KANSAS CITY, MO (WDAF/CNN) – Linda Stevens tried to find her father for years, but she learned he died in 1987.
She did, however, find out that he had other children. And in March she finally tracked down her little brother and sister.
It was literally the longest wait of their lives.
John and Barbara Hopkins, flowers in hand, waited to meet Stevens at the airport in Kansas City, as she arrived on a flight from San Francisco.
To understand the excitement behind the meeting, you have to take it all the way back to Germany, in the late 1940s.
Richard Hopkins was in the military, serving overseas, when he met Edith. They fell madly in love, got engaged, and had a baby girl named Linda.
But when Richard was sent back to the States, Edith and Linda couldn’t go back with him for legal reasons.
They were never able to reconnect, and Richard eventually had another family that included two children, John and Barbara: Linda’s long-lost siblings.
John Hopkins said Richard never forgot about the baby girl he had to leave behind, though.
“He told us to do what we could do to find her, and I’ve been searching basically my whole life to find her,” he said. “I thought she was still in Germany.”
But Linda was much closer. Her mother had married another U.S. serviceman, and she ended up in California.
Little did she know, at one point the sibling she was also looking for lived hours away in the same state.
After years of searching, she found and messaged her little brother on Facebook.
And this single message led up to the moment they’d all dreamed about for years.
“It’s kind of a really special, special moment,” Stevens said. “I waited an hour and said, ‘God, if this is meant to be, let it be.’ And an hour later he texted me.”
The man responsible for these three siblings never saw his first baby girl after he left Germany.
But John said if he were here today and saw them all embracing, then, “He would say his life was complete.”
Stevens is going to head back to California after about nine days. The siblings said they plan to spend the time they have together just getting to know each other.
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