Whirlwind week for estranged siblings

HOUSTON Tattered pictures from the past are helping the Sellers family make up for long, lost years.

"Unbelievable, a dream come true," said Shannon Sellers.

And while nothing can replace time, this family has tried to make the most of their days together.

"I can't stop smiling, it's pretty awesome," said Billy Joe.

The siblings saw each other for the first time in 35 years when Shannon flew from Belgium to Houston last week.

"Our lives took such different paths, my life was roses, I was so much better off with my dad," said Billy Joe.

Shannon and Billy Joe Sellers were separated at childhood.

"I was by myself, had to raise my little sister and brother, my mama wasn't there," said Shannon.

Their father, C.W., did not approve of their mother Maggie's lifestyle, so he took Billy Joe to Texas.

"Things happen in life you can't change," said C.W.

The other children stayed with their mother who is now deceased in Belgium.

"I found out things I didn't know that momma never told me, that he didn't abandon me," said Shannon.

No, she's been in his heart always.

Because of Maggie's transient lifestyle, the family in Texas did not know where the others were.

"Our lives wouldn't be complete until we found her, and it's really not, you always wonder what happened," said C.W.

Perhaps the unlikely hero in this search to reconnect the family was Billy Joe's stepmother, Kay, who just wouldn't stop.

"There was always this spot that was empty and now it's not," said Kay.

She spent hours the past ten years looking for her husband and stepson's missing relatives.

"It's the best gift she could've given me," said Billy Joe.

Since last week's reunion, the father and two siblings have spent hours trying to piece together the puzzle of their lives.

"The puzzle is finally coming there, got a couple more pieces to go," said Shannon.

Realizing along the way there have been some jagged edges.

"I just missed the family life I should have had," said Shannon.

However, now it just seems to fit.

"I just felt it that he missed me and loved me, when he hugged me," said Shannon.

They call this past week one of the best of their lives. Shannon has been experiencing Texas, reconnecting with lost family and meeting others for the first time.

"I think it's brought the whole family closer, the whole family closer," said Kay.

While this reunion must comes to an end.

"If anybody is ever looking for their kids, don't ever give up," said Kay.

It's really just the beginning here in Batson, Texas.

"Probably the best time this could have happened and it's really weird the way life comes together," said C.W.

On Friday, Shannon Sellers started her journey back to Belgium. Her relatives here in Texas say they plan to go visit her next year and expand their reunion to the many extended family members they have never met.

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