15-year-old girl gets the surprise of a lifetime after her adoptive dad buys a DNA test

Apr 20, 2018
08:33 A.M.
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The results of a DNA test brought in many surprises to this teenager.


Herald-Tribune reported that a 15-year-old Keleigh Koeniger from Sarasota, Florida, discovered a brother when her adopted parents bought an ancestry kit.

Keleigh and her parents, Jim Koeniger, 71, and Leigh, 54, had quite a Christmas. The teenager received a new cellphone, a keyboard because she loves music, and another interesting gift. Her father bought her a DNA kit from 

The kit was untouched for a few months. In fact, Jim had bought the kits for the three of them to trace the Koenigers’ ancestry and not to locate potential relatives.

The family submitted their DNA through saliva samples to the agency. They received the results a few weeks ago and surprised when they came across something unexpected.


A name, Gustavo Garcia, was at the top of Keleigh’s list of potential relatives. She began to cry when she found out that she may have a brother. 


Jim and Leigh were living a successful retirees’ life when they decided to have a baby about 15 years ago. The couple consulted an adoption agency in Sarasota.

Later, they had their baby, a one-year-old girl named Margarita Elizabeth Rivas Garcia, who was born in Guatemala, became Keleigh Koeniger.

She now a 15-year-old student at Pine View. She plays the violin in the Sarasota Children’s Orchestra. Jim said, “She’s the light of our life. We love this little kid to death.”


Keleigh sent out an email to Garcia and said that she may be his sister. After a string of emails and phones, they planned a reunion. 

They finally met each other when the Koenigers drive to Fort Myers to pick up Garcia at the airport. He knew it was his sister the moment he saw her. “It was like I was looking at myself,” he said.

The brother-sister duo spent the time talking, laughing, listening to music, and discussed plans to get together again.