to get an appointment at the CHUV (Lausanne’s University Hospital), in the legal medicine department, forensic medicine unit. Then, you get a letter that informs you that the center is licensed and follows specific norms, and that the test can have social and psychic effects.
I went to the appointment with the other person who would do the test with me and we both had to give a picture and identification information, and sign the form. Then, they took saliva samples inside our cheeks.
We then got shown a record of the sampling that we needed to sign and we were told that the test would be run twice. It would take 2-3 weeks for us to get results.
Oh wow, it looks complicated and stressful!
How did you feel once the test was done?
Béatrice: I was feeling uncomfortable and full of doubts, but I was also hopeful.
What are your projects for the future?
Béatrice: I’m not sure yet. Maybe a second book, it will depend on what will happen next.
One last word for the readers?
Béatrice: When I had doubts during the publication process, I was comforted and very moved by all of your testimonials. I also want to stress that my autobiography has been written with sincerity and a dedicated heart.
For those of you who haven’t read it, like Doggy (lol), I’ll be glad to answer your questions.
You can find the book (in French) at Edilivre, and on Amazon, at Fnac and Payot.
(Text by Béatrice Diop)