This is gonna be a doozy, sorry.
The story i was always told was that my maternal grandmother was born into a Jewish family. Her mother died a couple weeks after she was born, and her father left. She was adopted by a Christian family that forced her to speak only English (we can’t figure out what her first language was, I’ve heard everything from Lithuanian to Yiddish to Russian).
Here’s where it gets a little sticky. My family is really into the whole “Messianic Judaism” bs. They were missionaries for Jews for Jesus. As a kid I didn’t really get why this was so offensive but when I got older I did. So even though you don’t have to be Jewish to be a part of it, it definitely boosts your “status” and then you become living proof of the Jews for Jesus ways, etc etc.
Somehow I’d always felt really connected to Judaism, even though I was raised in churches. My parents always wanted me to learn Hebrew, and in high school I learned a lot of it. I took a (Christian based) trip to Israel and I loved it there. When I got to college, I joined Chabad for a bit (it got a little too intense for me) and Hillel a little bit. I wanted to learn more about this part of my family history that seemed to be missing from me.
… Except then I got into genealogy. Now I’m not 100% sure on anything, but it’s looking likely that my family completely made the Jewish part up. Their last names aren’t Jewish. Their family members were buried in cemeteries with a Russian orthodox cross on it. Like, the list of proof of them not being Jewish is super long. There are some VERY distant relatives who are Jewish (like my grandmother’s third cousins’ kids, relatives that far distant). It’s also odd that my grandmother’s older sister and her family has never mentioned Judaism once.
My family is 100% the type to make up stuff like this as well. The lies they have told are astounding.
So anyways, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. I feel like an imposter. I found this stuff out like 6 months ago and basically stopped listening to music in Hebrew, stopped thinking about Judaism, etc. Like I don’t know if I want to formally convert or anything at this point but I’m thinking of maybe looking into that. Idk.