In this Kendall-centric episode, we’re joined by Chris Clark, Kendall’s half-brother, who shares an incredible story of family, discovery and connection. If you’re intrigued by tales of long-lost siblings and unexpected family ties, this episode is a must-listen. Kendall’s and Chris’ journey of uncovering family secrets and forming new bonds is both touching and inspiring.
A Twist-Filled Tale of Three Brothers
- A Serendipitous Discovery: Kendall recounts an overwhelming experience of learning he had a brother, leading to an emotional revelation on a rooftop deck.
- The Power of Search: Chris’ relentless search using the power of the Internet to piece together their family history, leading to astonishing discoveries.
- Childhood Revelations: Chris shares poignant memories of their father hinting at the existence of another son, sparking curiosity and confusion in his childhood.
- Reconnecting with Lost Siblings: The episode delves into the emotional process of Chris and Kendall reconnecting with their other brother, Todd, and the complex emotions that accompanied these reunions.
- The Impact of Adoption: The discussion highlights the challenges and implications of closed adoptions, emphasizing the importance of access to personal history for adoptees.
- Family Resemblance and Traits: The brothers reflect on the physical and personality traits they share with their father and each other, underlining the strong genetic ties.
- Future Plans and Hopes: The conversation touches on the brothers’ aspirations for future reunions and deeper connections, demonstrating the ongoing journey of their relationship.
Chris’ and Kendall’s story reminds us of the unbreakable bonds of family, regardless of distance or time. If you’ve been moved by their story, remember to rate, follow, and review Family Twist. Your support helps us bring more incredible stories like this to you.
[00:00:00] The office where I worked had six desks and often four people were sitting in there with me at the same moment. But it was just like the perfect time. There was nobody there. I feel like I, I, you and I had a chance to talk without feeling like other people are listening. And it was just, it was of course amazing.
And you told me so much in the first minute of that call that I didn't know. Yeah. Yeah. It must have been amazing. weight coming off your shoulders with every word I was giving you. It had to have been like, in your mind, you must've had a million questions and, and I'm giving you bits and pieces that are just checking boxes for you.
It's like I said, it's such a different, I'm on the opposite end of it and I'm not, none of that. My questions are, wow, does he look like dad? Does he sound like dad? Does he look, is he as tall as dad? Is, does he look like me? Like there, my, my questions were more [00:01:00] simple. What was his life like? But I didn't, it, I wasn't in the dark.
I was raised by him. I had all of those things already answered. Well, when you and I got off the phone, still, nobody had come up into the office where I was. And so nobody disturbed me, but that office had a rooftop. We had a access to a rooftop deck and nobody was out there. And I remember opening the door right by my desk, going out onto the rooftop deck and sobbed for just.
I just, I was overwhelmed, just overwhelmed. And I remember going downstairs in the office saying, and people looked at me like I had just seen a ghost or something like that, like I, I looked physically affected and I remember Jamie, one of my colleagues who was just fantastic. She's like, what's wrong, Kendall.
And I was like. Nothing, actually nothing's wrong. This is like the most wonderful moment. And I just started [00:02:00] spewing verbally spewing, telling everybody who was in there all staring at me, like in disbelief and they all start crying.
To hear somebody say that you're my brother and you're telling me the name of my mother. It felt very surreal. Right. I actually thought I was having an out of body experience. I would think you must have been like, almost ready to pass out. I would have a hard time breathing normally. I would, I would be probably in a position where I need to like, literally focus on my breathing or I'm going to lose it.
You know, that, that is, that is amazing. Yeah. I remember you being really polite about it. I know they're not, you're not related to them, but do you think there's any way that You could help me find who they were. I think I can. So I called dad right away and said, I want more details. What do you mean?
He was probably half drunk. I said, does she have siblings? do you know anything about her parents names? Tell me what you know about her father, that type of stuff. And he'd say, oh, she [00:03:00] had a sister. What's her real name, dad? Come on. He struggled for a little while and he came up with it. He goes, dad was not an Air Force guy.
He was a Navy guy. Like, I was like, I didn't realize any other branch was on or what it's there for. I'm just dumb to that. I didn't know. So I said, Oh, I said, that's interesting. So typed in her name, your mom's name, her sister's name, Navy, obituary, Arkansas. I think that's what I put in is all my, and first hit you knew it was, it was a, it was a perfect hit when you read the obituary.
And it referenced her name being exactly. So I was like, Oh my God, I just found out who they are, where they are. So he has, he has more siblings.
We're going to talk about how you found out that you had brothers. I've referenced before on the podcast about, there were bad moments in my [00:04:00] life where I,got myself into some trouble with dad, dad would hit me or whatever, I'd get upset and whimper upstairs and he'd always have some sort of, sorrow or will to apologize and would come up and then...
lay down and say, I'm sorry, and I shouldn't have done that and all that type of stuff. And there were at least two moments where he said, um, don't ever forget you're my number one son. Well, it's just me and Monica. that makes no sense. so the second time he said it, and I would say I was probably 11 or 12 is my guess.
Well, you do have another brother. And that just changed everything in my head. I'm like, Oh my God, I have an older brother, he told me the whole story about his girlfriend and, how young he was and that they had a son. And the only thing that he knew was that he was named after him.
That's why that wasn't my first name. Although my middle name was Scott. Oh, I didn't know that. That's that's the reason why he didn't name you Scott. [00:05:00] Yeah, It's just this thing in the back of your mind after that, you don't really put a lot of thought into it as a kid. Every once in a while, if something would ever come up about adoption, you'd think about it or, but the way he described it, it was in Arkansas.
There's no way back then, there was no World Wide Web, there was no way to find anything. So I just gave up pretty early on in my life that I would never find to have a brother. Yeah, what could you do? Right, so I really didn't put a ton of Thought into it for my early years and then as you get older and then the internet became a thing, you start looking into it and getting more deeply involved and trying to figure stuff out about, you know, quote unquote Scott, which is Kendall.
But before that happened, I learned that I had a second brother. How'd that come out? It happened after college because my girlfriend and I had broken up. And I needed a place to live, so I moved back in with my parents for about two [00:06:00] months. And during that two month stint,there was a phone call, and as always, my dad never touched the phone, the phone was never for him, it was always for my mother.
And my mother picks up the phone and she's like, Scott, the phone's for you. He goes, what? Like that was never a thing. Who's calling me? Why would someone call me? You know? She's like, no, it's, it's Kathy from high school. He's like, what she wants to talk to you.he was on the phone with her probably 20 minutes, 25 minutes, which was a longer conversation she's not on the phone with anybody ever.
I'd never heard him on the phone ever. And he gets off the phone, and he's white as a ghost, and he says, Well, apparently I have another son. It's like this really pathetic, Admittance that Guess what I did? Had you ever heard of her before? No, never heard of her because you and your mom and they knew each other.
Oh, yeah, they were friends. They were friends My mom was friends with her and they were pregnant at the same time.[00:07:00] Yeah, I was they went to Unwed mothers Whatever it was called, Unwed Mother's Program, in the town that they were in. They were both in there. There was some sort of support thing that both of them were in.
At the same time. Because they were six months apart. They were probably only simultaneously pregnant for about five or six weeks. Mm hmm. Because I was premature. So was Kendall. The one thing that after it all came out is my mother would say, your dad always denied, denied, denied, said, there's no way, because from my understanding is that they all went together once at least to that point where there was risk.
That's all it takes, Chris. Whatever the truth is he, he wholeheartedly never believed that that was his, his gift. And, according to her, there, there was nobody else that equipped them. She, she was very confident. Did she say to Scott why she waited so long to bring this up? [00:08:00] This is my understanding of it.
I think she had a long held grudge. His stance at that age back then too was that this is not my cut my kid So she might have confronted him before and then he said no way not mine, right disagreed fought it whatever He was probably already in love with my mother probably already pregnant with me Mm hmm, and definitely did not want anything else Get in the way is my guess dad loved loved to brag about his his time You know, as a teenager and how many girls he had, he was living in the woods and it was basically a party every weekend.
He would brag about that stuff. Even when I was 13, 14, 15, you know, made me think that that was a normal way to try to be. He was clearly put into a position where he could not fight that anymore. But even though that was the case, he still had a doubt because the conversation was she said your son is coming up from where [00:09:00] he was, where he's been living his entire life, where his adoptive parents live and he's coming up to meet me.
And I think he had, oddly enough, had come to Massachusetts his entire life. Every summer, I think he spent time up here. Wow. So, all along, he was always within probably a hundred miles. I never knew it. I think he was combining his trip to see some family, some of his adopted family up here, and agreed to meet his, his birth mother for the very first time.
Now, how did she connect with him? Well, I don't know anything for certain, but I know that Supposedly it was a sealed adoption and she was not supposed to have any, any knowledge of where he ended up going or any of that stuff. My understanding is probably, I don't know if I should say this or not, like that she, she made some claims about her health and that she really needed to pass on the potential hereditary connection between her health and what might to be continued.
Her offspring might experience. [00:10:00] So they agreed to unseal it for that purpose. really interesting because that is like one of the main things that. We're fighting for right now with close adoptions. Is that these kids need to know? Right. They need to know if there's health risks, right? I don't like that she was lying about that to use this situation to find him though, right?
Not cool. you give you give up a child and you sign away your rights Yeah, and deep down when you're a teenager, you're probably not really prepared to Live with that at that time. You don't realize what you're preparing to live with. Right? Yeah. So I think she had serious regrets Yeah, and desperate that really wanted to meet to see this time I look I have to admit I would have done that or more.
Yeah, I would want right now my child. Yeah Right. You do whatever you have to do to find them. Yeah. Yeah. That's who I am. But. Oh, completely. Yeah. Yeah. Well, the info we received [00:11:00] was that he was going to be coming up from North Carolina to Massachusetts to the Cape, where, you know, where he was conceived.
to visit family and to meet his birth mother on the Cape. Our uncle, Sean, still lived on the Cape. And it was about 115 miles away from where we lived in New Hampshire. So, dad being, A, not much for any sort of confrontation with something he might find uncomfortable like that, and B, he hates traveling.
He doesn't like driving. Long distances, he gets high anxiety. I knew that his response was, I don't want to go. He was kind of trying to find a way out of it. So what he did was he asked Sean if he could meet this kid and determine if he quite possibly could looks like him, where he could possibly be his kid.
If he looked like me, he would say. He's not your kid. He doesn't look like you, Scott. I think he was literally painting a house [00:12:00] and Kathy and Todd our brother Pulled up to his job site to meet Sean and Sean had not necessarily kept in touch with Kathy But had seen her around town and knew knew her that always had been they knew each other in high school and all that stuff
Later on called and said, Scott, he's yours. 100%. He looks like you, blonde hair, blue eyes, walks like you, even almost talks like you, has no ass like you. That's your boy. Immediately, he's just you, but bigger. What was Scott's reaction? I think he felt even, more worried. I think he was like, oh god, this whole time, I never thought it.
I just never believed it. I think deep down he really didn't. I think he thought that Kathy was just not telling the truth. It was really a big surprise for him, and I think he had to come to grips with it, and he did. I think by the evening. He agreed that we needed to go down to the Cape that next morning.
So that was the plan. We were going to go down and I think all 4 of us were going, [00:13:00] Monica, me, mom, dad. I believe we even packed some stuff into the car. We were getting ready to go and the phone rang and it was Kathy and she said, Todd does not want to meet you. She was speaking on his behalf and I think my father was relieved.
I was bummed. I wanted to meet a brother. Here I am. I never thought I'd ever meet you. I just found out I have another brother. I got to meet this guy, you know? ? So that got shot down and then that was it. iF he doesn't want to meet us, then that's totally, I'm going to respect that or I'll never push That was my belief from that point was I'll just never push. And, that was it. I gave up on that altogether you know, thought about him. Wondered how your lives were, what, you know, what you guys had for similarities. All that stuff and always have you, you guys both in the back of my mind.
Occasionally we'd do internet searches, trying to find adoption databases and, see if I could find any information about either of you. Really not knowing much, like other than your name given. And [00:14:00] I now knew Todd's name, but still really didn't know what to look up. But I, I never really looked for Todd because I thought his wish was to not be found.
In 2015, fast forward, what's that, 20 years, almost 19 years later, I got invited by friends and dad got invited to go to Loudon, New Hampshire for NASCAR, which, you know, for me was just about the tailgating. I had zero interest in the race car part of it. All right. I'm going to be with friends and family.
This sounds like a plan. Let's do it. And I wanted the experience. Let's see what it was like. Yeah. And we had a great, a great day. It was just a hot, fun drink. And there are a few beers, a few beers, just a few, every, every couple of minutes. we had the ride home from Loudon.
I dropped him off. Back at his place and on route we're having some good heart to hearts and stuff. And I was talking about his life and [00:15:00] talking about how I wish he would slow down his drinking and you know, what were his, his regrets in life. And I said, do you ever think about your sons, your other 2 sons?
And he says, I do. I think about them from time to time. Of course, I do just wonder how they're doing and wonder if they hate me. And he was always worried about that. He was always scared that the 2 of you would come back and just bludgeon him. Like he just had that deep rooted fear you guys wanted to just kill him
So I said, the first one's name is Scott, and we talked about you for a while. And I said, the second one is, , is Todd right? And he goes, I think that's what it was, right? I go, yeah. And I got home at like midnight. And after dropping him off, And I got into Facebook and started searching that name and typing in North Carolina with the name and it came up with like 20 hits.
I clicked on the 1st 1 and his photos were not protected and I [00:16:00] started skipping through his photos and I go, oh, my God. He's a Clark. I mean, there's a couple pictures that he looks just like dad when dad was younger. There's pictures of Todd when he, when he's like, in his 30s and he looks like dad in his 30.
Oh, he's my, this guy right here. I'm looking at my brother right now. This is, this is surreal. Literally, I, I had no doubts. What were you feeling? Like, I mean, what, what were your emotions? I think Karen was asleep. So there was nobody to talk to about it at that exact moment. I'm like, holy crap, holy crap.
This is my brother for sure. You know? And I sent him a message on messenger and I said, my name is Chris Clark. My dad. Is Scott Clark. Does that mean anything to you? I thought maybe I'll get a note back in the next week or two. I think it was like less than 15 minutes later. You said that would make you my brother.
This was after midnight. This was after midnight. I was right. And we connected and we, I think we, I think we [00:17:00] talked that night. If I remember correctly, we talked that night. Wow. Wow. Yeah. For quite a while, I think, you know, him learning that and you know, I think obviously that must have been pretty exciting for him.
What was immediately relieving to me was that it wasn't true, that he did not want to know us. He did and... Kathy had made the whole thing up. Mm hmm. What did she tell him? I think she must have told him. They didn't want to come down and talk. Was he like, torn about this? Or was he just like, feeling weird about it?
Or... About me reaching out? Just in general, because after this whole weird thing. She obviously told him you guys were gonna meet and at the last minute she called it off Yeah, which I'm sure she could not have admitted to him There's no way because here she is trying to create a relationship with him and then if he was okay with meeting us Yeah, then There's no way he could have been okay with her saying, No, I [00:18:00] called this off.
Why would he, why would he be okay with that, right? I would not have been. She's the villain in this story for sure. She's the twisted of the twist. . I don't want to say anything bad. But no, but we're not going to invite her on. So we talked and boy. He gave me a full rundown of his, of his life and the thing I, you know, hopefully someday he'll come on and tell you about it.
I don't think it's my place to say his story, but there were some things that, you know, growing up that he was yearning for knowing who his real parents were. Yeah. And when I told him what it was really like to be raised by his father. I don't think he felt so bad about his upbringing. We ended up meeting within maybe six or eight months after that.
He had come up for a wedding for his extended family. So they're all in Massachusetts or in New England. In the middle of the reception, he skipped out to hang out with us for about two hours. We went to a restaurant, maybe an [00:19:00] eighth of a mile from the And that was you, Scott, and Monica. Was Scott asking him questions?
Not much. I think he was just in awe of all of it. And, you know, he'd say stuff like, Wow, you know, dead simple. I'm just really kind of happy you don't want to kill me. What was the look on his face when he saw his son that he'd never met before? He said, well, you're definitely a Clark. And I said more than me.
He goes, yeah, he is more than me. That's amazing. How much Todd looks like. What was it like for you laying your eyes on Todd for the first time? Having Facebook gives you a really good understanding who you're going to meet. So nothing was a major surprise other than like. Just the, the, how big he is, he's, I mean, he's every bit of six line back three.
Yeah. He is the size I had hoped to be. We had a great two hours with him. He and I probably have one really good conversation a [00:20:00] year, you know, and probably connect another one to two times a year. Other than that, we don't talk a ton. But it's not because we don't like each other. It's just cause he's a pretty to himself type of guy.
Kind of like Scott. Yep. I give him a heads up on dads. Let's call him his traits and he's like, oh, well, that's good to know. Like he's, he's appreciative to know that there's probably a reason behind some of the things he's experiencing. I hope we can get together again. I know at some point, when we're empty nesters, we'll be.
Making a trek down to the Carolinas. I think the three brothers need to get together. Absolutely. Yeah. I would love that. That would be great. Now, Kendall, Kendall's met Todd. I have. What was your gut reaction when you laid eyes on him for the first time? Well, I mean, I already felt, felt like a, a Clark, but Todd made me feel that.
Much more. Did you see a lot of your dad in him? Absolutely. Absolutely. Stature. [00:21:00] And just, like, Todd was very jovial. I found that about our dad as well. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was wonderful. Big booming voice. Oh my gosh. You know the room like whether he's trying to or not. It's just a different type of depth and volume to it, right?
Right, both of them have that and I'm not that person. Well, you know what your voice it you have a deeper voice It's prominent, right? Yeah, I think your vocal cords are coming Everybody loves your voice on the podcast. They said you have a voice for radio. That's where I started out.