BISMARCK, ND (AP):
Bismarck resident Jerry Roberts received an early Christmas present this year.
A message recently came through his email from a woman asking if he was related to an Edna Jacob Roberts, which was strikingly familiar. His mother's maiden name was Edna May Jacob.
He urged the woman to give him a call and what he found out shocked him, he was talking to one of three older sisters he had been looking for for 35 years.
"You can imagine it was pretty shocking and I'm still wrapping my head around it all," Roberts told The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1jfgaBC). "This is something that happens on TV, not in everyday life. It's what I call an Oprah moment."
Roberts, 51, was orphaned in 1978 after his parents died within a few months of each other, his dad of a heart attack and his mother of bladder cancer.
He was originally sent to live with an uncle who was a Catholic priest in Glenburn, but ended up at Home on the Range and graduated from high school in Beach.
He thought he had been orphaned and had given up the search for his three other siblings, whom he had been told about right before his mother passed away.
"My family sort of stonewalled me after I heard about my siblings," Roberts said. "I knew they were out there, but I had given up the search or hope of ever finding them."
Little did he know that only a few states away his sister, Gretchen Mulder, had been searching for him from Salem. She had been adopted as an infant, but always had been curious about her birth parents.