DARLINGTON—A brother and sister who were destined to never know the other existed have been reunited at an early age. They live 1,300 miles apart, but still manage to keep their sibling ties.
Peyton Broge, 7 of Darlington, and Landry Barnard, 5 of St. Petersburg, Fla., are full-blood brother and sister who were adopted to separate families when they were newborns. They have met at least once a year since Landry was born.
Peyton’s adoptive mother, Angie, died when Peyton was 18 months old. Her father, Tim Broge, has been raising her with the help of grandparents Ann and Bobby Long.
Tim was made aware of Peyton’s brother, Landry, being born in Florida. Ann e-mailed Landry’s adoptive mother, Dawn Barnard, to keep in contact with Peyton’s brother.
“She [Peyton] understood at a young age what it meant to have a brother,” Ann said. “She would tell everybody she had a brother. It was just common knowledge.”
Ann said in July 2007, when Landry was 10 months old, Dawn contacted her to ask if she wanted to meet in Chicago where she and her husband were traveling for a wedding. Ann said they arrived early and Peyton watched out the hotel window anxiously awaiting the arrival of her brother.
“When she finally saw him, they instantly connected,” Ann said. “They even look alike. We decided then that we would try to meet every summer.”
In 2008 they met in Indianapolis, Ind.; in 2009 they met at Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; in 2010 Landry saw snow for the first time as they visited Darlington after Christmas; and in 2011 Peyton went to Landry’s home in Florida to celebrate his fifth birthday. The siblings most recently met on March 23-27 in Darlington.
Dawn said she tries to get them in coordinating outfits when they’re together, “because they look so much alike.”
They have even been mistaken for twins several times. Ann recounted a story where the brother and sister were saying a heart-wrenching goodbye at an airport after a visit and a tearful crowd questioned the parents why they were separating twins.
“There’s a lot to be said about genetics,” Ann said. “Not only do they look alike, but they act so much alike, and they only see each other once a year.”
When reunited each time, they’re inseparable. Ann said Landry usually takes Peyton’s hand and leads her off somewhere to explore. They like to play together and act like any normal siblings.
“They’re either peas in a pod or fighting with each other,” Dawn said. “It can be an instant change, too.”
For Peyton’s birthday this winter, Landry and Peyton talked via Skype. Ann said they spent most of the time just waving at each other.
Peyton and Landry have also met their older sister, Aubrey. She is 11 months older than Peyton and is being raised by their biological grandmother in California.