A Christmas Story: a Virginia Beach family’s 1 in 2 billion chance of finding each other

Posted at 4:25 PM, Dec 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-25 18:30:54-05

VIRGINIA BEACH - Va. - Being together for Christmas is something many families hope for. But for one Virginia Beach man, it's a miracle and a blessing after he found his biological Mom and Dad after 48 years.

News 3's Kim Cung first met Kirk Kellerhals and his family a few months ago when Kirk met with his biological Mom and Dad in person for the first time. The family said Christmas would never be the same again.

This year as Kirk looks at the unique ornaments on his family's Christmas tree, each ornament from his childhood is even more special.

"The ornaments were by my adoptive parents. I have the years written on them so being able to realize the importance of that is pretty cool," said Kirk.

This Christmas is a 1 in 2 billion chance. Kirk was born in Vietnam during the tail end of the war and adopted from an orphanage when he was 2 by an Army Major.

"This was not a case where I was looking for my parents. I thought they were gone, I thought they were dead," said Kirk.

But they weren't. After taking a Family Tree DNA test to settle a dispute with his wife about whether or not he was Hawaiian or Filipino, Kirk discovered his Mom never stopped looking for him.

"I get depressed every Christmas. This Christmas is the first out of 48 years I don't feel depressed," said Nga Nibblett, with happy tears in her eyes.

It's their first Christmas together and Nga and her husband traveled to Virginia Beach from Texas to spend it with her son ad new family. For Kirk, it feels like a dream.

"It's still surreal. This is the first Christmas where I've never had to wonder what happened to my Mom and Dad. It's always been that empty space and it's been filled now," said Kirk.

So whether it's sharing stories related to childhood ornaments with his Mom or having delicious food on the table, this family has a newfound appreciation for the simple things.

"I didn't know where he is and now I do know where he is and that makes a difference," said Nga.

For Kirk, his favorite moments are the unexpected ones.

"I look across the room and see my mom sitting there and standing there talking and I'm thinking wow. My mom is in our house. My mom is here in our home and it's Christmas and she's here. It's pretty powerful."