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Ramirez and her brother, Ricky Bodinus, felt differently. They are Drake’s full biological siblings: Bodinus and her boyfriend had married after high school. The two siblings wanted to know about their brother. Did he share Ramirez’s aversion to egg whites? (He does.) Was he musical like Ricky? (He plays piano and organ.)
When Ramirez saw Drake’s message on Ancestry.com, she frantically searched for him online. There were multiple people named Ken Drake, but it only took one LinkedIn photo to nail down the right one. He was a dead ringer for a Bodinus.
"Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. It’s my brother!" Ramirez recalled saying as she teared up.
The Bodinuses and Drakes immediately shuttled into each other’s lives, after decades spent accepting the distant mystery of their closest biological connections. A flurry of friendships, messages and photos were exchanged on Facebook between Drake’s family and Bodinus’ family. Scrapbooks were gathered. Flights were scheduled. Gifts were bought. Inside her purse, Bodinus packed cufflinks for Drake’s 14-year-old son, Jared, even without knowing that her grandson has made a habit of stealing his father’s. Drake, recognizing Ramirez’s long reign as eldest child, affixed a note to her present apologizing for the many missed years of big-brotherly torment. With pink paper he wrapped up a brand-new Barbie doll — with the head popped off.
For Bodinus, he wrapped a necklace with his birthstone and a copy of the children’s book "Are You My Mother?"
Drake paced around his sitting room Friday and peered out the window until a car pulled up to his curb.
"That’s them," he said. "I just know."
He strode outside and down the front walk as Bodinus stepped out of the car and ran to her son.
For the first time in five decades, she held him in her arms.
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