Social media helps Lynchburg man connect with long-lost half sister

The siblings are currently making plans to meet in person soon

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - A Lynchburg man received a life-altering friend request on Facebook. Family rumors that Shea Holmes had other siblings proved true when Feather Dawn Braas, who turned out to be his half-sister, put out a plea to find him on social media.

On the phone, Braas said to Holmes, “That’s crazy.” Holmes replied, “It is.” Aded Braas: “We really do look so much alike."

Listening in on Braas and Holmes phone conversation, one  would have no idea that they were complete strangers a week ago. 

“I feel like we’ve just always known each other. It’s been awesome. We both have three of our own kids and step kid, which is crazy,” Braas said.

Feather, who lives in Southeast Georgia, reconnected with her biological father six years ago and learned she had an older half-brother. A few weeks ago, the 26-year-old thought it was time to connect. 

“I had added so many people on Facebook that could have possibly been his name. And then I just started feeling like a complete creep because these people were like, ‘Uh, why are you adding because I have no clue who you are,” Braas said.

After hitting a dead end with Ancestry.com, the mother of three looked to her Facebook friends for help. She posted a picture of herself holding a huge orange sign asking people to help her find someone named “Shea Christian.”

“I have no idea what his last name is. Please share as far and wide as you can. I’d love to meet my older brother,” Braas read aloud from her poster sign. 

Within minutes, Braas’ friend in Pennsylvania found Shea Christian Holmes, who has lived in Lynchburg all his life.

“I got a message from her and it was her holding her sign she made. As I read it and went line by line, I was, like, 'She’s talking about me,'” Holmes said. 

Holmes said it was always a rumor that he had other siblings from his dad’s side. 

“I never really looked because I didn’t even know where I would start if I did. So I’m glad she did,” Holmes said.

The siblings are currently making plans to meet in person soon and make up for two decades of lost time. 

“I’m, like, so excited... I didn’t know I was missing anything but now that we have connected, it’s like it’s just meant to be. Like it's meant to be there all along,” Braas said.
 

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