South Carolina man's 31-year sibling mystery decoded on Facebook

Belkin and her parents (WCIV)

We all know the power of social media -- finding long lost friends and reconnecting with family. This story takes that to a new level.

A South Carolina man got a message Thursday that changed his life.

Jason Burnette’s story started at just two days old when he was given up for adoption.

"There's me in '93 when my dad took me fishing," Burnette said as he looked through old photos.

Burnette found out at 18 his father was not his biological father. He was also told his biological parents had another child.

He immediately started the search for his sibling.

"We called DSS in Columbia and tried to get records from the hospital, but we ran into road blocks with HIPAA laws," he said.

He was starting to lose hope. Then, on his 31st birthday, his best friend tagged him in a post on Facebook. A woman from Nevada was searching for her brother.

"I was skeptical. I was nervous, because this information was way too accurate for it to be anything other than somebody has way too much information on me or this is really real,” Burnette said.

He had his adoptive sister reach out to Nicole Belkin.

"I spoke to his sister briefly and I had no doubt in my mind Jason was the person I was looking for," Nicole said.

For more than a dozen years Nicole Belkin had tried to find her brother with no luck. She then put her faith in Facebook. Her post was shared more than 29,000 times when she began to get answers.

"Without social media, we would have never been able to find each other," she said.

They've been communicating over the computer but now want to meet in person. With limited funds, Nicole created a GoFundMe account that has raised more than $1,000.

"I was on the phone with Jason at that moment and me and him both started screaming and immediately got on the computer and started looking for flights," Nicole said.

Burnette says he can’t wait for her to get here.

“She will probably get a really long awkward hug," he said as he laughed.

The two will meet in person for the first time when Nicole flies into Charleston next week.

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