Long Lost Sibling Reunites with Family After 45 Years
Wendy Roberts grew up with six siblings, and when she was a teenager – she got the surprise of her life.
Wendy’s searched for her brother for years. And after 45 years – she’s found him. Here is the story of long lost siblings.
Ian Knight grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He was adopted as a baby, and lived with his mom, dad and a sister – but he didn’t know much about his past.
“I knew I was adopted and I knew [I had] three older brothers, that’s all we knew,” said Knight.
As he got older, curiosity and technology gave him a mission. With the help of DNA testing and ancestry.com, he was able to pick up some clues about who he was.
“It started with 23andme,” said Ian. “I was like okay were going to get some answers now.”
He started the process looking for answers about his heredity and genes. Ancestry added another layer of information and the site began searching for blood relatives.
“When [the results] came back, it said, “immediate family” and then “close family” [were found],” said Knight. “I was like oooh, here we go.”
The information he got changed his life. And led him to a whole new set of siblings.
A sister named Wendy
Wendy Roberts grew up as the middle child in a crew of six kids. She had a big family, but what she didn’t know, was that it was about to grow even bigger. Her mother had a shocking secret – she had given birth to a seventh child, a baby boy. She gave him up for adoption when Wendy was just six.
“It’s a crazy thing…I just remember her saying to me there was a child born,” said Roberts. “Then they had Ian, which none of us knew about, she hid her pregnancy, and we didn’t know until I got into my teens and that’s when I found out about him…I was excited, I wanted to find him, I knew he was out there.”
He was out there alright. His siblings were closer than he could have ever imagined. Wendy and Ian both lived in Waterford, Michigan in Metro Detroit and lived there for overlapping years.
“So we probably passed each other and just never even knew,” said Roberts.
Years went by
Ian graduated from Western Michigan University and lived in Texas and Brazil before settling down to Florida. Wendy had a family and settled down in Tennessee. Years went by and their interest in finding each other lingered, but tracking down a long lost sibling wasn’t so easy.
“Back at the time we were looking for him, we didn’t have cell phones and Facebook, and all that stuff,” said Roberts.
With the rise of social media everyone became more connected and Ian connected with his Aunt on Ancestry.com. Wendy’s mother’s sister messaged him on Facebook. Suddenly, a big world seemed a lot smaller.
“Wendy’s aunt….has a house, or vacation house, literally four miles from where I live in Florida,” said Knight. “So when I looked at her Facebook page, I could see my condo in the background, I’m like do they know where I’ve been the whole time?”
“My mother actually called me, and she said, ‘did you get any strange Facebook requests?’” said Roberts.
“And she said, ‘have you gotten one from an Ian?’ I said no. She said ‘well, that’s your brother.’ My heart fell into my stomach.” said Roberts.
Roberts says she knew she wanted to meet him from the second she heard that.
“I waited for [Ian] and then as soon as that [Facebook] message came through, I think my first words were, “I love you.”
A long-awaited reunion
And Wednesday, for the first time, Ian met Wendy.
“For me, I just wanted to see his face, to look, and just see everything with him,” said Roberts.
Their eyes are a feature they both have in common.
“He looks like my brother, and he looks like my dad, and it’s just so cool looking at his face,” said Roberts.
It’s the first step of a long journey of making up for lost time. Roberts shed tears as she addressed her brother.
“I just…I’m so glad you’re here,” said Roberts. “I feel like with Ian here, it could fall back together with him. Only time will tell.”