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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

US furniture worker discovers new colleague is his long lost brother

WALDOBORO, Maine - Seven years into his tenure as a furniture mover for a bedding retailer, Gary Nisbet was joined by a new colleague, Randy Joubert, who looked so much like him that customers asked whether they were brothers.

"We thought they were just trying to razz us," Joubert said.

Turns out the customers were on to something. They really are brothers - and the attention they got after finding each other also has turned up a sister.

The two men were given up for adoption as babies about 35 years ago, then attended rival high schools and even lived in neighbouring towns on the Maine coast before working together at Dow's Sleep Center in tiny Waldoboro and uncovering their relationship.

"This kid could have been anywhere in the world, and here I am riding in a Dow furniture truck with him," Joubert said in a telephone interview Monday.

Joubert's adoptive mother, Jacqueline Joubert, said she and her late husband raised him with four sisters. She said he knew from a young age he was adopted and she wasn't surprised he would try to find his biological siblings when he grew up.

She said she always thought he had a brother because a social worker at the time of his adoption had mentioned it.

"But when he said he was driving a furniture truck with him, that really surprised me," she said. "I think it's great."

Dow's hired Randy Joubert on July 7, and soon afterward co-workers began commenting on how similar he and Nisbet looked. Both are light-haired, wear glasses and have stocky builds. Their goatees and curled-brim baseball caps add to the effect.

Joubert, 36, laughed off the commentary but admits he noticed the similarities himself, even mentioning them to his fiancee. He started taking the comments more seriously when people also took notice while he and Nisbet, 35, were out making deliveries.

"Customers would ask if we were brothers more often than not," he said. "Then my brain started heading that way."

Joubert had already taken advantage of a new state law allowing adoptees to see their original birth certificates and found out the names of his biological parents, who had died by then.

With further help from statistics officials, he also learned that he had a brother - and his brother's original name. Joubert and Nisbet had been removed from their birth parents' home because the couple could not properly care for them.

Well-armed with details, Joubert posed a few questions to Nisbet while the two were making deliveries about three weeks ago.

"I said, 'Gary, I'm going to ask you a strange question: Are you adopted?"' Joubert recalled.

Nisbet gave him a strange look and answered, yes, he was adopted.

Then Joubert asked whether Nisbet knew his parents' names. Nisbet, who had learned details of his adoption through a court request, again answered yes.

Joubert recited the couple's names - only to meet a mixed reaction of amazement and annoyance.

"He takes off his hat and says, 'How did you know that?"' Joubert recalled.

When Joubert asked about Nisbet's birth date, June 10, 1974, he knew he had found his long-lost brother.

"I about fell over," he said, "because I knew that date."

Nisbet, the quieter of the two, said he was "star-struck and blown away. I couldn't even believe it." He was raised with three brothers and a sister in his adoptive family but never knew he had a biological brother.

The brothers kept their story under wraps at work until last week, colleagues said.

"Everybody was standing around with their mouths open. The girls had the tears flying and the guys, just, 'Wow!"' Dow's employee Greg Berry said. "There's nothing like family, especially when you don't have one. Now they've got it."

More than they know what to do with, it seems.

After all the attention the brothers' story received in the Maine press, a half-sister turned up at Dow's furniture with copies of her birth certificate and other documents proving their relationship.

Joubert says Joanne Campbell, of nearby Warren, was "hysterical" with joy when she found her brothers. Campbell, 41, had the same mother as Joubert and Nisbet.

"I searched for her too," Joubert said, "and I was close to finding her."



What a great event! It is wonderful these two brothers found each other after all of these years.I hope they and their families have some great times together, to try and make up for the time they were separated!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.