AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - After 44 years and a lot of searching, one family is brought together in Amarillo.
Thousands of miles, life changes and decades separated one family, but they are crediting social media and persistence for finally being able to meet in person. And their reactions are priceless.
James Brunstetter lived in Amarillo 44 years ago, where he got married and had a son named Charles. Circumstances led James to lose contact with his ex-wife, and he left while Charles was just a few months old, and moved to Pennsylvania.
And today, a long overdue reunion came as a birthday present for a man who was ready to meet his dad.
"I'm excited," says Charles. "I'm thankful to God. I mean, I owe this to God completely. He does everything in his time and it's been 44 years and it's time."
"I'm excited...I haven't seen him," says James. "A picture of when he was 5 years old probably and that was it, so it's just amazing and I thank God that we're here."
But it wasn't just James who was a part of the meeting. Charles' half-sister Melissa met Charles for the first time in her life. In fact, it was Melissa who used Facebook as an outlet to find her long lost brother, to set up this gathering.
"Oh my gosh, I am super excited right now," says Melissa. "For the past 20 years I've been looking for my half-brother and we looked on internet sites and we searched and searched and searched but everything that we searched you had to pay money for, so we couldn't go that route."
James says he was fearful Charles would not accept him, after not being in his life so many years.
But that was clearly not the case.
"I've got to give a lot of credit to my dad who raised me, for making me the man I am," says Charles. "He's always taught me to have the most love and respect for other people, so with those lessons, it made it so much easier to be an open book for this reunion. I've looked forward to it for a long time."
"I'm looking forward to catching up with him...we have long talks, long talks right? We have a lot of talking to do," says James.
"Making new memories now you know starting my life now with him apart of it and just making new memories now so that's what I'm really excited for," says Melissa.
What is Charles is looking forward to?
"Everything. Just getting to know them. I'm so happy to get to know them."
Melissa and James will be here for a week, just in time to celebrate James' birthday with his son.