Sam Landis received one of the most meaningful gifts of all time from his wife on their first wedding anniversary. She gave him a DNA kit to use to find his birth family. Once the test was mailed in, the pair waited anxiously for it to process. When the results came back, he had several cousin matches. He used those to locate his birth father, Greg Baker.

After they connected, Sam and his wife took a plane to the Orlando International Airport to meet Greg, along with his mother and wife. The family felt an immediate connection beyond any they could have imagined. Sam and Greg did what most fathers and sons do together. They went fishing. The men booked a five-hour charter and set out for a good time. As they relaxed on the boat and caught king mackerel the two talked like old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while.

Sam learned that his biological mother had passed away in 1997, and he had a half-sister in Indianapolis. A few days after leaving Florida, he went to meet her. He describes his reunion experience as satisfying and spiritual. He wanted to share his story with others in order to provide hope to families who are searching. He said in the end, “It was God’s timing.”

Forty-three years ago, Sam was placed in a closed adoption in Cincinnati when he was six months old. Baker prayed for his son over the years. He thought about looking for him, but didn’t out of respect for the adoptive parents. He said he feels honored to have his son back in his life.

Adoptees all over the country are having success using DNA kits to find birth family. Every day, new users are submitting tests. It’s only a matter of time for those who are searching.