‘Amazing’: Half-siblings meet in Halifax after 10 years of searching and a DNA match | Canadian

Two half-siblings who live thousands of kilometres apart met for the first time in Halifax this week following a decade-long search and a DNA match.

“I was so happy to see him, and to know that he was real,” said Debby Martin, who recently flew in from Winnipeg, Man., to meet Colin Brown of River John, N.S., for the very first time.

“I just hope that we can be like brother and sister and have a good relationship with our family together.”

The half-siblings, both in their 70s, didn’t know of each other’s existence until about a year ago.

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Martin’s daughter, Twyla Wowk, said they always suspected Martin’s father was not her biological father and joined Ancestry.com about 10 years ago while searching for the truth.

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Over the years, they had a few hits from distant relatives living in Nova Scotia — odd, because they previously had no known connection to Nova Scotia.

“We do now,” Wowk said with a laugh.


Half-siblings Colin Brown and Debby Martin met for the first time in Halifax this week.


Amber Fryday/Global News

But last year, they found a close match in Nova Scotia for Martin’s biological niece — Brown’s daughter. From there, they were able to piece together that Brown was Martin’s long-lost brother.

Wowk said Martin and Brown’s father was from Nova Scotia and went to Manitoba as a circus performer. He ended up working briefly for Martin’s parents on their family farm.

Martin said her sister once told her that she had only seen their father mad once when he got into a fight with the farmhand from Nova Scotia.

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“I said, ‘really?’ And she said, ‘Yes, and nine months later you were born,’” said Martin.

‘A whole new branch to my tree’

Wowk said it felt good to finally close the book on this mystery and is excited to spend time with a side of the family she previously didn’t know.

“It was pretty amazing. We figured there had to be someone out there, and it took us a long time to find him,” she said.

“It was just one of those moments that I had waited for because I wanted to do that for my mom. It feels amazing to have a whole new branch to my tree.”

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Ahead of meeting Martin at the airport, Brown said he felt “nervous” but it appeared to melt away as he grinned from ear-to-ear while hugging his long-lost sibling for the very first time.

Since connecting last year online, the siblings say their relationship is already “100 per cent.”

“We’ve texted back and forth for a year now, and it’s just been wonderful. We’re so much alike in so many ways,” said Martin.

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Martin and Brown, along with their partners and children, will spend the next two weeks together travelling around the Maritimes and catching up on decades of lost time.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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