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News Community Family reunited after a lifetime apart

Barbara Condron came to Franklin to meet her long lost half brothers, Larry Boone, right, a Franklin resident, and Darhyl Boone, left, who is the City Manager of Mars Hill. Photo by Kimberly PruettSiblings meet in Franklin for the first time

It was a tearful reunion at the Carolina Motel in Franklin on Tuesday when Barbara Condron traveled ten hours from Michigan to meet her two brothers that she didn't even know existed just a mere three weeks ago.

Up until Condron was 18 years old, she had no idea that she was adopted; before her mother passed away due to cancer, she revealed to Condron that she was adopted. The only information Condron had to go on was that her biological mother was a distant relative of her adoptive parents.

Without any information to go on, Condron chose not to look into her biological parents right away. According to Condron, “it didn't seem to matter back then; I was raised by wonderful parents and had a great childhood,” she said. Condron became wrapped up in school and raising her three children, but after her own kids were grown, she decided to seek more information about her biological family.

In 2002 Condron's daughter, Jodi Tomaselli, who made the trip to Franklin with Condron, began searching online for any information that may help track down her mother's biological family; she posted all the information she had on Adoption. com. Condron went to the probate court in Michigan and filled paperwork that would allow anyone searching for her contact information. Tomaselli's search was limited because of the lack of information. At the time, all they knew was that Condron was born in either South or North Carolina, and that she was born on Christmas day in 1945. Their search efforts ended in disappointed and they had all but forgotten about the possibility of strangers that would soon become family.

Three weeks ago Franklin resident, Lisa Boone began the search for her sister-in-law. When she married her husband Larry, she learned that he had an older half sister whom he had never met, but had known about since he was a child. According to Boone, her husband and his two brothers, Bruce and Darhyl, had been told when they were children that their father had a previous child with a women whom he had never married.

Boone began searching for her husband's sister and within only seven days, had found information, located and had spoken to Condron.

Speaking with her long lost brother has provided all the information Condron has into her past; she has learned her biological mother's name was Ardell Whitt, and that even her immediate family didn't know about the pregnancy. She also learned from her new brothers that their father, Orba Boone, had somehow obtained a photo of her, and always carried it with him up until the time he died at age 38.

According to Condron, she understands her mother's decision to give her up for adoption and holds no resentment. “my mother was 17 and pregnant, and in 1945, during war times, it just wasn't something that was allowed back then,” she noted. “And from what I understand, my father came from a family of doctor's and had to do what was best for him at the time.”

Condron said when she received the phone call from Boone she was in disbelief and was so overwhelmed with emotions, all she could do was give her husband the phone and just break down. After the initial shock passed, Condron spoke with her brother Larry, and had spoken to him every day up until the face-to-face reunion on Tuesday.

Larry and Condron's other two brothers live in Mars Hill. The youngest of the siblings, Darhyl, is the City Manager of Mars Hill and made the trip to meet his half sister earlier this week. Condron and her daughter will spend the rest of the week site seeing and becoming acquainted with their new family. On Friday, they will travel to Mars Hill to meet Condron's other brother Bruce, and to visit the house her mother was raised in, as well her father's gravesite.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions from Condron's past, but she hopes this will be the beginning of an influx of information. While in Mars Hill this weekend, Darhyl has arranged for Condron to meet with people who may have information about her biological mother.


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