PEABODY (CBS) – At 80 years old, you would think Mike McDonald of Peabody may have seen it all. But late last year, the gift of a DNA kit gave him the surprise of his life.
“When I first got [the DNA kit as a gift from my son] I said, ‘That’s nice, thank you very much.’ But it took me a couple months to even get around to spitting in the tube and sending it in,” McDonald said. “Within an hour a message came back. She said, ‘You are my grandfather’s brother!’”
Born in Stoneham, Mike was adopted as a baby. He grew up in Concord and had a nice, safe childhood.
“My dad was a pediatrician, so we had the best medical care. My mom was terrific. She was a really wonderful person. She just passed away 15 years ago. She was almost 95,” he said.
He’d wondered a little, where he came from. Turns out, for several decades a man now in Georgia also wondered about him.
“When we first made contact he said, ‘you know, I always had a feeling I had a brother,’” he said.
Mike and older brother David Dike had planned to meet next month. Of course, Covid-19 changed that.
“Given our ages I hope we last long enough!” McDonald said.
After a lifetime apart, they’re enjoying every conversation. A missing piece of each other’s stories, and hearts finally recovered.
“He’s gotten to feel like an old friend, both he and his wife. It would have been nice if we could have somehow made the connection earlier than this. I’m just thankful the good Lord has let us live long enough to at least see this much,” McDonald said.
The brothers hope to meet next August instead. Both are married, with three children each and several grandchildren.