You’ve more than likely heard about people doing it on the internet. And honestly, there’s a pretty good chance that you or someone you love has done it, as well. We’re not talking about a new fad diet or exercise routine. And we’re not talking about a new dance. What we are talking about is at-home DNA testing. Whether it’s to trace their history or find long lost family members, people can’t stop talking about at-home DNA testing. And while most people see at least something that they expected, the people in these stories received a surprise of a lifetime when they received their results.Their story began in the 1960s when the two boys entered into Punahou Middle School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Like a lot of young boys, these two had plenty of things in common. But unlike others, these two had something in common that most do not.
They did everything together. They played on the same high school football team and they loved being outdoors. But the one thing that bonded the boys together more than anything else was where their lives started.
Walter’s mother, Genevieve, was planning on giving up Walter for adoption from the very start, but her parents decided to intervene. Walter’s grandparents decided to “hanai” Walter, which is a common practice in Hawaii that allows family members to adopt a child without having to go to court. So Walter’s grandparents raised him like their own, but he still had no clue who his father was.
Even though the boys were always close, it was inevitable that they would follow different paths in life. “He was the party-er. I never went to or did any partying in high school,” explained Walter, who was more into sports than drinking and girls.
After Robi made the decision to quit partying and get his life on track, he attended aviation, which would eventually lead him to become a pilot for Aloha Airlines.
“I grew up calling him Uncle Alan. Uncle Alan was my brother’s idol growing up because he was an amazing pilot. I have a few pictures of us on his sailboat at 9 and 10, and his daughter, Tara, was about 4. When my brother Aldon and I were kids, they hung out a ton,” explained Walter’s daughter, Cindy. Even though Walter was happy with his life and grateful for the abundance of love, there was still something missing.
“It was great for me. I was raised by the best people you can imagine. But when I had my own two children I did wonder about family history because I can never answer any health questions on official forms,” explained Walter. His children knew that they had to do something to help, so Walter’s daughter, Cindy, decided to have him take a DNA test.
“So then we started digging into all the results he started getting,” said Cindy. They would soon find out that the DNA results would prove to be one of the greatest things that Walter had ever done.
Apparently, there was someone out there that had an identical X-chromosome, meaning that somewhere in the world was Walter’s half-brother. Beyond excited, Walter began to do some more digging and what he found would knock the wind right out of him.
Walter couldn’t believe it! Could Robi737 be the same person that he had been friends with for six decades? There was only one way to find out.
“I had a younger brother that I lost when he was 19, so I never had nieces or nephews. I thought ‘I’ll never know my birth mother, will I ever get to meet anyone from my family?’” Robi was about to find out that his family was close by and he never even realized it. Walter had his suspicions that Robi was the half-brother that he was looking for, so he decided to confirm it. Walter gave Robi a call and asked him if he had done any DNA tests, and if so, did he have the username Robi737? Robi confirmed that it was him and Walter was in shock. The two had been best friends for their entire lives and had no clue that they were actually biological brothers.
As they held their arms next to one another, they knew that they truly were brothers. “Yea it was a shock, definitely and then we thought about it and compared forearms,” said Robi. Walter confirmed Robi’s point by adding, “Yea hairy arms, that did it!”
As far-fetched as it may seem, they’re not the only ones who have experienced this type of realization after getting a DNA test done. These next stories will surely blow your mind at how unlikely they appear to be.
Looking back, Jen recalls the life-changing message that she had received: “And it was something like: ‘I just got my results back. I think you and I might be sisters.’ I definitely remember she had ‘OMG’ in there.” Meanwhile, 42-year-old Janine Dzyubanny was experiencing something strange on vacation, as well.
When Janine was five months old, she was adopted by a family in the United States. Along with three older brothers, Janine had a wonderful childhood growing up in New Jersey. Despite the fact that they had grown up in lovely homes, these two women knew that something was missing from their lives.
As soon as Janine received her test results she realized that there was a stranger out there who shared 47.9% of her DNA. As incredible as it sounds, Janine found out that she had a sister somewhere out there that day.
She grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, with four older brothers, but always knew that she had been adopted. “I look nothing like my family, so it was something I’ve always known,” she said. Despite never knowing her biological parents, Jen says that she has had a great life in the United States.
“I didn’t know what to say,” said Janine. “I didn’t want to scare her away. This was 42 years into my life and I find out I have a sister. It’s kind of startling to people.” As it turns out, these long lost sisters had plenty of things in common. Even though they spent their lives growing up in two different states, they now lived 30 minutes apart, they both play softball, they both LOVE Labradors, and they are both preschool teachers!
“We saw each other and we hugged each other, and it was very emotional,” said Jen. “Very exciting and very surreal, just awesome, all at the same time.” Now that they know each other, Jen and Janine make sure to see each other at least once a week. “We both feel like we’ve missed out on the first 42, 43 years of our lives together,” said Jen. “We’re just trying to spend every waking moment together and just kind of make up for all that time,” added Janine.
“I’ve only known Janine since June, but I already feel like I’ve known her my whole life,” Frantz said. “I just feel like there was an instant connection, and yes, we’re still trying to get to know each other, but sometimes I just feel like I’ve known her forever. Easily, seamlessly, our lives coincide.”
“Being a mother myself and having two kids, I can only imagine she thinks of us every day and worries about us. And we know that she loved us because she left us on a police station steps to be found. So to let her know that a) we’re OK, and b) we found each other,” said Jen. Thankfully, these women have found each other after spending so much time apart.
David had loved his life so much that he didn’t think about his biological family too often. That was until his adoptive mother passed away. “I kind of felt like there was an empty space,” Sutphin said about his mother’s passing.
“What I had been told was this baby was deceased,” said Wilda, but comments from relatives always made her wonder if her brother might still be out there. Wilda would soon find out that her instincts were 100% right.
Even though it took a bit of consideration, David agreed to do the test. David felt like the results were never going to arrive. “I would check the Ancestry.com website every day,” he said. One day, the results finally showed up.
“It has a list of names that you are possibly related to,” says Sutphin. David took the time to go through each and every name to find something that could lead him to his past. Eventually, he discovered that there was a cousin out there from his biological mother’s family.
David was about to hear the words that he had been waiting to hear his entire life. “On May 8th which was my birthday, she comes back to the phone and goes your mom is Linda Huband.” David couldn’t believe the incredible news he was hearing. Unfortunately, not all of the news he received would be good news.
After a bit of talking, the pair decided they needed to meet each other. So, one month after getting his DNA results David met his sister and other members of his family at Rosa’s Pizza in Chester. Well, at least that’s what he believed.
“Walked into the building, I was met with her husband Mickey. I realized after I saw them, I knew them,” says Sutphin. As it turns out, David once helped his sister and her husband at Big Lots. “He literally one day took a lot of time and showed us recliners, my husband tried them all out,” says Wilda. “I helped her never knowing it was my sister,” says David. “We had so many years we could have known each other longer,” says Wilda.
“I am definitely happy I have done it,” says Sutphin. “Here I go from have two brothers and a great family to having three sisters on my mother’s side, to having three sisters on my father’s side,” he explained. These people went from feeling alone in the world to feeling that they finally had family standing beside them. Technology may have its downfalls, but it definitely has its advantages, as well.