With the help of a DNA and family history website, two men who have been best friends for 60 years recently learned that they’re biological half brothers.
Alan Robinson and Walter Macfarlane both live in Hawaii and have been friends since they met in 6th grade 60 years ago. The two bonded over each one’s lack of a traditional family growing up. Robinson was adopted while Macfarlane never knew his real father.
“I had a younger brother that I lost when he was 19, so I never had nieces or nephews,” shares Robinson. “I thought I’ll never know my birth mother, I’ll never have any nieces or nephews.”
Macfarlane has spent years trying to learn more about his family. With social media sites a dead end, he turned to Ancestry.com. Unbeknownst to him, Robinson had used the same site to search for long lost family members.
One of Macfarlane’s top DNA matches was someone with the user name Robi737. That user turned out to be Robinson, who chose that username because he used to fly 737s for Aloha Airlines.
The longtime friends were eventually able to deduce that they have the same birth mom. The fact that they both have the same hairy arms convinced both that this was real.
“Yeah, hairy arms, that did it!” said Macfarlane.
At a holiday party over the weekend, the two shared the stunning news with their family. However, the notion that the two are brothers after being friends for so many years still hasn’t sunk in yet.
“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,” said Robinson. “This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine having.”
The friends suddenly turned brothers are now making plans to travel and enjoy their retirement together.