A Found Sibling Story 40 Years in the Making

Updated On: December 6, 2022

Out guests this episode are Natalie and Ryan, half siblings who nearly missed out on being best friends. Barely acquainted, the brother and sister worked together in high school and had many missed encounters because they had no idea they were related. When Ryan turned 21, his adoptive father dropped the bomb that Ryan was not his birth child. From there, the story has one twist after another – but you’ve got to listen to learn about them all. Ryan’s and Natalie’s story has parallels to Kendall’s and Corey’s, and that’s just one reason they’ve become two of our favorite guests.

Guest link:

Natalie’s and Ryan’s story is front page news: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/article253205998.html

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Transcript

So, Natalie Ryan, you wanna share a little bit about your background? Yeah, sure. Were you, so were you adopted as a child or do you wanna go first? Do you wanna get to it? Yeah, I was, so I was, I basically, our father, you know, nine months apart. I was born first and I was pretty much immediately like adopted by my, what I call my dad.

So like, and you know, basically 21 years later, literally on my 21st birthday, as I'm having a beer with my dad in the bar, he proceeds to tell me that, you know, that he's not my real father. That he's a, you know, my adopted father and that, you know what I mean? Like my father's somewhere like a couple cities.

And I was like yeah. So that was like my, my 21st birthday, you know what I mean? Like in a nutshell. But like, so, and that was in Ohio. We both were in the Ohio area, like Northeast Ohio. And we, yeah, like literally come to find out that, you know, essentially we lived like two cities over from each other and didn't know nothing about each.

Wow. And all kinds of other things too. working together and . Well, then Ryan wanted to meet his biological father, so then I'm on, I'm getting a phone call from my dad who in my eyes did not raise me, but was like kind of there ish. Mm-hmm. , and he said, I need you to come over cuz I need to talk to you.

And I was like, oh, that was a red flag. , I knew something was going on cuz he did not ever do anything like that. So I went over there, he's like, I just wanted to tell you that you have a half brother. And I'm like, oh, okay. And he's like, and he's coming over this weekend. Did you wanna come over for a picnic

I was like, oh, okay. Wow. We determined that was in the. . Yeah. We don't What month? Do we know what month that was? It was hot out, I remember. Yeah, it was, we had an outdoor picnic. Right? Yeah. So I go, so he, Ryan knocks at the door, I go to answer the door, and when I open it, I'm like hi. I know you . And that is when we realized that we had worked together when we were in high school.

That's wow. That school. Wow. Yep. Wow. And then I'm, I'm so sorry. When was this meeting? When was what was what Each other? Your, your meeting when you, when was this summer? Like when Ryan turned 21, so, oh, okay. Yeah, so my birthday's in January and like, that's like I said on my birthday, you know what I mean?

That's when I, my dad told me, and basically somewhere in like the, I would say July, August timeframe was when, you know, my mom and my grandmother actually got in contact with my actual father. And I kind of was going, talking and then he suggested, you know, coming and meeting them. So, and this was just last year?

No, this. Oh, that. You think that we're in our twenties. Thank you . This was actually 20 years ago. Yeah. Oh, oh, gotcha. Okay. Wow. So so we then realized that we had worked together. and we met, we don't really remember that much about that day. I know someone took a picture, but we don't know where it is.

Brian brought his girl girlfriend with him. I brought my boyfriend and then we had like a pick an awkward picnic in which we were like, thank God we didn't date. And then it was like, I don't really, I, I know we exchanged our phone numbers, but then it was just, I don't know, you know? That age, and you're young, you're not, you're just not thinking about stuff like that and like really how important that is.

And so, you know, shame on me. That was just, okay, well we're kind of moving on with life and then. When I the year when we all turned 40, I was with one of my really good friends and she was just like, I just wanna let you know, I think it's just like really messed up that you like, have a half sibling walking around and you don't know him, and that is not who you are, you know?

And I was like, you are right. And so, right. Then I messaged my, my dad's wife, my stepmom, and I was like, I need you to tell me everything that you know. Well, she only knew his name. That's it. , and I knew he lived in Ohio, so I was trying to figure it out. I could only find like voter registration information.

So I thought, well, I guess I'm sending a letter in the snail mail . But then something said to me, now people, cuz I could not find them on any social media, I'm like, now people that don't do social media, what do they do? They do linked. So I had, I dusted off my account and I sent Ryan a message on April 9th.

April 9th at like, I don't know, it was like, do you remember the time? It was like 9 0 8? Yeah, it was like 9 0 8. And I was like, Hey Ryan, it's Natalie. You might remember me. We share the same dna. Oh, I didn't say it like that though. And you know, I was just like, to the point and he messaged me back within the minute, the same.

like, oh my gosh, like I've been looking for you and I didn't know how to find you. Here's my phone number, call me, or whatever, . And then, then that was the, pretty much it, you know, we just then started to like, you know, just get to know each other and yeah. And so we have a ton of things in common. And so that was like, so that was April, so then like April, may, you know, we're just kind of like, you know, getting to know each other again.

I'm a teacher, so school was out and my best friend was like, do you wanna go up there? And I'm like, yeah, I wanna go. Come on, let's go. And so, right as school was out, we drove up to Ohio from North Carolina and we all just, and I still have, you know, friends and family up there too. So then we all just kind of like reunited, like for real the right way.

And it went awesome. It was ama. I will tell you though, I lost probably 10 pounds because I was so nervous to meet him and his wife. I was like, just, you know, I mean, that could go so many ways. Right, right. And I mean, I knew that, you know, cuz we talked like every day. So I knew that that was gonna be good, but I wasn't sure like, what was his, I mean, it's, and there's so many d.

Different things that come into play. Right. It's like he's a man, I'm a woman, . And, and then, and we're married and, and you don't know like how everyone's relationships are gonna like play out and how they're gonna work and if it's gonna work, right. So there was just a lot going on in my head and everything just went perfectly.

Like you could just make it a Hallmark movie, I think. . Yeah. And Ryan's wife is awesome and she's obviously had to be super patient because, you know, it's like, have you guys ever seen that movie called I think it's called Three Identical Strangers? Yes. Okay. That was the only thing, like, I forget who, someone told me to watch that and I watched it and that was like the only thing that I watched that I kind of like felt valid.

You know, because those three men who were identical stranger and they were raised separately, and then when they all met each other the things that they were saying, like, when we met, we felt this way, we felt this way. And I was like, oh, okay. Cuz that's how I felt. Right. . You kind of like felt like you, I kind of felt like I was like, like something weird was like, I was like, something's weird happening to me, or am I reacting weird or is this wrong?

You know what I mean? It's just how many people do you know? This happens to you. I mean, not that many . Right, right. There's no playbook for it, that's for sure. Yeah, and so that trip went great. That was in June, and then in August, Ryan flew here and met my family. and that went amazing. And I have a four, four year old and a 13 year old, and they love him.

Oh, so much. And then that was August, and then I think in September I went back by my, I flew by myself there. And then in October my cousin got married. So me and my daughter, we flew. And at this time is when like Ryan and Sarah were coming and like hanging out with my family, like my mom's aunts and or sisters, my aunts, you know, like my family and like they just fit right in.

It was just like, oh, you were, have been here all along, you know? And that also just like blows my mind, like when I just really sit and think about it, because we know there's all different types of people, and we are just like, yeah, I don't know. It's just crazy because, you know, I was having a really hard time with like I was really mad that like we didn't grow up together because we were both only children.

and I always wanted a sibling. I didn't, I knew I didn't want a sister, so I always wanted a brother and only nine months apart too. So it wasn't like we were in completely different sandboxes, you know? We were a great apart two cities away. So . Yeah. Yeah. And And it just, I forgot what I was saying, but yeah, we have, there's just so many similarities.

It's just crazy. And my husband is like 10 years older than me, which doesn't really matter on a day to day basis, but sometimes you're like talking about a song or you're talking about a movie or a popular culture of some sort. And he'll be like, I don't know what you're talking about. And I'm like, what?

And then walks in Ryan and we're just like, oh, da, da, da. You know? . Yeah. And so so that was in October and then they, you guys came down for my birthday in January. Yeah. In January. Brought snow. They brought a snowstorm, and literally my son thinks that Uncle Ryan literally brought the snow , like he really thinks it.

So yeah, there was a snowstorm, they came and and then it was just like all of a sudden it was like, you guys should move here. Yeah. We always wanted to move to the Carolina. It's like, yeah. Who doesn't wanna move? And then it was like, yeah, I think we're really gonna do that. Like, what really? And then it just happened and then like in August here, they just moved.

Wow. Cool. Yep. That's awesome. You physically live pretty close to each other now? Yeah, he actually lives closer to my work than I, than I do . Oh, good. . Wow. That's great. Yeah. Yeah. My, my brother here thought we were crazy when, you know, we had been back in California maybe. Two weeks after meeting them all for the first time.

And we had just been talking about nothing else other than like trying to figure out how we could move out here. And I remember when I called him, he was like, what? What did, what did you say, ? You're gonna, you're gonna leave Paradise in San Francisco and you're gonna, I mean, not that New England's not nice, but you know, He he, he was really anxious for us.

Yeah. You know, he, he worried that, you know, he, he, he and his wife had three children. He, you know, said, my gosh, we're always moving in 20 different directions. I think he worried that we would expect. Too much. You know what I mean? Like Yeah. Get here and feel sort of alienated. But we have, we're not those people anyway, but he didn't know us that well, you know?

Right. So I was like, Chris, I'm a big boy. I can tie my own shoes. We'll be cool. You know, it was. It was, yeah, it was fine. Well, cuz I just thought, you know, if we had stayed in California and, you know, tried to figure out when we could come out when they were, you know, free, it's like maybe you would see each other maybe twice a year at the most.

And how well you gonna really get to know somebody when you know you're physically on completely different, you know, parts of the country so that we, you know, a three hour time difference for phone calls and everything. It's like, you know what? As great. You know, think California is, and we had wonderful friends there.

Like, I've always been really close with my family, and I thought, well, Kendall deserves that too. You know, he, he deserves the opportunity to get to know his siblings and his dad. And so, yeah, I don't, I don't think we have any regrets, so Not at all. I, I can relate to how your brother felt, because I felt that way too.

I was like, although I wanted them here a hundred percent as it was happening, I'm like, oh my gosh. What if they don't like it here? It gets really hot, you know, like, ooh. And I don't know. There's just so many things that, and like that, that's part of like what I think's a little wild too about after we like got together and started talking, like when we learned, like for instance, one city up in Cornelius.

My wife has an aunt who is like a half aunt. Basically. It's a, it's a stepsister of her mother and or a half sister. I'm. And we would come down here like before we got back together, literally, and the wife has family in the Savannah or the Charleston area. So we would, you know, come for a couple days, stay in in Lake Norman, which is, like I said, a city away from where we're at now, where she's been, and like we weren't connected yet, you know, and then like we talk about, oh, you know, yeah, I went to Kent, you know, for in college and it.

Well, we used to always hang out at Kent, you know what I mean? Like, well, yeah, we used to go to bar over de we used to always go to the bar de and like, we're just thinking like, wonder how many times we like bumped into each other, walk right past each other and didn't even think anything like that. So it's just wild.

Yeah, it is. So let's go back Ryan, your, your adoptive father, did you ask him why he waited so long to tell you that you were. Well, yeah, I mean, like that was how he presented it, right? Like he, he basically told me, look, you know, I'm, for the lack of a better term, not gonna be a, I'm gonna be basically in the doghouse for telling you this.

But it was a situation where like, that was like a point of contention between him and my mom that I didn't know about where he wanted to do it. Like when I was like 8, 16, 18. You know what I mean? It was like every birthday basically. It would. , he'd be like, okay, now, you know what I mean? And she'd be like, ah, no, no, no, we'll do it.

We'll do it. You know? And like, basically it just went too long for him. But like I said, we were, he met me at a bar on my 21st birthday, and as we were drinking a beer together, he was telling me the story. And like, and that's what he was said, you know, he was like, I just, I can't keep it from you anymore.

You know what I mean? And like basically told me this story about how it all come. So when I was like, like I said, not even, you know, three months old, it was like my actual father, you know, wanted to have like blood tests and oh no, it ain't mine. And you know, like, and then my mom went and had the blood tests done, you know what I mean?

And he like tried, I will say, you know, he come, my mother tells a story that he'd come over and basically didn't pay any attention. and then like the next week he was supposed to come and see me, it was, oh, I can't make it, or can we switch a day? And she was like, you know what, it's, this headache is not worth the a hundred dollars that you're paying.

So she said like promptly. The next Monday, her lawyer called was like, well, we're not gonna pay a hundred dollars if we can't visit him or whatever. And she was like, that's fine, it's not worth it. And then, you know, cue my dad, they started. Together and, you know, 21, even longer than that, but 21 years later, he is telling me the story about how he came into my life.

So. Wow. So let's, let's talk a little bit about the picnic with your biological father. Like, what, how was he, what was it like interacting with him and what was he like that day? I mean, I guess he's, I, I consider him an acquired taste, you know what I mean? Like, I went basically on the, on the thought of like, you know, medical conditions and, you know, previous this and just knowledge, you know, like, let me see what, you know, like, but I, I guess like, it, it was the only thing that I took out of it was, oh my God, I have a half sister that I live this close.

Hm. You know, like, yeah, I think I got like a birthday card the next, like six months after that, close to my birthday. And then like oddly enough, like in September I got a birthday. My birthday's in January, so they got it right shortly after. But like he kind of swung and missed the next time, like September or something.

I got a birthday card and then it was like no more contact and it. with me and her. It was a situation where like, you know, she's still going to school, working on her degree, and I just got outta school and I'm starting my career. You know what I mean? So it was like, it wasn't that we were like, ah, we don't want to do with anything.

But like, it was just fast paced, you know what I mean? Like life was starting , the timing was off. But we are super thankful that we inherited our dad's looks, , and then that, that's all. No. And not other things. Not other things But we did I did take one of those. , what was the one? Family tree dna I took, I did take one of those, but I only took one.

Like it had nothing to do with this. It was just like, oh, I wanted to know, you know, whatever. And I get it back and my mom's side of the family is Ukrainian. And obviously, I mean, I know like what my dad is. And I get it back and I'm 75% Welsh, which is what my dad's dad is. He's from Wales. So then when Ryan came, I was like, I'm buying you.

Did I get you that for your birthday or something? I'm like, here, I'm getting you this for your birthday. I need you to do it. And so then he does it, which mind you like, we are half, I mean we don't ever say that, but you know, it is what it is. And he is also 75% Welsh. I'm like, wow, this is like the DNA stuff.

Like it's just real and. He really does look a lot like like our dad, my dad his mannerisms and everything. It's, it was it, since he's lived here, it's been a little bit like I've had to get used to that a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I don't talk to him. I don't, I don't talk to my dad ever since my wedding and my, my wife has even confirmed.

Like she said, I think they put on like an old like homecoming video or something where he kind of like showed up, took some pictures or something and I was in the kitchen or they were watching this video in the other room and I hear my wife explain, oh my God, he does that right there. And I'm like, What's going on?

And I come around the corner and there's my father, and she's like, no, you gotta see this look. You stand just like that, man. And I'm like, mm-hmm. , uhoh. You know what I mean? So like, and then like she said, I guess there is some, you know, as they say, the apple doesn't fall far, , it's really crazy. It's really crazy.

I can relate, I can relate to that. You can't, like, you just can't help. And it, and it worked out kind of a situation. You know, my dad had like, darker hair was different, but like I was really, I looked a lot like my uncle as well. So like when I was a kid, like I was almost like a spitting image of my uncle when he was a kid.

Your mom's brother? Yeah, my mom's brother. So it wasn't I logical to me where I was just like, okay, I just looked like my mom's side of the family. You know what I mean? Like, I didn't get the dad traits. I got all my moms, you know, Light hair, blue eyes, you know what I mean? Like looking just like my, my mom's brother.

So it wasn't like crazy that, you know what I mean? That my dad wasn't my actual father . But Ryan has blue, I have brown eyes. Ryan has blue eyes, and my, my husband has blue eyes too. But if you like line up like my dad, Ryan and my son's picture, wow, how much they all look a. Yeah, it's really crazy. Yeah. Do you have any idea, does your birth father know that you connected?

Oh yeah. He knows . Oh, okay. The the, that's a good story. That's a good story. When this was all going down, you know, I was like telling people at work and stuff. Well, people are like, why are you dropping pounds, Natalie? But and then I would tell 'em, and they're like, that's a crazy story. You should really, you should really like call the newspaper.

I'm like, what? Well, one, one day I was like, sure. After like the third person told me that, I'm like, sure I will. So I did. And then this guy, when Ryan came in August a, a reporter came out and did a story on us, and then they put it on the front page of the paper . Wow. And so I, I mean, you know, this all has like stirred up so much, you know, childhood trauma as they say.

And so I was like, I'm sending this to him. You know, like he needs to know what's going. And like I said, it just really bothers me. I mean, I understand now like timing and why this happened now, and this is the time of life where we, we needed each other, but it still makes me angry that he kept that a secret and and so I wanted him, yeah, I wanted him to know, so he has the, I sent him the article along with a letter and I'm not like, I don't want you in our lives and you can't, blah, blah, blah.

It's not like that at all. It's very much like the doors open. , if you wanna have a conversation and walk in, you know, I'm not trying to say we're gonna be all like best friends, but, but that will never happen. So that's why we're just, we're, we're.

Ryan's dad, I never got to meet him, which I'm super bummed about that. But I feel like, so, you know, he's the one that told him he's the reason why this all happened. We wouldn't have known.

And then again, when I was trying to find him, you know, just a year and a half ago or however long that. I knew his name. He, that wasn't like good enough because it was like, it's too common. His name is too common. But then I knew that, like I knew where he went to school, so if I typed that in and where he went to school, well then his dad's obituary came up and when I had his, when I saw his dad's obituary, then I was able to know his wife's name.

And then when I had him and his wife's name, then that's when I got their address. And then I was so it, you know, really, if it wasn't for his dad, like this, never would've. Wow. Yeah. How long ago did your dad pass, Ryan? Say again? How long ago did your dad pass? I believe it was about five years ago. Okay.

Yeah. See, and like the, the other thing that like, I think like, I guess frustrates me is that our sides of the, like her mom and my mom and my dad, they didn't have any idea about this. You know what I mean? So like, this is what we learned when I went to go meet him. So it wasn't. Yes they did. They didn't tell me that, you know, about my actual father, but it wasn't like they were keeping that.

I had a sister somewhere from us, so like he was the link to that between us, you know what I mean? And he kept that from us. So like that's the other kind of complicated part about it too. . And I remember like when he told me, so when we were like in our. I don't know. I was really angry about it, but I didn't act that way at all.

Like, I was angry towards him, but I was just like, oh, okay. You know, but he knows now that I'm not happy with it. So. And Natalie, how long have your your parents been split? They were never married. Okay. Okay. Gotcha. They were in a relationship, a serious relationship, but never. Thank God. So yeah, my mom raised me as, and I was by herself, single parent.

I mean, he did help financially, which I recently found out how much that was. Apparently our go us as kids, our going rate was a hundred bucks a month. Apparently that's what it was. That's what he offered to both of our mothers. So like , I mean, not sure that's a good price to be paying for a child in the eighties, in the nineties, but okay, that's what you think.

It's interesting like as life is going on, how we're learning more and I mean I think, you know, some of it is cuz we're adults but some of it's because everything that has been going on and so like more and more things are like coming out of the woodwork and I am in therapy. . I am curious, have the two of you had a conversation about the possibility that your birth father has more children?

Oh yeah, I make the joke and she doesn't really find the humor in it, but I, I like to tell her that, you know, in another five years we're gonna find out that we might have a basketball team out there, , we can get a little two on two with a sub going or something. You know, like, and I think, like, you know, with doing that test, like it was funny because, you know, you send those in and there's a little bit of lag between getting your results and stuff.

Literally that lag put me, I was at her house. I was on one of the trips here when I got the results , and we both got the email and there was an email about like, oh, you know, hey, we found a family member. You know, this one person's real close. You know what I mean? And you look at it and like me and her at the, it's like one and two on each other's lists, you know?

Well, with being like as logging in and getting that information, they get your email. The next day they had like a sale on the, the DNA test or something and we like, I know my heart skipped a beat. I was like, uhoh, you know what I mean? Like I just thought somebody else out there was, you know, like . So he, he sticks to his guns that there's only two of us, but who knows?

right. Yeah. That was a major question we had. Yeah. Is there, would you be interested in if there were another sibling out there about connecting. I mean, sure. Yeah. I mean by like, I guess it's like, I think we've talked about it too, like it's the odds of it going like this relationship, I don't know, maybe that's just, you know, like a, a DNA trait or something.

We assimilate, but you know, like it going as good as this one, I think would be, you know, foolish to, to hope for, I guess, , you know what I mean? Like, yeah. I mean, it's, it's tough. I mean, with, you know, Kendall out of, out of six, I mean, yes, he's had communication with all of them, but they're not all close, you know?

Right. They're six, is that what you said? Six half siblings. My father had three others and my mother had three others. Okay. Wow. So, yeah. Yeah. And so you just, some you just really click with, say it again. Some that, some you just really click with. Oh, absolutely. My brother that is physically near us. Mm-hmm.

He and I are not very similar, but we love each other dearly. My sister, my local sister, we're close with her. My mother's daughter, it's right under me in age. She and I are really close to, so it's been, it's been wonderful. I mean, the other three, I'm not quite as close to, you know, they're, They're busy people, you know?

And, and it's not malicious. I think it's just, you know, and, and we'll, you know, we'll continue to build those relationships, you know, hopefully. And but I mean, honestly, if I had found one of these people, it's all worth it. You know what I mean? Like, yeah. It's just been fantastic. I mean to your previous point, my father's.

Ex-wife. So the mother of my local brother and sister she's, she's been very welcoming to Corey and me. The very first Christmas we lived here she in, we got invited to her family's huge Christmas gathering. And, you know, I'm not related to any of them right. Except my half brother and sister.

But we were just accepted, you know, and. And she's great. So, you know, it's I remember when she met me, she hugged me and she said, cuz she knew about me. And she said, oh honey, you're the baby we always wanted to find. And it just, you know, it just touched my heart, you know? Yeah. Cuz I admire you, Ryan.

I, I think I've never not known that I was adopted. Like, I don't, from the moment, you know, I, I remember being like, And my mother and dad saying to me, you know, most parents get stuck with whatever baby they, they have, but we got to pick you. I mean, they just made me always feel really special to be adopted.

And I have to admit, I think I'd be best if, if, if I ever, you know, if I hadn't known. Yeah. You know well, I, I think like I, that's kind of the way that I looked at it and like, like you just mentioned, you know, You know, parents, you know, biological parents. Okay, that's the kid you got, you know what I mean?

And like it felt to me like after 21 years and like I said, all the way up, Bill's passing. You know what I mean? We were, you know, thickest thieves. So like that's what I, I felt really honored about, was like, I got chosen, you know what I mean? Like he could have very well just been like, whoa, I'm outta here.

And you know, my mom's like, we'll say an acquired taste as well. You know, she's a, we'll say a strong woman in with her own opinions, you know what I mean? And he stuck it out with her for, you know what I mean, a long time. So like, yeah, knowing that he chose me and we had that bond together, you know, like father.

You know, not so much against the mom, but like, you know, a bonding that we had. And it was, it was really impressive to me, so. Good. Good. That's great. That's great. Well, it's, I mean, so awesome that you two have been able to connect in this way and then now being physically close, you know, to each other, like, I'm sure that that bond is just gonna get continued to grow.

So then that's just, Well, that's a lot for me too, because we, we, me and my wife tried to have kids and we weren't able to, and then like, we talked about adoption and it was like I don't know, you know, like you hear stories about like parents coming back, you get, and I was like, I can't, you know what I mean?

That wouldn't be good for me. You know what I mean? So like, and then like this coming into my life is like a blessing, you know what I mean? I get to be up Ryan, so like, and Aunt Sarah. So it's like, oh, this is. . So Yeah. Yeah. My, my local brothers kids, we get to see them pretty often and I, I still cry when I talk about it, but I'll never forget when we opened our Christmas gift, like a couple of years ago, and we had fun cold shirts t-shirts, and it was just, it just, you know, I made it to 47 without having nieces and nephews, you know, so it, it just was, it's still, to this day, it still feels sort of surreal.

You know? It's, it's been five years, you know, but I have the same shirt, by the way. Awesome. And cups, and it just, you. Warms my heart. You know, I, I, these kids are great and they're so respectful to us and, you know just really, but that part's been wonderful and to like, kind of go back to like, you know, with the, having both of us being married and everything, like my wife, aunt Sarah has really taken to like her daughter, you know what I mean?

Like, they love going shopping, you know. She's in between like doing the transition and making it down here to work remote. So she should be here around November, hopefully, fingers crossed. But like she's coming down this Wednesday, coming up and they're doing like a river cleanup. We're all doing like a river cleanup with her daughter together.

So like, and they go shopping and, you know what I mean? So like they, they've really bonded well together. So it's, it's really made the experience real, you know, enjoyable. Everybody together. And, and my son. Well, and, and Ryan, uncle Ryan gave him gum for the first time last week. Oh. And we talked fishing too.

So that's next on the list. Oh yeah, you did. That was just Friday fishing and Oh, geez. All the fun. And he just started tee-ball. , all the fun is happening. You know what it's all about. Well, you know, I tell you, and I'm happy to hear that Ryan's wife is so supportive, but I mean, that's what matters a lot. I think in our lives.

sted that we moved, you know,:

totally true. . Well, and I must admit, my brother and I get together and we drink more whiskey than we would ever do if we weren't together. You know? So ours is tequila, but you know, same difference, . Yeah. So this ought pretty pretty fun holiday season, I would imagine coming up. I think so. We, we didn't get to do Thanksgiving or Christmas, I mean, Christmas.

You know, open gifts via like zoom or whatever. So this, yeah, this holiday season will be super special and different in all the good ways. And I like to, I'm, I like to cook, so like, that's kind of like when I, when I was a kid, I still remember I was gonna go into culinary school and I come home and I told my.

Hey, I'm going to culinary school and, and I quote, if you wanna learn how to cook, you can just go ahead and get in the kitchen. I got more enough pots and pans. I'll show you whatever you wanna make. Pick another career. And I went into, now I'm a manufacturing engineer, but I went into like kind of the electronics industry and I, I was doing, I did mri.

Now I'm in kind of the railroad industry now for electronics, so like, but that kind of spun off. I'm glad that happened because now I really enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking. So like holidays are my, my way to go and I don't like to cook, so I'm so excited. , I just like to eat. Yeah. I, and that's what I've told everybody too.

I was like, look, I, you know, I don't mind a white Christmas as much as the next guy, but these holidays, this will be the first basic I've been telling everybody. This will be the first winter I've looked forward to. So like my winners have consisted of, for a good stretch. I worked in the snow. And if you're not familiar with what that is, You'll have six inches in your front yard, you'll have three times that in the snow.

And I had to trudge through that. It just, it wore on me, you know, like the seasonal effective disorder, as they call it, , right. These four years in New England have been, actually, we haven't had a lot of snow, but zero snow is good for me. So, I mean, there's been a couple of yeah, there was one time that it was 24 inches.

I'm out there with the snowblower, like, what are we doing? ? Oh my gosh. And that's why I couldn't believe when I come down for my birthday and that there's a snowstorm here that pretty much shut it down. Like mm-hmm. . Yeah. Like I said, Ryan went back to his, you know, his bag of tricks and was like, well, uncle Ryan's gonna make the hot chocolate while you guys sled ride.

You know what I mean? Like yeah. I don't, I don't need to see any of that. I got morning enough of that at home. , I'm with you. Yeah. I'm imagining it's not gonna snow this year.

Well, we wish nothing but the best for you two as you get to, you know, know each other more. Your families get to know each other. It's just, it's a great story. Thank you for coming on and sharing it with us. Thanks for having us. Yeah, thank you. Thanks for doing the show too. Like just listening to other people's stories was, Like very therapeutic for me.