BOSTON (CBS) – A priceless family reunion this summer – all thanks to social media, a persistent biological brother, and a loving adoptive mom.
Dan Spigle was put up for adoption as a baby… and enjoyed a happy childhood with his parents and brother in Massachusetts. He loves the life he has, but was always a little curious about the place from which he came.
“I wondered a lot. Did I have siblings? Are there people waiting for me in Iowa?”
Twelve-hundred miles away, the Hunt family was waiting – for the annual photos and sweet updates from Dan’s mom.
“We’d have an update letter of how he’s doing: learning to ride bikes or play the violin,” said Dan’s biological brother, Alex Hunt.
When Dan reached adulthood, the updates stopped. But the Hunts never stopped wondering how he was. Dan’s biological sister Leah tried to find him on Facebook for years, but didn’t have much personal information. One of those old photos held a key that would change their lives: a t-shirt Dan wore from Babson basketball camp.
“I knew which state he was from from the letters and I knew about the Boston sub Reddit,” Alex said.
Dan recalls, “I got a message from a friend who went to Babson College: ‘Dan, have you looked on Reddit? There’s a big paragraph; I’m looking for my brother. It was an open adoption. Does anyone know who he is?’ I think there was something like 22,000 views of the pictures. The whole Internet was going nuts trying to find me!”
Within the very same day that Alex posted the photos, he and Dan were communicating.
“My heart was beating really fast. I called my sister Leah and said this is him! I found him!” Alex said.
This summer… just weeks before Dan’s 27th birthday… he visited Iowa, to meet all the people – siblings, grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews — who have missed him without even knowing him. Dan’s biological parents passed away before he could meet them. But his heart now overflows for all his family – the ones with whom he shares memories, and the ones who share his genes.
During the trip, Dan, Alex and Leah all got matching tattoos.
“It’s just something to show we’ll always be with each other. I love it.”
Dan is back home with his family in Massachusetts, and is looking forward to all that’s to come: visits, creating new memories, and introducing the family who loves him in Iowa – to the family who’s loved him his whole life in Massachusetts.