Belkin first learned in middle school that she was adopted.
“I’ll never forget the day I was sitting in the back seat of the car, and I asked my mom why I didn’t look like the rest of the family,” Belkin told the news station. “That’s when they told me I was adopted.”
When she turned 18, Belkin learned more about her biological parents and that she had a brother named Jason. Though she was able to find and meet both her birth mother and father, she kept hitting walls in her search for her brother.
Belkin took to Facebook on June 24 with her story. She was born in South Carolina as Nicole Brooke Baker and given up for adoption at 6 months old.
Her brother, who was born in late June of 1986 as Jason Christopher Baker, was immediately taken by the state from their mother, who was hospitalized for mental illness.
Belkin wrote that she has already spent 13 “frustrating” years searching for the brother she’d always wished for.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I remember always wishing for an older brother,” Belkin wrote. “I was torn from that. Now I need him in my life.”
Belkin shared the post, along with a photo of herself and one of her birth parents. To her shock, her post was shared nearly 30,000 times.
“When I post stuff on Facebook, I barely get one like,” she told KTNV.
The likes and shares paid off when one of Burnette’s friends tagged him in a post about Belkin’s search. Like his sister, the Charleston, South Carolina, resident had been searching for her since he learned about her when he turned 18.
“I was skeptical,” Burnette told WCIV in Charleston. “I was nervous because this information was way too accurate for it to be anything other than somebody has way too much information on me, or this is really real.”
Burnette had his adoptive sister reach out to Belkin, who spoke to his sister on the phone. She left the conversation convinced that her search was over.
Since they found each other, the siblings have been talking and chatting online multiple times a day. Belkin also set up a GoFundMe page to raise the cash for her to fly to Charleston to meet her brother for the first time.
When the fund hit $1,000, the brother and sister immediately booked her flight, WCIV reported.
Burnette told the station that he could not wait to meet his sister.
“She will probably get a really long, awkward hug,” he said.