Family are one of those things that, even though you can’t stand to be around them sometimes, you still love them. They’re a part of you, whether you like it or not.
For some people, finding their family is a life-long journey. We like to think that fate might play a role in making sure everything turns out ok, but it’s always nice to have some evidence of that. Well if you’re looking for evidence that fate loves family, check out these eight stories. They’re amazing family reunions that you’ll struggle to believe.
1. A Writing Relationship
In 1980, a troubled teenager from Tampa, Florida named Leslie Parker gave birth to a daughter. Just a year later, she had another daughter, and decided to give them both up for adoption. The older daughter was named Lizzie Valverde and grew up with a family in New Jersey. The younger was named Katy Olson and was raised in both Florida and Iowa.
When they were both in their 30s, the girls moved to New York City and both enrolled in the same school: Columbia University’s School of General Studies. Even more interesting is they both signed up for the same literary reporting class. On the first class in January of 2013, the students sat around a table and introduced themselves to the group. As soon as Valverde told her story, with some small details of her birthday and adoption story, Olson knew that the woman was her sister.
Unable to wait, Olson approached Valverde after class and blurted out that she believed they were related. Valverde had no idea she even had a biological sister, so she was understandably stunned. Now, the two women are close, and have both graduating with a degree in creative writing with one amazing story to tell.
2. Doppelgängers On The Track
When Jordan Dickerson was just three months old, she was adopted by the Dickerson family in Washington, DC. She lived a pretty normal life until 2012 when, at aged 17, she joined the track team of her high school. At a track meet in January of 2013, one of Jordan’s friends noticed that a girl on the competing track team bore an eerie resemblance to Jordan. Her name was Robin Jeter.
Also seeing the similarities, Jordan asked her mum to check the adoption papers, where it was confirmed that Jordan’s birth name was indeed Jeter. The girls exchanged numbers at the meet and later the same night, Jordan called Robin to tell her that she believed she was her long-lost sister. Robin, who had been raised in the foster care system, had no idea that she had a sister, only that she had a brother. The girls were born just over nine months apart, and recently confirmed their relationship with a DNA test.
3. An Unexpected Delivery
In 2009, a 35-year-old man named Gary Nisbet got a new delivery partner at the retail bedding company in Maine where he had been working for seven years. The man’s name was Randy Joubert, and as soon as the two began working together, they started getting comments about how similar they appeared. They got to know each other more and discovered that they had gone to rival high schools, and grown up in neighbouring towns.
Joubert had already been searching for more information about his birth parents, and was able to get his original birth certificate that provided him with the names of his biological parents and the original first name of his younger brother. With these details, Joubert went to Nisbet and started asking questions: was he adopted, did he knew his birth parents’ names. Nisbet did, and was shocked when the details matched because he had no idea he had a biological brother.
The story exploded in the media, with their brother’s employer equally shocked at the unbelievable coincidence. But it got even better, because with all the media coverage, the men were able to reconnect with their biological half-sister, who heard their story in the press.
4. Good Neighbours
The world is both so big, and so very small, as brothers Stephen Goosney and Tommy Larkin discovered in 2010. The boys had been born in Newfoundland, Canada to an unidentified women, Larkin in 1969 and Goosney a year and a half later. Both of them had been adopted out, growing up in small towns in Newfoundland. Larkin started searching for his family early on, but didn’t have any luck until many years later, in 2010.
After talking on the phone with a representative of the adoption agency, Larkin was able to uncover the name of his brother, Stephen Goosney. The woman at the agency kept asking Larkin if he know the name, but he did not. When the agency called again to give him the address of the house, Larkin realised it was almost directly across the street. Both men had moved to the same town and the same street just months earlier, and Larkin could see Goosney’s home from his living room.
Even more incredible was that the two had been living on the same street for more than two years, with Goosney moving closer about seven months earlier. When Goosney came home, Larkin just gave him a call, explained the situation, and wondered on over there! Since the story made headlines, the brothers have also been united with their two younger sisters.