Both Justin and Renee were abandoned by their parents, but in very different locations. It took more than three decades for them to get back together.
Adopted children can grow up in loving households, but it’s natural if they still have questions or are interested in learning more about their history.
When a parent is forced to make the difficult decision to place a child in care, it is frequently due to circumstances beyond their control.
Perhaps they are unable to provide their children with the life they deserve due to financial constraints, or one or both parents suffer from a health condition that precludes them from securely raising a kid.
Some adopted children, such as Justin Kragt and Renee Alanko, have no knowledge of their past.
Both the brother and sister, who were two and four years old at the time, were abandoned in South Korea in 1984. Justin was taken to Oregon and Renee to California, and the two were separated and sent to various regions of the world.
Justin and Renee had no idea who the other was for almost 30 years. In fact, they had no idea they had any biological relatives.
Renee took a DNA test out of curiosity, and it changed everything.
Justin had also undergone a DNA test in 2014. He had imagined that his original parents had abandoned him outside a theater since he had special needs and was born with congenital heart failure.
Renee’s father had left her alone.
“Please transfer this child to an orphanage through the police station,” she was placed at a market with a letter. She is currently without parents.’
Jee Young Lee was her given name at the time. She also knew her father’s name and said that her mother had fled because her father was harsh and drank too much.
Renee and Justin were eventually matched four years after Renee took her test DNA.
Renee had no idea she had a sibling, despite her adoptive mother recalls her gushing over her “baby brother” when she first arrived in California.
Renee and Justin made a point of getting to know one another right away. It came out that the brother and sister had been abandoned in Seoul’s nearby areas just one day apart.
Renee told the Daily Mail about the moment she found out where her brother was raised:
“In 2008, when I returned to Korea to look for my biological family, I met Korean adoptees from France, Denmark, and Germany… What a head trip it was to realize Justin had been living one state above me all this time!”
Renee and Justin were finally reunited in person after a lot of online conversation.
Renee came to Oregon to see Justin just in time for his 36th birthday celebrations.
Renee and Justin reunited at Portland International Airport, where they emotionally hugged, in an emotional video.
Renee was still in a state of joyous astonishment when she spoke to the Oregonian after meeting her brother.
“I’d been aware of him for quite some time. I just didn’t think I’d ever meet him… This is very incredible. My ability to feel and believe rushed forward when I saw his face, his tears, and his outstretched arms.”
Despite missing out on many years together, the two brothers will strive to make up for lost time. What a gift it was that they met.
Play the video below to see these two siblings reconnect after 34 years apart!