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Adopted man discovers he grew up in the same town as birth family 49 years later

"We all instantly fell in love with each other — it was like we knew each other our whole lives."
/ Source: TODAY

Steve Taylor has been living down the street from his birth family for the past 49 years and never knew.

When his birth mom, Ruth Bolin, gave birth to him in 1966, she already had six kids and was living in a two-bedroom apartment in a bad side of town. She didn't think she'd be able to handle the load, so she gave him up for adoption.

Willard and Grace Taylor, who were having trouble conceiving after having their first child Sandy, were thrilled to welcome Steve into their family.

"When he was younger, we would go up to people who looked like him to find out anything we could to connect him with his family, but obviously had no luck," Willard told

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Fast forward to 1993, when Steve and his wife, Melissa, had their first child, Steve Jr., who was born with Nemothorax, a condition which causes a collapse in the lungs. The scared new parents went on a search for Steve's birth family to find out if any of them suffered from the same disorder.

Ohio lawmakers decided to seal 400,000 adoption records back in 1963, hoping that the confidentiality would make women more willing to choose adoption over abortion. The law was modified and as of March, adoptees now have access.

After receiving his records, he found out that his mom lived in Lebanon, Ohio, the same town Steve spent his whole life. This made him only want to find out more, so he went to the doctor who delivered him and found out that his mom had died in 2009.

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"I felt like I lost someone I'd known my whole life," Steve told

Even though he was sad that he'd never get the chance to meet her, there was a lot to celebrate that day. It happened to be his 30th wedding anniversary, so his kids took over the search to let their parents spend time together. After a few hours of making calls, they finally got in touch with his older sister, Rhonda, who fell to the floor after hearing the news. She and Steve have talked every day since that bittersweet moment.

Steve Taylor was reunited with his birth family decades later
Courtesy of Steve Taylor

"She's been my lifeline through all this." Steve said. "Both of us are happy to have found each other, but sad to have lost 41 years together.

Along with Rhonda, Steve reunited with his other five siblings. The oldest, Lee, was the first person Steve talked to.

"I immediately felt comfort in hearing his voice," Steve said. "It was an emotional phone call that led both of us into tears, but he told me that above all else, he's happy I had a good life."

Steve Taylor is reunited with his birth family
Courtesy of Steve Taylor

Lee was the first blood relative he's ever spoken to aside from his kids. He went on to talk to Davey, Bill, Rick and Wanda and together they planned a reunion, which unfortunately Rick was unable to make.

On Friday, Steve and his family drove to the airport to pick up Rhonda and Lee, who flew in from Oklahoma and California, respectively and Davey, Bill and Wanda arrived Saturday morning.

Steve Taylor and his birth family had a reunion
Courtesy of Steve Taylor

"We all instantly fell in love with each other — it was like we knew each other our whole lives," Steve said.

They spent the weekend together and even visited their mom's grave on Sunday.

Steve Taylor and his birth family visit their mother's grave
Courtesy of Steve Taylor

"A lot of tears were shed that weekend and we're all sad to think about the years we lost, but there's a lot of love there," Melissa told "He welcomed me, my husband, our kids and even grandkids in with open arms."

His sisters, who walked the halls of the same high school he went to at the same time, told him that when they found out they had a brother, it was like holding a newborn for the very first time. It's only been three weeks, but they can't imagine life without him.