ELWOOD — Often as Karen Warner drove down the street where she lives in Elwood, she would wave at Michael Jackman, who lives seven blocks away on the same street.
Warner had known Jackman since they were in middle school and friended him on Facebook late last year, but they were acquaintances more than friends.
That changed about three months ago when they realized they not only are brother and sister but fraternal twins. A DNA test confirmed a couple of weeks ago what all the other evidence showed.
“I saw him every day, passed him. I never thought, ‘He could be my twin,’ ” Warner said. “I even knew his birthday was the same day as mine from seeing it on Facebook, but I never put two and two together.”
Born 51 years ago at what was then St. John’s Hospital in Anderson, Warner and Jackman were separated at birth and put up for adoption. Jackman was adopted within a month, and Warner was adopted two months later.
Growing up, both knew they were adopted. Warner felt the need to find her birth family, but Jackman said he wondered about it but never acted on that curiosity.
“For me, I felt all my life I was missing something. But now I found it, and it’s Mike,” Warner said.
About two years ago, after Indiana unsealed adoption records, Warner started her search.
“It stated my biological mother’s name. And it also stated I was a twin,” she said.
Warner went on adoption websites to expand her search.
About three months ago, Warner said, she went to the township trustee’s office for energy assistance. The trustee had been following the search and suggested a search of voting records.
Warner started by finding records listing men with her birthdate. She came up with three but was able to rule out two immediately.
Excited, she logged on to Facebook and peppered Jackman with questions: Was he adopted? At which hospital was he born? Did he know his biological family’s name?
“I said, ‘Oh my God, I think you’re my twin,” Warner said. “I told him we were wombmates.”
Three years ago, they each moved seven blocks away from one another.
“He’s a cool guy. He’s an awesome guy. I’m honored that he’s my twin. We’re a lot alike. I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else,” Warner said. “It’s like my life is complete, now.”
It was 9 p.m. a couple of weeks ago when Warner got the message that the results of the Ancestry.com DNA test were ready. Even though she knew he was getting ready for bed, she called Jackman and told him to get to the computer.
As they opened the results together, hers said he was her brother, and his said she was his sister.
“I started shaking,” he said. “We were both overwhelmed. Still are.”
These days, Warner and Jackman not only wave at one another every day but spend some part of nearly every day together getting to know one another.
“We’re trying to get 51 years back, basically,” Jackman said. “We spend time eating, talking, laughing. Sometimes it’s just a trip to Walmart. Just yesterday I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to go to Walmart by myself.’ I thought I would call my sister and see if she wanted to go to Walmart.”
Warner and Jackman said they also find they have that connection often reported by people who have shared a womb.
“We’re two peas in a pod. We’re just like each other,” Jackman said. “Before she says something, I know what she is going to say. It’s like being one person with two brains.”
The twins’ search hasn’t stopped with one another. They have learned they have three half-siblings and know a little more about why they are adopted.
The birth mother, who died in 1991, gave up all but one of her children, Warner said. She also recently learned her and Jackman’s biological father died in 2011.
“The only way we can go is forward,” Warner said.