Siblings meet for first time after chance Facebook encounter

Posted at 3:55 AM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 03:55:21-05

MIAMI (WPLG/CNN) – For the first time in more than 50 years, two brothers and four sisters in Florida met after connecting on Facebook.

A look of joy swept over the faces of Randall Vandivier and Jesse McDowell as they hugged each other.

"I was about to jump out of my skin. I just couldn't wait,” Jesse McDowell said.

The siblings were two of six brothers and sisters who met Tuesday after a chance encounter on Facebook.

Jesse McDowell’s sister, Marion, went to college with a woman in Ohio who was also friends with Vandivier. When she noticed the last name, Marion sent him a friend request and began asking questions.

"Some months ago, right before Thanksgiving, Randall posted a picture of him and his aunt, who is a Vandivier, on Facebook,” Marion McDowell said.

The photo led to more questions about the families, including whether Vandivier’s father served in World War II and died in Miami 50 years ago.

"We exchanged pictures of our father, and we were just shocked. It was the same man. It was amazing,” Marion McDowell said.

The resemblance extended to Jesse and Randall in two childhood photos.

"We exchanged pictures when we were just 2 years old, and we looked like twins,” Jesse McDowell said.

The siblings have some catching up to do after so much time apart.

"The chances of us meeting was a million to one,” Vandivier said.

The newfound family says they would welcome more members, with Vandivier laughing as he says there could be other siblings out there they just don’t know about yet.

Copyright 2018 WPLG, Family photos, Facebook via CNN. All rights reserved.