A father and son met for the first time in Denver, Colorado, Thanksgiving Day thanks to a simple DNA test.
The only thing 37-year-old Casper Collins ever knew about his dad was that he was a Navy sailor who had a relationship with his mom in the Philippines during the 1980s.
However, his father returned to the United States before he knew Collins’ mother was pregnant so she raised him on her own, according to CBS Denver.
When Collins decided to submit his DNA to 23 and Me in July in hopes of finding answers to some medical issues, he got a huge surprise.
The test results showed he had a sibling named Michael Robertson who lived in Colorado, and after digging a little deeper, Collins was able to confirm that Michael’s dad was his dad, too.
“I was just shaken to the core. Like, this is not real,” he said, adding, “I thought there’s no way in a million years that a guy born in the Philippines in 1982 is going to find his dad through spitting into a tube.”
He called the Robertson family and made arrangements to meet them on Thanksgiving Day, for the first time.
“There were no second thoughts,” Collins said after speaking with his father, Tom Robertson. “There was no hesitation at all. He was like alright, you’re my son. Come out and see me!”
Thursday, the Robertson family waited at the Denver International Airport (DIA) for Collins’ plane to fly in from Nashville, Tennessee.
“It’s really going to be intense,” Tom told reporters. “I’m glad I’m going to have all my family here.”
When the two men finally saw each other, Collins was unsure what to do. “It was like ‘do I run, do I walk, do I run?’ I don’t know. I want to be cool, but then I really wanted to run,” he said.
Moments later, he found himself in the loving arms of his father. “I love you son, I love you,” his dad told him as they embraced.
“Thanksgiving seemed like the best time cause that’s the time for family,” Collins said of the emotional meeting. “To have a loving, warm family that will bring me right in, yeah, best Thanksgiving ever.”