July 23, 2009

Brothers reunite after seven decades

A 70-year-old man in Spokane, Wash., says he was thrilled to see his brother for the first time since they were separated at an Idaho orphanage 70 years ago.

Spokane resident John Mellinger Jr. said while he knew he had a brother somewhere in the world for nearly 30 years, finally seeing 71-year-old Dan Newburn in person on Wednesday was a unique thrill, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., reported Thursday.

I'm excited, but I don't think it's really sunk in yet, Mellinger said.

Newburn, who lives in Nevada, said meeting his long-lost brother has brought a new welcome feeling to his life.

All of a sudden, I had a sense of being connected like I never had before, Newburn told the Spokesman-Review. I found a kinship.

The brothers, whose teenage mother had placed them in the Children's Home Society in Idaho, were separated in 1939 when they were adopted by different families.

Newburn began looking for his brother two weeks ago amid curiosity of his medical history and after learning Mellinger's identity, he found his brother on the social networking site Facebook and contacted him.