"This is the happy ending to the story."
Paul Hannon, Connecticut
Paul Hannon, a 58-year-old Navy veteran from Connecticut, grew up knowing he had a sibling somewhere. His mom had suffered a stroke during her pregnancy and wasn’t able to care for the baby as a result of her illness. Paul, although just six years old at the time, understood how painful the decision was. Out of respect for his mother, Paul never raised the subject again.
That baby, Richard Emery, is now a 51-year-old veteran of the Army reserves and the National Guard, living in Winchester, Virginia.
Richard grew up with an amazing adoptive family. Just a few years ago, however, he started to get more curious about his biological family. He had little to go on, other than the fact that he was born in Connecticut in 1967 and was adopted nine months later. Richard tried to contact the adoption agency, but all he could get was non-identifying information about his biological parents.
In November 2017, Richard watched a TV show where they mentioned DNA tests. He went online, did some research and decided to order a DNA kit from MyHeritage DNA.
“Using DNA technology, I think, is fantastic. As an adoptee that opened new doors for me.”
A few weeks later when his results arrived, he got a first cousin match. He contacted her, and together they started to connect the dots that led to his half-brother Paul.
Richard and Paul reunited after not knowing each other for 51 years. They met last March at Paul’s house in Connecticut.
Richard is delighted to start this new chapter in his life. He said,
“I am excited to learn more about our family.”
Although Paul regrets that they didn’t have the opportunity to reunite with their mother, who passed away this past January, he remarks that there is still so much joy in meeting his half-brother after 51 years.
“I do believe that our mom is happy that we are connecting now. Being reunited and spending the rest of our lives together, and sharing our families together, that’s the happy ending to the story.”