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Man Set Out To Find Long Lost Brother Only To Discover He Was Closer Than He Ever Thought

In the day and age of social media, people are able to connect more easily than ever. Even with little information, it is getting easier and easier to reconnect with long-lost relatives.

One man only had two pieces of information: a city, and a birth date. Within 48 hours, he made contact.

He was shocked to learn he and his long-lost brother have never really been far apart.

Stewart Oaks knew for decades that he had a younger brother out there somewhere. He never got to meet him, until his family urged the 63-year-old to try social media.

“My daughter came up with this idea, she said let’s make a poster, and just put it out there on Facebook and see what happens,” Oaks said.

Two days had barely passed, and the post had already been shared 6,500 times. One of the people that got wind of it was Mark Payne, who always knew he had a brother out there somewhere.

“When I first saw it, it didn't have his eyes, it just had it from like his mouth down, and I looked at that, and I said, ‘I see that every morning in the mirror when I get ready for work,'” Payne said.

Both brothers always thought of each other as somewhere out there in the world, in different states, or perhaps even different continents. In reality, both had spent their lives growing up in Sioux Falls the whole time.

“Almost our entire lives, we were probably no more than two miles away from each other, the whole time,” Payne said.

The brothers reunited, and the families are delighted. As it turns out, they had a lot in common.

They went to high schools just 15 minutes away from each other. They both settled within a couple of miles to raise their own families.

Their dads both worked at the Sioux Falls VA hospital.

“They had to have known each other, just don't think they ever would have had the discussion or made the connection or anything like that,” said Payne.

“We both ran track, he loves basketball, I played basketball, we both high jumped in high school,” said Oaks.

According to the families, they look alike, have a lot in common and even have similar mannerisms. For example, they both talk with their hands.

"My kids and my wife said if you don't think that's your brother you're crazy because you're doing the same thing,” Payne said.

They also sound alike. “When we talk on the phone I feel like I’m talking to myself,” Payne added.

“Biologically there's somethings you can't change,” Oaks agreed.

They wonder now how many times they have crossed paths in Sioux Falls, or been in close proximity to each other, without even knowing it. Now, the two share a strong connection.

“We’re enjoying our journeying, enjoying getting to know each other and our families together,” Oaks said.

For years, people have been saying that it really is a small world. Now, thanks to social media, it feels even smaller—in a good way.

People can connect more easily than ever, and there’s no reason for estranged loved ones to stay separated. Finding each other may be as easy as a few clicks of a mouse.

Source: Little Things, KSFY
Photo: KSFY

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