Northern Nevada Siblings Discover Each Other Through 23andMe DNA Service
Imagine going all of your life, never knowing you had a sibling living just 30 miles from you. That's exactly what two northern Nevadans discovered recently. They found each other through one of the popular online DNA testing services, 23andMe.
Imagine going all of your life, never knowing you had a sibling living just 30 miles from you. That's exactly what two northern Nevadans discovered recently.
They found each other through one of the popular online DNA testing services, 23andMe. Lindsey Brouner and Michael Thompson both knew they were adopted since birth, but never could have imagined what happened last year.
Brouner says, "I was always wondering if I had siblings or, if, you know, my birth mom was out there and wanted to know me."
As for Thompson, once he turned 18, he thought he'd be able to find out more about his birth parents. However, Thompson explains, "[The records were] getting blocked by the state, we didn't know the State of Nevada was a closed state."
Unfortunately, neither child's adoptive parents knew much about the biological family. Thompson says he only knew one thing about his biological dad, "My dad did not want to give me up."
A few years back, Thompson signed up for 23andMe, but was not getting any close matches. That is, until Brouner signed up in Christmas of 2017. There was immediately a match.
The two share the same mother. After speaking over the phone for a while, they met face to face in May of 2018. Brouner says the first meeting was a little bit awkward, "Because it was like you were looking at yourself, but it was a different person. So it was just that shock of "I've had this sibling, they've been here this whole time.'"
Thompson admits he almost got cold feet before their first meeting, but now says, "Ever since, I'm glad I didn't back out."
They've celebrated a handful of firsts as a family, since. Brouner says, "We did our first Christmas, then all summer we went camping, they were coming to soccer games."
While they have some sense of closure now, questions still linger. Brouner says, "There is always in the back of my mind like is my birth mom maybe searching for me?"
Thompson adds, "In the 70's--yeah, I can understand being adopted and I put that behind. But now that I know I got a sister, I want to know why? Why two of us?"
They're willing to hear from their biological parents if they are out there. Thompson was born in June of 1976, when Renown was Washoe Medical Center. Brouner was born in February of 1981 at St. Mary's.
Both want to stress that they love and are grateful for their wonderful adoptive families.