Four seconds flashed across a TV screen changed Randy Waites’ life forever.He flipped on the local Sacramento TV to find a tourist being interviewed who had the same last name.Edward Waites was discussing a local snowstorm about to hit the Lake Tahoe area where he and his family was vacationing.
“We usually go to Europe,” Edward said in the clip by KCRA News. “And we said, ‘You know what? Instead of the 14-hour flight, we’ll do the one-hour flight.’”Something struck Randy in those four seconds causing him to pause the TV. Edward’s last name wasn’t the only thing familiar to Randy.
Randy called his children into the room to show his children that the man shared the same last name as them.
He said it was a coincidence but wondered if there were any familial relations.
That’s when Randy’s daughter commented how the man on the TV screen looked like her father and had similar eyes.
“I said, ‘He has the same squint as you — I’ll bet you’re related,’ ” daughter Cambria told Washington Post. “I told him I was going to go look online and see what I could find out about Edward Waites.”
She returned 15 minutes later with shocking news that Edward just might be her uncle and Randy’s brother.
“I had to pick my jaw up off the floor,” Randy said.
Cambria’s internet search showed that the two men shared the same father. A father Randy never knew and had only seen a photo of.
“My dad left my mom when I was a few months old to marry someone else and start a new life,” Randy said. “When I was growing up, I always wondered, ‘Where is my father and what is he like?’ I’d look in the mirror and say, ‘Who am I?’ ”
Randy’s younger half-sister decided to do a little more digging so that Randy could reconnect with this lost part of his past and find some answers to these longstanding questions.
Randy had no idea that he actually looked just like his dad.
“Once I seen a picture of him, I seen my dad. I seen our dad,” Edward told KCRA-TV. “The whole thing is surreal. To have not only a brother, but a family I never knew existed is beyond words,” he added.
Randy’s sister tracked down Edward’s phone number and left him a phone message.
The two men spoke to each other on the phone that day and eventually decided to meet.
Randy had a single photo that confirmed they were family when he pulled out a photo of his grandmother Marjorie Waites.
“When I grew older, my mom told me the woman in the photo was my grandmother,” he said. “It’s the only memory I have of my father’s side of the family.”
A DNA test wasn’t needed. They knew they were family. The two men hit it off immediately as if they’d had already known each other.
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