Woman's search for her birth family ends in heartwarming reunion

Samantha Wernet meets her older brother Jason Vawter for 1st time

By Francesca Amiker - Reporter

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - An Orange Park woman's search for her birth family ended in a heartwarming reunion. 

They say brothers and sisters are like peas in a pod. But what happens when those peas don't know the others exist? 

That's what happened to Samantha Wernet, who was born Jessica Lynn Brewer, and Jason Vawter, who was named Christopher Scott Cox at birth. 

More than three decades ago, the two were born to a woman who later had three other children. It wasn't until five years ago when Wernet, who knew she was adopted, began the journey to find her birth family.

Through hard work and using the website adoption.com, Wernet was able to get in touch with her birth mother and discovered there was much more to her story. 

"By putting your name, as much information as you know, it gave me a match. And that's when I found all of them," Wernet said. "I found out I wasn't an only child. I had many other siblings. I had an older brother, and I've always wanted an older brother."

Wernet and Vawter, her older brother, communicated back and forth for years until Wednesday night when Vawter, who was adopted by a family in Memphis, flew in to meet his sister and her family for the very first time. 

"I was smiling so big and she was teary-eyed. I didn't break up," Vawter said. 

Wernet insisted, "Yes you did!" 

The siblings bantered about their first time meeting each other -- something they're both happy they are now able to do.

"I guess we're going to move forward annoying each other like brothers and sisters do. We're just going to try to pick it up," Vawter said. 

Wernet added, "It's funny because it's, like, we never, from the moment I saw him, I started crying and I don't cry. But it's like we never didn't know each other, so you have that bond."

A bond that, after being apart their entire lives, can never be broken. 

Wernet and Vawter have been able to connect with two of their other siblings, but they're still looking for their little brother. 

If you, or someone you know, was adopted and would like to reunite with birth parents or birth siblings, click here to sign up for the Adoption Reunion Registry on adoption.com.

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