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Meeting the Funcles

Updated On: December 26, 2023

This special episode, recorded on Thanksgiving 2023, brings an intimate conversation with my niece Mia, and nephews Shane and Nolen. They are my brother Chris’ children, and the story of how our family found each other six years ago still tugs at my heartstrings. They call Corey and me their “funcles.” Join us as Corey takes the lead in exploring their thoughts and emotions upon discovering they had uncles they never knew about.

Meeting the Funcles

Episode Highlights:

  1. The Moment of Discovery: The kids share their initial reactions to learning about their newfound uncles, expressing surprise and excitement during the first FaceTime introduction.
  2. Expanding the Family Circle: Mia, Shane, and Nolen reflect on how having more family members has made holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas more enjoyable and meaningful.
  3. Uncovering Family Secrets: They delve into their father’s past, uncovering the long-held secret of his half-brothers and the impact of this revelation on their family.
  4. The Role of DNA Testing: The episode discusses how Ancestry DNA testing played a crucial role in this family reunion and the surprising prevalence of misattributed parentage.
  5. First Impressions and Life Changes: The trio recalls their emotions during their first in-person meeting at the airport, describing it as a life-changing moment.
  6. A Cross-Country Move: They discuss the significant decision of their uncles to move across the country for family, underscoring the depth of their newly formed bonds.
  7. Shared Experiences and Growth: The family shares fond memories of attending events together, like horror conventions, and reflects on how much the kids have grown since they first met.


This episode of Family Twist is a narrative of family, discovery and the strength of connections formed over time. It’s a testament to the unexpected and beautiful ways families can grow and come together. If you’re moved by this story of reconnection and love, please rate, follow, and review Family Twist. Your support helps us bring more heartening stories like this to you.


[00:00:00] Welcome back to season four of the family twist podcast. In this episode, we sit down with my niece, Mia, and my nephews, Shane and Nolan. They are my brother, Chris's three kids. And we sat down with them on Thanksgiving and Corey really led the conversation. I was in the room and I got.

teary, because I love hearing the story and, this is six years old now when we met them all and Corey really talks to them about what it was like to find out that they had an uncle. Or two that they didn't know about and what it was like to meet us and that sort of thing. we think it's a fun episode and you're hearing from Mia, who is a freshman in college and Shane, who is a senior in high school and Nolan, who is a sophomore in high school.

We just wanted to ask you guys what it was like, um, when your parents first told you about finding [00:01:00] Kendall . Yeah. I actually remember it. I remember it too. I remember like the first facetime . My dad's sitting on the couch and we're standing behind him and my dad's like, oh, I never told you this before, but I have a half brother from my dad, like, well, I found him.

Like, this is actually really crazy. This is like. Actually, like, really cool. And, and so, when we first Facetimed you, I remember you had, like, a dog and, like, in your hand, like, swallowed, like, a baby. Yeah. Like, to us. I remember, like, just thinking it was, like, so crazy you were in California. Yeah. Like, all, like, literally the exact opposite side of the country.

And the fact you live on an island and all that. I remember that's, like, one of the first things we learned. But then, I just, like, I thought it was really cool, cause... we only have, one uncle and two aunts, like, total, before you guys. we have only four cousins, so to find that you have more family is always a cool thing to me.

Yeah, it makes, like, Thanksgiving a little more fun. It makes Christmas more fun. Like, just being able to have more family, we don't have. A lot of family, you know what I mean? Right, right. Except for [00:02:00] like, our Christmas parties that you guys go to, like the Doodash one. Yeah. Yeah, those ones.

Yeah, that was a big. Those ones, that's a big party. That's like everyone, the extended family. Yeah. Most of the stuff we have would be like, just us and our grandmother. It's fun, it's cool having more people here we can talk to and connect to. Yeah. Mm hmm. I didn't know that you guys didn't know about that your dad had half brothers before.

He found Kendall. It's a secret. Yeah, I guess he probably expected that he would just never find out. So, yeah, because I know he, he was told by his dad that he had two half brothers, but it was kind of always just pushed off and be like, oh yeah, you got them, they're out there, but like you never gonna find 'em.

Type thing. Like Right. Like not a big deal. They're just out there like, so I don't think he planned on telling us 'cause. He probably didn't think we were ever going to know you guys or anything. When they brought it up, I was like, yo, what? I didn't realize. I also didn't realize he had known that he had half brothers.

He just, like, didn't find them. I thought he just randomly discovered that he had them, like, at the point he found you. Right. [00:03:00] But, like, to know that, like, it was existing for a while, it's crazy. Kind of like a relief for my dad. And especially for you, but It's kind of like, it's kind of like a little bit like closure almost, like, for what, I think it was like 35 years that you would have multiple siblings that you just don't know.

But like now you finally get to find them. We, Kendall had no idea that I, I just always assumed that he had to have siblings because I just assumed that his parents were super young when they, but we didn't know. And I just kept saying, you know, who knows? Your parents might be alive. They might be dead.

Who knows? But there's gotta be a sibling out there somewhere. Yeah. And that's why I just, I kept pushing and pushing and pushing. We gotta figure out how to find them because. Kendall was an only child and he's got two stepsisters, but you know, he grew up as an only child. You got it. There's, there's something special as you guys know about having siblings and, and getting to experience that, that I thought was missing from his life.

Yeah, for sure. Definitely. Did you guys do Ancestry? Yes, that's why we did it. Your dad [00:04:00] and Kendall did it the same year. Yeah, I don't even know if my dad did it. I don't even know if my dad did it. No, he didn't. I thought he just did it to find out how British he was. Right, yeah. I thought he was trying to find out what his ethnicity was.

And then he just stumbled upon it. Cross the fact that he has 2 brothers out there. I mean, he knew I think he like, Loki just kind of pushed it out of his head. Like, he didn't even like, harp on it until the discovery was made. And then he got the closure. I think most people do those tests because they want to find out about their, you know, where they came from and everything.

And I don't know if you guys know this, but 1 in 20 people. Have a misattributed parentage. Mm-Hmm. One in 20 people. . That's full high. Yeah. Mm-Hmm. it, it does, doesn't it? But it's like crazy. You know? It's like a person in my math class.

And it's becoming harder and harder to keep the secret out because, you know, the holidays are approaching, the ancestry will be on sale and people will be, do it for fun, you know? And, and then they get on, they're like. I don't, [00:05:00] I don't know any of these people that I'm matching with, you know? And yeah, it's wild.

I know. It's a, it's another great usage for ancestry and 23andme and all those other DNA websites is that you can hopefully find these people and you're, we're missing them for your whole life. Right. Well, I don't even know there's people missing in their life too. I know. Yeah. What'd you guys think when we, when you found out we were coming to see you like a month later?

I don't respond. It's all exciting. Yeah, like not as exciting. I remember picking you guys up in the airport. Because I don't have suitcases too. Oh yeah. We still have them. They're falling apart now. Hey, at least you'll, never mix them up. That's right. Exactly. Yes. Yes. Smart. You know what I mean? Yeah.

Most people have like little strings or like. Yeah. Yep. We didn't need all that. No. Not when you got rainbow colored suitcases. Exactly. What do you remember about the airport vigil? It was my first time in Logan, and I remember like, seeing you guys and being like, no way. Because I could see you guys on FaceTime, but it wasn't the same as like, [00:06:00] putting it together in person.

Absolutely. You know what I mean? So, I thought it was really exciting, and like, I knew it was gonna be like, it like, changes your life. Like having family that like, you meet, that like, they always existed, but they just were never in your life. So definitely like, life changing. Well, I know your dad was like a little bit nervous when we told him that we were moving here almost immediately.

Did he, did he share that with you guys or what did you, what was the conversation like when he said? I remember my dad telling me like, your uncles are moving here. And we thought that was like, kind of like a crazy, like move, like just to pack your things up and move. I'll say 2900. Yeah, exactly. Maybe it was something like Connecticut to Massachusetts.

Yeah, exactly. I'd be like, Oh yeah, that I understand. But I completely understand why you guys like came here. Cause. I mean, you guys have so much family around here. And I understand that you want to be closer. I think his main worry was honestly looking at like the weather and like, like just like the environment here is like so different.

Yeah, no, sure. Like, I like thought he, he was like worried that you guys were like never be able to adjust to like the cold and like. [00:07:00] Just like New England. It's like a whole different. It's a whole different life. Can I curse on our podcast? Cause I, you can do whatever you want the weather here. It's like the extreme.

Cause I grew up in the Midwest and kind of grew up in the South, but it's like the extreme version that it's like colder than cold. And I remember more snow and ice than I remember. And then sometimes the summer is like ridiculously hot and humid. Why is it so hot? It's just, it's nuts. But I thought you were going to freeze.

Well, we did. We did. I mean, we did. We both at least grew up with or I grew up with with snow and shoveling snow and all that. But yeah, I heard about, but it had been almost a decade since I'd seen snow. Yeah, the weather is crazy . It'll be, yeah, it'll be caught for like 3 days is like 60 a day. And yesterday was like, 20, right?

Tomorrow will be 20. Yeah. And then the next day will be 60. Yeah. Well, I'll let Kendall speak on this, but we literally. Talked about moving here on the plane ride back to San Francisco. [00:08:00] And I don't think that would have happened if we didn't have a, just an amazing first impression and great experience.

Right? For sure. I mean, meeting you all was wonderful for me and like you all just said, you know, I, I hoped I had family, but I didn't know I did right. And when I found you guys, I was like, Oh my gosh. How am I going to miss 1 more minute, you know, not getting to know you guys. Yeah, and it's just wild. Like, we look at the picture of the airport.

It's like. Those are kids. Yeah, they're adults now It feels like you guys have like like guys just moved here very shortly time ago But you guys have really honestly been here like my whole time going on like yeah. Yeah Yeah, you guys came when I was like 10. I'm 17 now and so much as I guess change and you guys have been part of that and it's pretty cool.

Yeah, it's been amazing for us. Absolutely. Yeah.[00:09:00] and of course, one of my favorite things was taking you all to a horror convention. That's what do you remember about that? I remember, I remember it was me. me and my dad. Monica, our cousin Gage, and I'm like, okay, this is fun. I like horror movies. Like, it seems like fun.

And then you're walking up like some person I've never seen before ever in a movie. And you're like, oh my God, can I please have your autograph ? You were this guy in this movie. Yeah. And I'm like, I just, you know. Yeah. I'm sure that's weird, right? Yeah. You're like, oh my God. You were, you were,Jason Voorhees and Jason nine and 10, right?

Yes. Four of 'em. Yes. I know. I'm a horror fanatic. Yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. It's, it's insane. It's fun. But yeah, been so rewarding for us just to be able to like. See your different accomplishments and see you guys, you know, perform on the field and, you know, graduate from high school and start college.

And it's just, you know, [00:10:00] it's wild. I, that part seems like it's gone by really fast yeah, for sure. Yeah. Because I mean, I was excited that we met you when we did, but I was like, wouldn't be cool. They've been like, even smaller. Yeah, you know, yeah, but, you know, that's just the way it is. Right.

I think one really big benefit for me has been like, so, you know, we decided to move out of the Midwest, right before my niece was being born. And I wanted to make sure I didn't leave until that happened. And that was like the hardest thing I think I've ever done is like this, this little girl's not going to know me.

She's not going to know who I am, you know, and she does. And, you know, she's fantastic. But I think being here. And being part of you guys growing up has like helped replace some of that not like being with her through every like only seeing her a couple few times a year. So, yeah, that's been really great.

Cool. Thank you. We love you guys.

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