Thomas Rebman caught media attention last year when he decided to voluntarily live homeless on the streets of Orlando for a month as a summer reading project for his middle school students. That project propelled him into a much broader mission of homeless advocacy where he has spent over a quarter of a year living on the streets in various cities across the country. He has interviewed over 7,000 homeless citizens and has shared many of their stories on his Facebook page Homeless and Hungry.
In his time living homeless he saw many shocking and unexpected events, and he has met many interesting people, including Skid Robot, a street artist who paints art around homeless people for awareness. Yet, nothing had prepared him for the surprise he received last week. You see, Rebman was adopted as an infant. Those adoption records were sealed and have never been unsealed. He says he had an opportunity years ago to seek out his birth parents or possible siblings, but chose not to for personal reasons. In fact, those records still remain sealed. However, sometimes the universe has other ideas.
He posted on his Facebook page:
Dearest Family and Friends,
I must tell you that facing the personal demons of my adoption has taken me back. Long ago I decided to not pursue my birth parents or look for siblings. The reason I did this because it was easier to compartmentalize and not face it than to pursue answers.
Now, without warning, I have no choice but to open old wounds and make a decision. It is not an easy one for me to make although everyone close to me seems to agree I should pursue answers.
I intend to call Michael and see if he is cool with the DNA test and finding the truth.
So how did this come about?
Michael, who is very possibly Tom’s brother, reached out to him via Facebook asking for his birthday and if he was adopted. A friend of Michael’s girlfriend saw Tom on the news. She thought it was Michael and contacted her friend to let her know that it appeared her new beau was leading a double life — one with a wife in Orlando!
Truth be told, it was an honest mistake. They certainly look like the same man!
Fortunately, a crisis was avoided when all parties involved discovered Thomas Rebman does actually exist and he is not Michael’s double — but very possibly his brother.
The pair met for lunch at a local establishment and what they discovered about each other is fascinating. Michael, born in 1951, was adopted in Tampa, Florida. Thomas, born in 1961, was adopted in Miami, Florida. Both men pursued military careers, Michael in the Marines and Thomas in the Navy. But, those things are commonalities that many people would share and don’t necessarily provide a familial link.
However, one thing does stand out to Tom.
We have the same anomaly with one of our eyebrows.
Take a look at the “brothers” side by side and decide for yourself.
Do you think it is likely that the two are long lost brothers?
Rebman says he and his possible brother will be seeking out a DNA test to find out for sure – but based on all that he knows now, he is fairly certain he has reunited with a biological family member.
Featured image via Facebook