Five biological brothers and sisters were reunited after over 50 years apart when they discovered that their mother had passed away. When the siblings finally reconnected, two of them realized that they already seen each other several times at the local Wal-Mart store.
Dickinson, North Dakota resident Buddine Bullinger had worked as an employee at the Wal-Mart for over 25 years. When a friend informed her that her biological mother, from whom she had long been estranged, had died, she decided to reach out to her family.
Bullinger received contact information for her sister, Deidre Handtmann, from the funeral home. After Bullinger and Handtmann had reunited, they decided to investigate whether or not they had other siblings.
An adoption agency confirmed that the two were indeed biologically related to three other individuals. All five of the siblings decided to meet each other, but one of the brothers was shocked when he discovered he was related to Bullinger.
“I couldn’t believe it. All I could say was, ‘I know this lady. I’ve seen her for years at the Wal-Mart,’” said sibling John Maixner, according to CNN.
Bullinger confirmed that she had also seen Maixner at her local store.
“He looked familiar to me, because he was there quite often. But I didn’t know it was him. None of us were looking for anybody,” Bullinger said.
Social media and other forms of communication have increased the ability for estranged individuals to reconnect online. Time Magazine recently reported a story about two women that found each other in YouTube videos online and contacted each other because they looked so similar. It turned out that the women, Samantha Futerman and Anais Bordier, were twins that were separated at birth.