Two Hawaii men have shared a lot over the 60 years they’ve been best friends. But this year, they were shocked to discover they have the same mother after using DNA genealogy kits, according to KHON in Honolulu.
Alan Robinson was adopted and Walter Macfarlane had questions about his biological father. The half-brothers first met in the sixth grade and quickly bonded.
But despite years of sharing the same interests, finishing each other’s sentences and being told they look alike, the two say they had no idea.
“I had a younger brother that I lost when he was 19, so I never had nieces or nephews,” Robinson, who is about a year and a half younger than Macfarlane, told the Honolulu station. “I thought I’ll never know my birth mother, I’ll never have any nieces or nephews.”
Macfarlane had also been searching for answers and eventually turned to Ancestry.com, which offers DNA testing and matching services. The website showed a user named Robi737 had several matches in their DNA, including identical X chromosomes.
Robi is a nickname for Robinson, who used to pilot 737s for Aloha Airlines, Macfarlane’s daughter said.
Macfarlane picked up the phone to call Robinson, and the two soon realized they share a biological mother.
“It was definitely a shock but then we thought about it, compared forearms and everything,” Robinson said. “It was an overwhelming experience, it’s still overwhelming. I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to get over this feeling.”
The men revealed the news to friends and family at a holiday party Saturday night.
“This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine having,” Robinson said.
He and Macfarlane now plan to enjoy retirement and travel together.
“This guy was, he was like an older brother all along,” Robinson told KITV in Honolulu. “We’d go to Punaluu go skin-diving, I’d be making noise in the water splashing around, he’d be teaching me how to do it right. He’d always come out of the water with the biggest string of fish and I had the smallest.”
“As it should be, you’re my younger brother,” Macfarlane said.