Nurse finds son after family member purchases at-home DNA kit

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Jeff Tosti, a nurse at NCH, was going about his day when he received a call from a cousin saying she found out after purchasing a 23andMe DNA kit that she had an anonymous cousin.

Tosti had finally found his son, Nikolas Norendale.

Nordendale was happy growing up with his two parents and his siblings. But he knew his biological father was somewhere out there.

“I have two wonderful parents, you know, siblings I’ve grown up with, but I knew that my mother had me from a previous relationship,” Nordendale said.

It was an at-home DNA kit that got him a step closer to finding his biological father.

“I think back in January of this year, one of his cousins actually reached out to me and said, ‘Hi, I am, I think, your cousin somehow. I’ve been trying to track down other relatives. I think I figured out who everyone is, but we’re trying to figure out who you are,'” Nordendale described.

Tosti remembers the call he got from his cousin. “I think late May, one of my cousins called me and asked me if I was sitting down.”

So Nordendale reached out thinking he’d found another family member. “Like I said, well, this might be a surprise, but I think I am the child of one of your cousins,” he said.

Little did Nordendale know, he’d just called his father. Tosti, a Naples resident, is already enjoying getting to know his son as well.

“He’s such a great person. I mean, I can’t wait to meet him in person,” Tosti said.

The feeling is definitely mutual.

“Just to learn about each other has been really exciting. I think, exactly what you just said, his excitement before is what makes it much more enjoyable to get to know each other,” Nordendale added.

The two FaceTime at least once a week and are seeing just how similar they are.

“He started talking about musical instruments and I said, ‘You played any musical?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I played alto saxophone.’ I said I played the alto. He goes, ‘Yeah, I started, like, in grammar school or something, like fifth grade or something like that.’ I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me. That’s when I started,'” Tosti said.

Nordendale is just happy that everything is working out so well.

“I think it worked out better than I even could’ve imagined,” he said.

Nordendale and Tosti plan to meet sometime in September or October when Nordendale comes to town for work.

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