Up until recently, 20-year-old Kieron Graham was living a typical college life, as a political science major at Kennesaw State University. But a few weeks ago, an early Christmas gift from his mother changed his life forever.
Kieron was adopted when he was 3 months old and grew up with three siblings who were also adopted. Kieron tells Babble that he always knew he was adopted, and in fact, embraced it.
“I never held any resentment toward my birth mother or anything of this sort,” he adds. “I love my adoptive family like they’re my own, I’ve never known anything different!”
But like many adoptees, Kieron was curious about his birth family. And so, his mom looked at the upcoming holiday season as an opportunity to give Kieron a chance to finally learn more about himself, by giving him an Ancestry DNA test kit. Kieron took the test, and when the results arrived last Tuesday, Kieron immediately took action, sending a Facebook message to a man named Vincent, who according to the test, was Kieron’s biological brother.
Now, finding your birth brother is pretty life-changing stuff in and of itself; but it wasn’t until Kieron met his brother in person that he discovered some truly shocking similarities.
Kieron tells Babble that shortly after chatting on Facebook, he and his brother agreed to meet at a local tea bar. It was there that they quickly discovered they didn’t just live close to one another, but that they attended the very same university. And it doesn’t end there: The brothers also declared the same major and even took classes in the same building.
“Meeting him was a surreal, amazing experience that I will cherish forever,” Kieron shares.
Since meeting his brother, Kieron says he’s also connected with his biological parents and two other biological siblings — a brother on his birth father’s side and a younger birth brother on his birth mother’s side.
As a mom by adoption to four children, all of whom have open adoptions with their biological families, I understand just how sacred meetings between biological relatives can be. When my oldest daughter was 1 year old, she met her older biological brother who was 2 at the time. At one point, all of the parents were busy chatting when we heard a child’s laugh. We turned and realized we couldn’t distinguish which of our kids had laughed because the sound was exactly the same. There is simply no denying that a child who was adopted is a beautiful blend of both nature and nurture, and the relationships formed between biological relatives is sacred. To this day, my daughter and her brother are not only siblings, but close friends.
As touching as Kieron’s personal story is, it’s also a reminder of the many beautiful stories that are unfolding as we speak, thanks to companies that offer DNA testing kits. This newfound technology is truly changing the adoption world, as adoptees are now able to connect with biological relatives, whether close or extended. Some adoptees are able, for the first time ever, to know their ethnicity and begin to identify with their cultures. In fact, three of my own four children, at their requests, have already taken DNA tests to discover their ethnic breakdowns. It’s natural for adoptees to desire to know who they are and where they came from, but it’s amazing to know that they finally now can — quickly and easily.
Kieron discovered this firsthand, telling Babble that “meeting Vincent was just amazing” and that “seeing a face that matched mine was so cool.”
So what does their future together look like? “I genuinely hope for the best and I hope we can all grow closer together after missing out on 20 years of life,” says Kieron. “This has truly been the greatest Christmas gift I’ve received.”