Karen Warner, determined to learn more about her biological family, obtained documents from the Indiana State Department of Health to find out about her medical history. Then she found out she had a twin.
“I got to thinking maybe that is what I was missing in my whole entire life was the twin and I just didn’t know it, and I didn’t want to feel that emptiness anymore,” she said.
A state law that went into effect almost three years ago allows any resident adopted by Jan. 1, 1994, to request access to their birth records. Because Warner did not know her twin’s name, she said a trustee recommended she search through voter registration records.
Warner came up with three names of men with the same birthday and who were born at the same hospital. Prior research allowed her to cross off two names. The third person was Michael Jackman.
“I called my daughter, and I said, ‘Omigosh, … I’m a twin.’ And I was crying,” she said. “‘She was like, ‘Calm down, calm down.'”
Jackman and Warner went to middle school and high school together in Elwood. They both were in band. He played the drums, and she played the clarinet. And they never knew they were related.
“I friend him on Facebook a few months before this. We were just friends from school. That was it,” she said.
She asked him if he was adopted. Jackman responded by saying yes. He also said his family name was Cunningham. It was the same family name as Warner’s.
“I was overwhelmed. Let’s put it that way,” said Jackman.
After a long six weeks of waiting, a DNA test through Ancestry.com confirmed they are twins. They found each other at 51 years old, and they only live six blocks apart.
“I feel like something was missing, and now she’s here,” Jackman said. “My life is complete.”
“There was a big void in my life, and I didn’t know what it was, and now I think that it was him,” Warner said. “I thought if I could find him that would fill that void, and it did.”
Warner and Jackman, who now see each other every day, have since learned they have three half-siblings.