Emotional Reunion: Abandoned Siblings Meet For the First Time

·Writer

Family reunions are always full of love, but maybe none so much as when Janet Barnicoat and her younger brother, Dean Hundorf, met for the first time on Saturday.

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Barnicoat and her brother were both abandoned as infants, five years apart. In 1981, Barnicoat was left in an alley in Lawndale, California; in 1986, Hundorf was found on a porch in the Pacific Palisades. Though both children were adopted, they each eventually went looking for answers online. “I was interested in my ethnic makeup,” Hundorf told CBS New Los Angeles of why he submitted DNA to Ancestry.com.

Hundorf and Barnicoat at Disneyland. Photo courtesy of Janet Barnicoat

Barnicoat sent in her DNA to the site as well, and says this was a result she’d always wanted. “I’m complete now. Overwhelmed with joy,” she said. “I’ve waited my whole life for this.”

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“This was something I never would have dreamed of,” Hundorf says. “It’s still unreal to me.”

They live thousands of miles apart—Hesperia in California, Hundorf in Wisconsin—but the two are making the most of their time together. Hundorf is meeting his four nephews and one niece, and on Monday, the two went where every brother and sister should: Disneyland.

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