Here’s What Happened When Two Best Friends Realized They’re Brothers
It's a Christmas miracle six decades in the making.
Walter Macfarlane, 74, and Alan Robinson, 72, have been best friends since sixth grade. After all, the two men always had a lot in common. Born 15 months apart in Honolulu, Hawaii, Macfarlane and Robinson never knew their respective fathers. McFarlane’s mother, Genevieve, had trouble caring for the child in the hectic environment of post–Pear Harbor Honolulu, so he was raised by his grandparents. Robinson was put up for adoption as soon as he was born.
After years of unsuccessful searches, Macfarlane buckled to the pressure of his children and turned to the popular genealogy and family-matching website ancestry.com for answers about his parents. The site matches you to other users based on your DNA, and one user appeared to have X chromosomes identical to Macfarlane, which strongly indicated that they had the same mother. The username was Robi737.
Cindy Macfarlane-Flores, Macfarlane’s daughter, went about trying to figure out who this mystery relative might be when her mother had a great idea: Maybe the 737 stood for the types of planes the user flew? Robinson had flown 737s for Aloha Airlines back in the day and everyone used to call him “Robby” back then. Could it be….?
A quick phone call confirmed the joyous news: Robi737 was none other than Alan Robinson.
They broke the news to their friends and family on Christmas Eve, and to say that the family felt blessed is an understatement. “It was an overwhelming experience, it’s still overwhelming. I don’t know how long it is going to take for me to get over this feeling,” Robinson told local new station KHON.
After college and Vietnam, the high school buds returned to Honolulu to raise their families, who are extremely close. Macfarlane-Flores even grew up referring to Robinson as “Uncle Alan.”
“This is the best Christmas present I could ever imagine having,” Robinson said.
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