A Friend Request From Your Long-Lost Sister

Facebook helps a brother meet his sisters for the first time

By Andy Salsman and Derrick Ward
|  Monday, Oct 5, 2009  |  Updated 10:36 AM EDT
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Facebook Helps Siblings Reunite

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"I'm looking for my brother." That's the message Michelle Vazquetell sent out to friends and family in hopes of finding her long-lost sibling.  Much to her delight, it worked.

The ensuing e-mails, phone calls and Facebook messages finally led to their hug-filled meeting at Dulles Airport on Friday.

Vazquetell's brother, Danny Ten Brink had been adopted 36 years ago and raised in Texas. He had a good childhood, but always felt like something was missing.

"I'm all about the family, so the more family, the better it is," he said.

Several years ago he tracked down his biological mother, who told him that his biological father had three other daughters. Ten Brink called one of his newly discovered sisters, Michelle, but nothing came from the conversation.

"I don't know what happened, but we never ended up talking, or meeting, or anything like that," recalled Vazqueztell, who confirmed Ten Brink's story with her mother.

Last December, the Spotsylvania County woman logged onto Facebook, did a search for her maiden name and what her brother's information, then sent out a message, asking if anyone knew how she could get in touch with him. The odds were long: Ten Brink's was a closed adoption, years had elapsed and her brother had even changed his name.

Then she got an e-mail from a cousin – one whom she hadn’t heard from in 20 years – giving her Ten Brink’s information.

Ten Brink's wife, meanwhile, had also discovered Vazqueztell on Facebook, and that got Ten Brink online.

The siblings soon started talking via e-mail and chats, finally deciding to put down their keyboards and meet face-to-face in Virginia.

Ten Brink is now reunited with all three of his sisters, ready to catch up after all these years. 

"We've had a great relationship on Facebook so far, and I'm hoping it turns out to be even better," Ten Brink said.   

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