(KLTV) - Dennis Blackstone and Connie Rusk are brother and sister, but they met for the first time on February 17.
Dennis and his twin brother were adopted at the age of three and knew they had a biological sister, but didn’t know anything about her.
When Dennis’ brother, Doug, passed away, he began searching for his sister but couldn’t find her.
“The technology wasn’t there,” said Jayson Blackstone, Dennis’ son. “His search ended with 1-800-SEARCH.”
In 2017, Dennis completed a 23-and-Me DNA kit and received a match in Amarillo; a first cousin.
“She said ‘you have a sister named Connie. I do not know her whereabouts, but you have a sister named Connie’ and that was the first time in my entire life – I’m 71 now – but that was the first time in my life I actually had a name that I could associate with,” said Dennis.
Dennis and his family set out on an investigative mission to find Connie.
After finding out Connie’s real name was Constance, they found her.
“He texted me and I said ‘I don’t believe this,’” said Rusk. “I pulled over and read the text and answered back immediately that I needed to meet him and that I was his sister.”
February 14 was the day the two first spoke on the phone – the 40th anniversary of their brother’s death – and February 17 was the day the two finally met.
Jayson said his dad wasn’t eating or sleeping.
“The excitement was overwhelming,” said Jayson. “I have never been so excited to meet someone I never met...I didn’t know existed.”
Connie said when she saw Dennis, she ran faster than she ever has in her life.
“The only thing going through my mind was that I’ve got to get there. I’ve got to get there as fast as I could.”
The two siblings and their families hope their story inspires others in the same position to never stop searching.
“Our prayer in all this is that people don't give up hope,” said Jayson. “That they go out and search for that because we're believers and we know that God's hand was in this, through all this and there was a time for it to happen.”
Now that Dennis and Connie found each other, they don’t plan on letting each other go.
“Don’t leave me,” Dennis said laughing. “I know the dictionary meaning of surreal, but now that I’m living it, I really know what surreal means."
“I never will leave him,” said Connie. “I love him, so much.”