Emotional reunion for brother and sister

August 20, 2009 8:55:47 PM PDT
It was a special reunion Thursday night at Bush Intercontinental Airport, where a brother and sister met for the first time in 35 years. While the family had been torn apart, they hadn't forgotten each other. Eyewitness News was there for the tearful reunion. Thirty-five years can be an awfully long time to wait for a reunion. As William "Billy Joe" Sellers anticipated his sister's arrival, it seemed even longer.

"I'm so nervous. It's going to be pretty special. I just want to grab a hold of her and not let go," said Billy Joe.

As Billy Joe, waited with his wife Eurina and their children Chloe and Landon for his sister Shannon's arrival, he told us about his journey to here.

"I didn't think they would acknowledge they had another brother because we were so little when we were separated," said Billy Joe.

Separated from his siblings when he was about seven years old, his father, who did not approve of his mother's lifestyle, took him to Texas while three other siblings stayed with his mother in Europe.

"I always wondered, always did, where are they, what are they doing, how are they?" Billy Joe said.

After years of searching, earlier this month he connected with his younger sister Shannon on Facebook. She lives in Belgium.

"When she was sending me pictures, a lot came back. My questions, I want to know about my mom," said Billy Joe.

Then Billy Joe got a text message that Shannon had arrived.

"It says, 'We landed.' She's here, so it won't be long now," said Billy Joe.

Their embrace at the airport was felt by everyone around who realized whatever was happening was truly special.

There are so many stories to catch up on, along with the pictures of their young lives Billy Joe has never even seen.

"First thing she was telling me I look just like my mom," said Shannon. "I'm happy, it just makes me sad he couldn't meet mom."

While the years have passed, the connection these two felt for one another never did.

"Every Christmas party there have always been prayers said and Billy Joe has always been in them," said Shannon.

The two have three decades of memories to share.

"That's the brother and sister right here. You don't need to look like each other. He's my brother," said Shannon.

Billy Joe says a nine day reunion is just the beginning.

"It's a start and we've got the rest of our lives. We won't lose contact again, I promise you that," said Billy Joe.

Shannon and Billy Joe Sellers will spend the next nine days together here in Texas. He plans on taking his family to Belgium next year.

Their mother died in 2005. The last time Billy Joe saw her, he was seven years old.

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