Strangers One Minute, Brothers the Next
Isaac Pettet-Nolting says he always wanted a broBut at the age of 12 — with an older sister twice his age — that seemed unlikely to happen.
Until it did.
Thanks to a chance meeting at a swimming pool in his hometown of Washington, Missouri, earlier this year, Isaac found the big brother he never knew he had.
The boy’s name was Dakotah — Dakotah Zimmer.
He’s a year older than Isaac.
And the two had never really seen each other before.
But when they were introduced at the pool that day, they began to notice some strange similarities.
And so did their friends.
According to the Missourian newspaper, the boys had the same haircuts, the same noses, the same hands, the same feet — even the same walk.
And when they started to get on each other’s nerves, another kid said they were “fighting like brothers.”
According to the Missourian, Isaac thought it was all just a weird coincidence.
Then, Dakotah reportedly said something that changed everything.
According to Missourian features editor Karen Cernich, he said he had a younger brother he’d never met — a brother who’d been adopted by a woman named Dawn.
“That’s my mom’s name,” Isaac reportedly said.
When Isaac got home later that day, he asked his mom a question: “Am I adopted?”
“I said, ‘What makes you think that?’” his mother, Dawn Nolting told NBC’s “Today” show. “And he said, ‘Because I think I found my brother.’”
According to Dawn, when she answered, “Yes,” they both burst into tears.
For her, it was reportedly a relief.
“I just didn’t know how to tell him,” she told the Missourian. “I never knew when was the best time.”
But for Isaac, it was tears of happiness.
“I was so happy that I had a brother,” he told the “Today” show. “I always asked for one.”
According to media reports, Dakotah and Isaac’s birth mother had them when she was just a teenager.
“She just looked overwhelmed,” Dawn Nolting told the Missourian.
So Ms. Nolting reportedly offered to take Isaac when he was just nine days old.
“She was relieved,” Ms. Nolting told the Missourian, referring to Isaac and Dakotah’s birth mother. “It was like the world had been lifted.”
Dakotah and their younger sister, Ashley, reportedly stayed with their birth mom until she passed away several years ago.
Since then, Dakotah and Ashley have lived with their grandmother.
Dakotah said he always knew they had another brother.
But he never knew who it was, until that day at the swimming pool.
“It was exciting and crazy,” Isaac told the Missourian.
Now, the two brothers spend as much time together as possible.
“I’m excited about what the future holds for them, where they’ll go from here,” Dawn Nolting told the Missourian. “This has been a blessing.”