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'One of the greatest experiences of my life' | Siblings reunite after being separated for decades

Dennis Smith's journey began through an application for dual citizenship with Ireland, tracing family roots to the old country.
Credit: Dennis Smith

SAN ANTONIO — Emotional, scared, incredible, unbelievable and life changing is how I would describe my adoption union with my siblings a little more than ten yeas ago. That's also how Dennis Smith would describe his. 

Smith's journey began through an application for dual citizenship with Ireland, tracing family roots to the old country.  Then chance helped him take the next step. 

Still gathering information for that process utilizing Ancestry.com, he received a message from another member who was helping her father search for a missing sibling. And almost unbelievably it turned out that person was Smith. 

In a positive life-changing moment the beginning of 2018, Smith and his wife Chris traveled to Florida to meet his older half brother, two older half sisters and other extended family.

"We arrived late and went immediately to the bar," said Dennis, laughing. "Just to be real honest we went immediately to the bar."

Credit: Dennis Smith

There was a lot going on I quickly interjected. "There was a lot going on. That is exactly right. Well said," he added. "We just sat there and talked about it, and the next morning it was like grit your teeth and go. We got in the car and drove out there. I'll never forget it. We walked up to the front door of their house, rang the doorbell, and it was like old home week like we had know each other our whole lives. To be welcomed and embraced the way we were, one of the greatest experiences of my life, honestly."

Chris offered her thoughts on the new experience, too. 

"It was like we had known each for generations," she said. "There was no separation. They just melded immediately. It was amazing."

Credit: Dennis Smith

It was amazing to hear Dennis recount that day. He felt as part of the family from the very beginning. 

"I never felt like I was on the outside," he said. "It was just overwhelming, but incredibly emotional, and warm feeling." 

Chris added more thoughts, "they were just so happy to know that he was healthy, and in a good situation, and taking care of himself, and had done well."

You can imagine, not unlike my first birth union as the youngest of six and the only child placed for adoption, Smith is still somewhat overwhelmed by everything that has happened. 

"To come from a family that small and then suddenly have this cast of thousands it seems like at times, there are times that we just sit back and say oh my gosh," Smith said.

Dennis and Chris constantly spend time communicating with their new family, and traveling, too. They joked that they no longer have any time to themselves, but in this case, that's a very good thing. 

For the full story: See video below.

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