Tampa Bay area man meets siblings he never knew he had after 60-plus years

Hillsborough County

DOVER, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area man got a Thanksgiving surprise… Two brothers, he didn’t know he had.

“I never knew I had any other brothers… I was never told, and I’m happy,” Sammy Ortiz said.

Thanks to Ancestry DNA testing Ortiz discovered he has two brothers from Alabama Louis Payne and Joey Shamburger. The brothers were adopted by separate couples when they were babies.

After more than 60 years today, they were finally reunited.

“It’s just jubilation, excitement. We were looking for them … they were never looking for us,” Payne said.

Now the brothers say they plan to make up for the lost time by spending the holidays altogether.

They look forward to cooking together and just feeling a connection that comes from family. “Just knowing these are your real people, you know,” said Payne with tears in his eyes.

“Unbelievable… to be with your real family, you dream about it, but you never think it’s possible… God is good all the time,” Payne said.

The men don’t know how it came about that they were adopted. They were always told their mother had died. Regardless, they hold no hard feelings.


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