HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bonnie Chun, her sister Kathy Nicholson, and more than a dozen of their family members and close friends anxiously awaited Jimmy Garcia’s arrival at the Honolulu International Airport Tuesday night.
Garcia is Chun and Nicholson’s oldest brother – who they didn’t know even existed until a few months ago – when Nicholson did a DNA test on ancestry.com.
"I initially did the test just to see if I was Jewish instead of German, and then I got the email from his daughter-in-law Patty saying that I have a half-brother, which at first I thought was a scam,” Nicholson said jokingly.
Their story began in 1944.
Jim Nicholson Sr. was a sailor stationed in Puerto Rico during World War II. He was 21 years old when he fathered a child but wasn’t told about it.
The woman named her son “Jimmy” after his father then later gave him up for adoption.
Garcia spent 74 years trying to find his dad. In June, he took a DNA test in hopes there would be a match – and there was.
Garcia’s boss flew him to Hawaii from Key West, Florida to meet his family for the first time.
With lei and a hand-crafted poster board in hand, his family was ready to greet him.
“Hey! Welcome to Hawaii! Oh, so happy to see you!" said Chun.
And just like that, Jimmy gained a new family. A meeting he dreamed of for 74 years. Suddenly he has nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
"There’s the sign for you, ‘Welcome Jimmy G. We are ohana.’ Ohana means family,” Chun explained to Garcia.
“I feel a little emotional. Happy. Glad to be here, to meet my family,” Garcia said.
Jim Sr. eventually married Margaret Lika Coen and the two had five children, all Garcia’s half siblings.
Although Garcia will never get to meet his late father and two of his brothers who passed away, Francis and Michael, he has gained two sisters and a brother who was also named after their father – Jim Nicholson Jr. and Garcia says it’s the best Christmas gift anyone could ask for.