Siblings Were Strangers Walking Past Each Other for Years. Then a Hospital Brought Them Together: 'Grateful'

·5 min read
Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022
Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022

Abigail Hodgson Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022

Adopted when she was 3 months old, Christina Sadberry spent over a decade searching for her biological family. As it turns out, she had unknowingly walked past her brother, Raymond Turner, in the hallways at Fort Worth's Cook Children's Hospital for seven years.

Christina, who was raised in Austin, Texas, started looking for her birth family in 2006. She found her birth mother, but wasn't able to learn anything about who her biological father was, or if she had any siblings.

"She pretty much said that only her and her mom knew about me and she just kind of left it at that," Christina, 42, tells PEOPLE, calling it a "dead end."

In 2014, she took a 23andMe test, but all she matched with were distant cousins. "I was like, 'Okay, nobody is ever going to show up,'" she recalls thinking.

RELATED: Woman Meets Biological Son She Never Knew Existed — All Thanks to DNA Test: 'Instant Love'

However, everything was about to change.

In 2021, Raymond's wife, Maria, gifted him a 23andMe test for Christmas.

Raymond grew up in Hempstead, Texas. He and his younger brother were raised by his maternal grandmother, and he knew about a younger half-brother and a step sister prior to taking the test. But he never knew he had a biological sister.

"I had no inkling," he says.

As for where his desire to take the test came from, he hoped to learn where in Africa his family was from, and maybe plan a roots trip. "I thought it'd be great for us to finally solve this mystery together," he recalls.

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Raymond sent the kit off in January, and received the results on St Patrick's Day. He was stunned by the results.

"I said, 'This can't be. This is wrong,'" he says of finding out he had a biological sister. "I was about to write off the whole thing thinking it was a big mistake."

Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022
Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022

Abigail Hodgson Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022

But instead, he sent Christina a message through 23andMe — and then he and his wife enlisted the help of a mutual friend they found on Facebook to tell her to check her messages.

"I started shaking and got chills and freaking out and my heart started racing," Christina says of the moment she learned she had a brother.

As they texted and talked, they learned that they have the same biological father. They also discovered that they had likely passed each other in the hallways at Cook Children's hospital many times over the last seven years.

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Christina's 11-year-old son Bryson has Nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder, and has been going to the hospital since the spring of 2015. That December, Raymond began working as the Recording Studio Producer at Cook Children's Sparklefly Studio. Christina says there was probably at least 15 or 20 times they were at the hospital at the same time without knowing.

In fact, the same day they made the discovery, Christina took her son to the hospital for a check up. That morning, when they stopped to look at the LEGO sculpture, she noticed a man in a red shirt playing the keyboard inside the studio. Although she didn't know it at the time, that man was Raymond.

"It's unexplainable. Like you can't make that up," she says. "My husband keeps saying, 'This is some stuff out of a movie.'"

Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022
Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022

Abigail Hodgson

They met face-to-face for the first time at the hospital on Friday, March 25.

Raymond started crying the minute he saw her. She cried too.

"Hugging him felt like home," Christina says. "Just to be around him felt like home."

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Instantly, the siblings had a connection.

They felt like they found the "puzzle piece" that had been missing, Raymond says. He recalls his wife telling him at the time, "Your heart knew that there was still another part of you out there."

The siblings found they lived about 45 minutes away from each other in Fort Worth — Raymond passed by his sister's office on his drive to work. Additionally, they discovered a shared love of the same butter pecan ice cream, and they even had the same order when they went to the Olive Garden together.

A fast friendship was formed, with the siblings going to games and graduations for each other's kids, and also spending important days together, like Mother's Day and Father's Day, as well as their birthdays.

"My world is complete now," Christina says. "This is what I was missing."

Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022
Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry meeting for the first time on March 25, 2022

Abigail Hodgson Raymond Turner and Christina Sadberry with their families after meeting for the first time

Christina is a Master Sergeant in the Air Force Reserve, and on July 5, her family moved to Navarre, Florida where she is now manager of IR Operations at Hurlburt Field.

The siblings spent almost every weekend together from March until she moved. Now, they stay in touch over video calls and are planning to spend Thanksgiving together.

"We're both so grateful for what we have," Raymond says.

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Raymond says their friendship and connection have inspired others to do DNA testing to try and find more family.

"There's a homing device in each of our souls that wants to find home. Who I am, where do I fit into this crazy world? How am I connected to this person?" he says. "I think those answers are necessary to find out more of who you are and you might be surprised along the way."

The best surprise, he says, is finding his sister.

"There's such a completeness when that puzzle piece fits into place," Raymond says. "I'm just excited to get to know more about her. Find out more quirky things that we have in common and just enjoy what God has brought together."