TAMPA, Fla. — A tenacious search is now over and the ending is as sweet as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving day.
“The best surprise, I mean 2020 did something good,” said Kara Bailey.
Kara Bailey is a radiation specialist and has lived in Tampa for years — all this time she had no clue someone was trying to find her.
“You know, frankly it had been 6-8 months since I had done any looking,” said David Jones, the man who was searching for Kara. “It just wasn’t a priority or top of mind anymore. I don’t wanna say give up because I wouldn’t give up, I just couldn’t.”
Hundreds of thousands of people first met David Jones in 2018 when his wife convinced him to post about his search for his sister on Facebook.
His journey began even before that with full support from his adoptive parents in Clearwater, he took a DNA test and found his birth father.
“My first conversation he goes, 'by the way, you also have a sister.' I’m like NO WAY,” Jones said, in 2018 to ABC Action News.
His birth dad told him she was born in June 1986 at Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg.
David says after ABC Action News’ story aired, dozens of adopted women began to reach out but none of them were her.
“I’ve done everything I could and you know had resolved to not really hear anything or be extremely skeptical of any further correspondence I got from someone claiming to be her,” said Jones.
Kara has always known she was adopted and her parents were also fully supportive if she ever wanted to find her birth parents.
But, earlier this month, Kara was more curious about her DNA and what, if any, health issues she may be predisposed to. She took a 23&Me test and got the results back early.
David Jones was a match.
“I’m like now at my age to have this discovery, I’m like, man, life just started again and I’m 35, or going to be… this is great!” she said.
Kara emailed David to introduce herself.
“I read a little further down in the email and she said 'well, I did the 23 and me DNA test and it shows you as my brother,'” he said. “I was like you know I’m sitting here on my phone like wie'll get to the bottom of this right now.”
It was a match on his end, too.
“I was just completely floored is an understatement,” he said.
The last few days have been filled with dozens of video chats and catching up on childhoods lived separately.
“He said June 24 or thereabouts, June 26. So he did really good!” she said, about David guessing her birth date.
Lots of laughs and some crying, too.
“I found someone that’s been a part of me for almost as long as I’ve been alive and I’ve never gotten to enjoy the benefits of knowing her,” Jones said.
“It’s true, I have a brother! Even just saying that -- it gets me,” Bailey said, as she wiped away tears.
David and Kara are officially meeting Friday with forever and a day to spend together.