Brothers reunite with mother after nearly 40 years of separation

Brothers reunite with mother after nearly 40 years of separation

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Thanksgiving is always a special time of year for families across the country. But this Thanksgiving holiday is extra special for a family in Toledo.

David Maxwell, 47, and his brother, Jason, 43, reunited with their mother, Barbara Johnson after nearly forty years of separation.

The two were born in Toledo, but were adopted when they were around seven and eleven-years-old. They moved to southeast Ohio, but memories of their mother never left.

"I couldn't afford to support them," Barbara Johnson said.

"We remembered a lot," Jason said. "You know like names, certain relatives' names, certain places."

During those 38 years of separation, David and Jason never left each other's side. They say they bonded through memories and kept all hope alive.

"We've never been separated. Through our youth, never separated," David said.

The answer to their prayers came in the form of a private investigator they hired in 2012. A week before Thanksgiving 2017, they received the call.

"I just started screaming," Rochelle Johnson, David and Jason's aunt, said. "I think my adrenaline was up so high I didn't even sleep that night."

For the family, reuniting so close to Thanksgiving was perfect timing.

"I couldn't believe that it was really true," Barbara Johnson said.

"You couldn't plan it any better," David added.

The brothers just reunited with their mother Wednesday night. They met up with extended family Thursday at Zelma's Place, a restaurant in Toledo. While still in shock, they say they're full of relief.

"It was just amazing to be able to hold her after all these years," Jason said.

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