WASHINGTON, MO – In June, Isaac Nolting was hanging out at the local pool when he met 13-year-old Dakotah Zimmer.
According to TODAY, the other kids at the pool noticed that Isaac and Dakotah looked a lot alike. So, out of curiosity, one of the other kids sked if they were brothers. In response, Dakotah said that he had a brother he had never met who was adopted by a woman named Dawn.
Isaac immediately replied by saying, “That’s my mom’s name!”
Isaac sat on the edge of his mom’s bed that night, and asked if they could talk. Dawn told TODAY:
“He looked at me with his big, black eyes and asked, ‘Mom, am I adopted?’ I said, ‘What makes you think that?’ And he said, ‘Because I think I found my brother.’”
Dawn told Isaac the truth and they both started to cry. Isaac said:
“I just cried and cried and cried. I was so happy that I had a brother. I always asked for one.”
Dawn says that she had been trying to work up the courage to tell Isaac he was adopted. She knew that the time was coming soon, because next year the boys will be going to the same school. But, she just couldn’t find the right words to explain their situation.
When Isaac was a newborn, Dawn was on her way to dinner with her ex-husband and their then 11-year-old daughter, Krystyn. They ran into a friend of Dawn’s ex who invited them to come meet his girlfriend and new baby boy.
Isaac’s biological mother was a teenage mom with a 1-year-old son and a newborn boy. “She just looked overwhelmed,” Dawn says. “My motherly instincts kicked in. I said, ‘You need a break.’”
Dawn understood what the mom was going through, since she herself was a single mother at the age of 19. Dawn said, “I know the struggles, I know the heartache.” So, she offered to take the 9-day-old baby boy home with her.
Dawn said, “She was relieved. It was like the world had been lifted.”
Dawn wasn’t planning on having another child, but she immediately fell in love with Isaac.
Isaac’s biological mother did call and visit often, but she never took him home again.
A few months after, Isaac’s biological mother and grandmother visited Dawn and told her that the mom was pregnant again. The mother wanted what was best for her son, so she asked if Dawn would adopt Isaac.
Dawn agreed, and the adoption was finalized when Isaac was 18-month- old.
Isaac’s biological mother died in the spring of 2007 and his biological father died shortly after. His older brother Dakotah and 10-year-old sister Ashley, now live with their maternal grandmother Debi Bay in Augusta, Mo.
Debi had always told them that they had a brother.
After the boys met at the pool, Dawn called their grandmother and arranged for them to hang out.
“I knew it was gonna happen sooner or later. It didn’t surprise me that much. I’m just surprised the way they ran into each other. I’m glad they got to meet.
The boys celebrated their birthdays together this fall. Now the boys spend weekends sleeping over, playing Xbox, riding bikes and skateboarding.
Dawn said this about the two brothers’ bond:
“You can just tell they’re brothers. It’s the strongest bond that I’ve ever seen. It’s like they were never separated. For being apart for ten years and 20 minutes away, they picked up right where they left off.”