44-year-old Rod Whitaker saw his life change in a matter of few seconds at the San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday. Whitaker, who was born in Georgia had lived all his life believing he was the only son to his mother and had no other relatives. On Wednesday however, 44 years after being born, Rod Whitaker saw his father for the first time ever - and hugged him. He also met five of his brothers who he never knew existed, until a few years ago.
According to ABC 7 News, who broke the amazing story of the separated father-son duo, Rod Whitaker was born in 1968. His father, whose name has not been revealed was enlisted in the army and had been deputed to fight the Vietnam war. Rod's father never came to know that he had fathered a child through Rod's mother. His mother in turn never told Whitaker about his father, either.
In the meantime, Rod's father went on to serve the military for three terms of Vietnam War duty. The veteran went on to live a happy retired life with his extended family- oblivious to the fact that he had a son living in another part of the country. Meanwhile Rod, who was obsessed about funding his roots and his actual biological father turned to the Internet for help. And help it did!
According to Yahoo News, Rod Whitaker used genealogy websites like Ancestry.com and FindYourKin to eventually find out the identity of his actual biological father. After a brief communication with his father and other new found family members, he decided to fly down to San Francisco, where his father and family lived to meet them - for the first time ever!
The emotional occasion was caught on camera by ABC 7 News. In the video, the moment when a father meets his child for the first time ever - 44 years after his birth was captured. Rod Whitaker is seen immediately bursting into tears as he hugs his dad tightly. His father is all smiles. Later, Rod is seen posing with all of his brothers who had come to welcome him.
"Its amazing to go from my mom's only child to hopefully fights about getting hugs on me!" Whitaker later told the ABC7 News crew.It would be a memorable birthday for Rod Whitaker on July 4 this year which incidentally also happens to be Whitaker's 45th. The family reunion will ensure that Rod, who had lived a lonely life all these years will have hundreds of relatives from his extended family cheering for him.
[Image Via ABC7]