Long-lost siblings reunite
MOUNDSVILLE, W. Va. —
The Fourth of July is often a time to get together with loved ones. For one family this year, they're doing a little more catching up than usual.
Tom White of Mechanicsville, VA has an interest in genealogy and while doing some research on a family history website, he received an unexpected notification.
“I get contacted by a guy that looks a whole lot like me that says we're a very close genetic match," says White.
That guy was Perry Templeton from San Diego, CA, Tom's long lost half-brother. They had the same father, but never met. Perry's mom couldn't raise him, sending him from foster home to foster home in California, before he joined the United States Navy.
For decades he had been looking for the father he never knew, and the family he knew was out there. The years of searching have paid off.
“I have a sister and two brothers, and I didn't have any idea! It's amazing. It's a real answer to prayer," says Templeton.
While Perry was looking for his family, Tom, who grew up with a brother and a sister, thought that everyone was accounted for.
“I never expected that I’d have a brother pop up from years before my parents even met," says White.
Many family members live in the Ohio Valley, and they held a picnic at Grand Vue Park in Moundsville. The Whites invited Perry and his family to their picnic so that everyone could meet.
“When half of you is missing biologically, so to speak, when you find it, no matter what age you are, it's pretty impactful," says Templeton.
Now that they've met face-to-face and had time to talk, they're finding they have a lot in common.
“We're both kind of computer geeks and tech geeks, and A/V geeks. We both look alike, and we were both in the Navy. We went to nuclear school, he almost went on submarines, I went on diesel boat submarines. It's interesting, the kind of parallels, the choices we took that were alike," says Templeton.
Tom, Perry and the rest of the family will have time to catch up this week, before Perry flies home to California.
“They're part of the family. You just feel that," says White.