TAMPA, Fla. — For nearly 70 years, Randy Bartlein and Todd Neisen’s mother kept two very important secrets. One was that she was married once before she met their father. The second secret is that before she and their father got married, they had a child that she put up for adoption.
“My initial reaction was ‘Mom, what the heck were you thinking?!’” Bartlein said.
She died with that secret four years ago until the curiousness of searching the website 23andMe connected Randy and his younger brother Todd with Mel Adler, a man from New York and now the oldest brother they never knew.
“All my life I’ve been the older brother,” Bartlein said. “And suddenly now I’m the middle brother. And it really kind of freaked me out.”
Despite living different lives, including the fact that Mel was raised Jewish, they say it’s their similarities that leave them stunned.
“(Mel) actually worked in media,” Neisen said. “I work in media.”
“I works in sales, (Randy) work in sales,“ Adler added. “As my wife has watched us on Zoom, she says you guys have the same mannerisms.”
Now that all of their parents have passed away, there’s a lot of brotherhood they plan to catch up on.
“Wednesday, we’re going fishing,” Bartlein said. “On Thursday we’re playing golf and Friday we’re going to the shooting range. Just all male bonding and every afternoon, what are we doing guys? Napping!”