The world just keeps getting smaller for two coworkers who discovered they were actually long lost brothers after working side by side for weeks at a furniture company.
"That's me. I'm Claire Marie," Florida mom Kat Cooper announced excitedly on her blog and Twitter after she saw her long-lost siblings on the "Today Show" yesterday. "I'm the sister they are searching for, and the 'Today Show' is flying me and my youngest son to New York tonight to meet my sister and brothers and be on the 'Today Show' tomorrow."
U.S. & World
The siblings' story has taken one emotional turn after the another: First, Nisbet and Jourbert, who were separated as toddlers, found each other after 35 years. They were adopted and raised by separate families in neighboring Maine towns, wound up moving to the same town and both ended up working for the same company. After being told repeatedly that he and Nisbet looked alike, Joubert, who knew he had a brother and two half siblings, put two and two together.
Then, when Joanne Campbell read about the brothers' unlikely reunion in the news, she recognized their mother's name and realized she was their half sister. Campbell drove up to Maine to meet her new-found brothers at Dow Furniture, where they work, and the siblings made an appearance on the "Today Show" Tuesday morning.
But even as the three chattered away about their story on TV, Kat Cooper, a single mom in Sarasota, was watching, transfixed. When they mentioned they had another sister somewhere named Claire Marie, Cooper realized she was the last of the separated siblings and called NBC.
"This is truly amazing, all happened so fast, 1 tv segment, 1 phone call by me to NBC & I have family!" the 39-year-old wrote on Twitter.
The four siblings were taken away from their abusive mother nearly four decades ago and placed in foster homes. They ended up getting adopted by different families. While Jourbert knew he had a brother and two half sisters out there, he had no idea how to find them. And Nisbet had no clue his brother existed. The brothers went to rival high schools and probably attended some of the same sporting events. Meanwhile, their half sisters, Campbell and Cooper, went to the same high school.
At one point, Cooper and her adoptive sister even asked Campbell if they could be related.
"We went to high school together, had a study hall, lunch and gym class together," Cooper wrote on her blog. "At one point during those high school years, my sister Jo and I talked to Joanne, we asked her if she had a sister, her last name is my birth last name, she said no, but that's because she didn't know that she even had a sister back then. But Joanne and I are identical, we look even more alike now than we did back in school."
All siblings credit a new law in Maine with helping them find each other. The law makes birth records more accessible for adoptees.
Coincidentally, the owner of Dow Furniture, the company that brought the two brothers together, is an ex-state senator who was instrumental in getting the legislation passed.
"I knew he'd been taken by the state. I found out his name. Only in January I figured this out," Joubert said on "Today." "I said, his name is going to be different, how in the world am I going to find out his name? To realize I'm riding a truck with him – it's a bizarre world – it's crazy. There's so much emotion, I can't wrap my brain around what's going on."