Whitwell family met for the first time after a DNA test
Some families have a reunion every year, but for one Whitwell family, this one is extra special.
It was a DNA test and social media that brought the Sims-Terry family together.
When Renee Hill of Whitwell started this journey, she had no idea it would turn out like this.
She was desperate to find other members of her family who were adopted.
“During the advent of the Internet I tried to find him, but I had no name or place to search with,” said Renee’ Hill.
Hill and two other family members got their DNA tested. Then entered the information into ancestry dot com.
The family tree started sprouting new branches as more matches were made.
Three family members looked each other up on Facebook and began messaging.
“If it weren't for Facebook I don't know that we would all feel comfortable coming together because it was a lot,” said Erika Atkins. “It was really overwhelming at first.”
Each person was shocked at how much information they were able to learn.
Family members now live in Oregon, Orlando, and Nashville.
They decided to meet for the first time in the family's birthplace, Whitwell.
“I almost fell out of my chair, and if I had false teeth they would've fallen out of my mouth,” said Hill.
“She responded and was able to fill in so much history. It really helped,” said Atkins.
Kenneth Kennington and Richard Hanchett were adopted by different families.
They say they waited their whole lives to be reunited with their biological family.
“To look around and see people that look a lot like you and understand who your mom is that is priceless,” said Richard Hanchett.