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Their story isn’t just about Ida, but about Barrie and his brother Travis. Coming together in New York just before Thanksgiving was the culmination of months of talking and email after between Travis and Barrie.
They’d been able to find each because Barrie’s son had used 23andMe and so had Travis. Alex and Travis matched on the DNA Relatives tool as predicted first cousins — Travis and Barrie are biological half brothers.
When he first saw the match, Travis was a bit confused.
“I know all my first cousins,” he said, but he didn’t know who Alex was.
But Travis also knew that first cousins can share a similar amount of DNA as a nephew or half nephew. And he knew that his mother had given up a baby for adoption when she was a teenager. So Travis called her and asked her about the baby’s date of birth. So when Travis finally connected with Alex, he knew what to ask. “Was your dad adopted?” And “what is his date of birth?”
The dates matched his mother’s first born. Travis figured out that Alex’s father, Barrie, was his brother, and his mother’s first born.
For Barrie, who over the decades had made efforts to find his biological family, meeting his mother was a bit overwhelming. Like a lot of adoptees, he wasn’t even sure his biological parents would want to meet him.
“It’s something you’ve been thinking about your whole life, and suddenly it’s the beginning of another story,” she said.