ABC Co-anchor Whit Johnson Ignored His Dad and Took a DNA Test, Only To Find Out the Truth About His Old Man

Sun Mar 06 2022

What would you think if one of your biological parents were adopted and knew nothing about where they came from? That’s the exact situation that ABC’s co-anchor and news correspondent Whit Johnson found himself in. Whit’s father had been adopted as a baby and naturally, Whit always had a lot of questions about his ethnic heritage.

But those questions went by totally unanswered at the request of Whit’s father. As you’ll come to see, the co-anchor eventually went against his dad’s wishes and dug a little deeper, only to uncover a huge family secret by accident. Read on to learn about the ABC journalist’s touching family journey, and how it transformed his dad’s life for the better.

Whit Johnson Grew up in the Golden Gate City

In case you didn’t know, Whit Johnson was born and raised in San Francisco, California. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in Television and Radio Broadcasting, he spent little time in his hometown. To date, he has worked in four different states, including Washington, D.C. Now at 39 years old, he resides in New York with his family.

Whit started working at ABC in 2018, first appearing on ABC World News Tonight, but later joining the Good Morning America team as a correspondent and co-anchor. A couple of years later, he replaced anchor Tom Llamas on Saturday’s ABC World News Tonight. You can still catch him as a co-anchor on Good Morning America during the weekends.

Family Is and Has Always Been Everything to Whit

If you follow Whit on social media, you’ll know that he’s a proud husband to journalist Andrea Fujii, and a doting dad to their two little girls, Leah and Summer. He calls them his “boss ladies” and frequently sings their praises on Instagram. In fact, if he’s not posting something work-related, he’s saying things like this:

“Good health and family… Two things that 2020 has reminded us are truly precious and should not be taken for granted. Even if you can’t feast with your families, make sure you feed them with plenty of love.” Now that Whit has a gorgeous family of his own, Whit found himself asking more questions about the genetic makeup of his daughters, and therefore himself.

Whit and His Dad Have Always Been Very Close

Meet Whit’s dad Steve, the mysterious man in question. Steve and Whit have always enjoyed a very close relationship, with Whit seeing his biological father as a true role model. Whit shared a heartfelt message to his nearly 50,000 Instagram followers about his beloved dad in the caption for this photo, which said: “Happy Father’s Day to the man who taught me what it means to be a dad.”

Whit continued, “Big Steve… Grandpa Boss… El Lobo… a man with many names and many mustache variations. Thank you for your guidance and unwavering support. Love you, Dad!!” Clearly, Whit and Steve had a great relationship. But that didn’t mean that Steve was open to discussing his biological family. He loved talking about his adoptive family, but talking about where he came from was a total no-go.

It Was Whit’s Mom Who First Encouraged Him To Take a DNA Test

It was Whit’s mom, pictured on the left, who first encouraged him to take a DNA test. Whit explained how, “My mother and father divorced years ago, and my mother had this growing curiosity about my ethnicity. I was over at her house with my wife, and we were just sitting around a breakfast table when my mother was explaining to me that she bought me a DNA test because she wanted to know.” On the right, is Whit’s younger sister Dana.

But even Whit admits that he didn’t really see the point of going ahead with the DNA test. “At first, I was reluctant, thinking, ‘What difference does it make?’ ” His mom had already taken a 23andMe test and found out about her heritage: “My mother is Caucasian/European, to the point where I thought, “Okay, what variation of British/Irish/Scottish could I possibly be?”

The Thing About Steve: He Was Adopted as a Baby

Steve was adopted as a baby in 1950. All that was known about his biological family was that they gave him up in Salt Lake City. “My dad was adopted in 1950 in Salt Lake City. We knew that, but we knew nothing about his biological family,” Whit admitted. “Over the years, we always had some curiosity, but my dad never wanted to know.”

There was a reason Steve never wanted to look into it: “His adoptive parents were so important to him, he didn’t want to offend them in any way, and he thought that digging up some details about his biological family would create some rift within the family.” Because Steve showed no interest, Whit had never pursued it further. Still, Whit “…always wondered what was out there, who might be out there.”

Whit Takes the Test, in No Small Thanks to His Mom

It was Whit’s mom who literally handed him the test tube from 23andMe. But she had help from Whit’s wife Andrea, who was also totally on board. He stated: “Both my wife and my mom convinced me. My mom literally walked out with the test tube and said, “All you have to do is spit in this.” In a sense, Whit didn’t have much of a choice. But time would tell just how good a decision that was.

Whit added that his mom said, “We’ll fill out the online profile together, and then you wait for the results.” He obliged and got it over with quickly: “I took the spit test and, right there at the dinner table, we quickly filled out the profile and all the details. After that, I went home, never thinking anything of it.”

About a Month Later, Whit Get’s an Email Back From 23andme With Some Interesting Results

It was about a month later when Whit got an email back from 23andMe. “We have your results” the subject line read, and Whit was intrigued and clicked in right away. “I clicked the email and took a look at my profile and found some interesting things, especially about my ethnicity and my background,” he wrote in 2018.

Since Whit’s mother had already taken a DNA test, her results were shown alongside Whit’s genetic profile – “We could see all the Western European, the British/Irish/Scottish, that sort of thing.” But the other half of Whit’s genetic makeup didn’t look familiar: “There was this other part that showed that I’m Basque Spanish, and I had a small percentage of Native American… I knew instantly that must have been from my dad.”

Whit Had No Idea That the Spit Test Also Finds Long-lost Relatives

Despite the new information, Whit didn’t think too much about it. After all, he wasn’t aware that part of the DNA testing service was connecting him with relatives, known or unknown. He later admitted, “At that time, I didn’t know that 23andMe was also connecting relatives in this way through DNA. I had read about it, but wasn’t familiar with the process.”

Whit continued: “I started navigating the website a little bit more and found this tab that pops up that reads, ‘Your DNA Relatives.’ Not knowing what I was doing, I clicked on the tab, and then this line of relatives pops up, but they’re all distant relatives, like third, fourth, fifth cousins.” What interested Whit the most was all the Spanish names he saw pop up. He had grown up with the name Johnson, “which came from my dad’s adoptive parents.”

One Relative Listed Appeared To Have an Especially Close Connection

“It actually warns people, like, “Hey, get ready for some potential surprises,” kind of thing,” Whit revealed. He clicked in and saw his mother listed as a very close relative – nothing surprising there. “But one other relative popped up, and it said, ‘Possible first cousin.’ I looked at that, and I started thinking, ‘My mother has siblings, but they didn’t have any kids.’

Now, Whit was finally thinking… if he had a first cousin out in the world, there was something significant in his family lineage that had, until now, gone by unnoticed. As he put it, “That’s immediately under the umbrella of your grandparents.” Either Whit’s mother’s sibling had lied about not having children, or Steve had very close biological relatives living out there in the world.

Whit Has the Wind Knocked Out of Him When He Sees What His Cousin Looks Like

Whit explained in detail the moment he made a startling discovery. “I looked at this profile, and I clicked this potential first cousin, and a name and a picture popped up.” He was curious but unprepared for what he was about to see. “The picture blew my mind. My jaw dropped. I fell back into my chair,” the ABC anchor recalled.

“I had to turn away from the computer for a moment and just think about this for a second because I saw a picture of a man who looks exactly like my dad.” After all these years Whit had never seen someone who resembled his own father quite so much. But now, it was undeniable to Whit that this man in the photo was a close biological relative: “At that moment, I knew this had to be my dad’s brother. It had to be.”

Whit Had No Idea How To Approach His Dad With Such a Family Bombshell

This was the first time Whit had learned anything about his father’s biological family. None of them had a single piece of information about where Steve came from, or how he ended. up where he did. Whit explained, “We didn’t know if he had siblings or anything, but in that picture and the way this man was sitting in this chair, his eyes, his mouth, my dimples — I just knew it.”

As Whit stared at that life-changing photograph of a man he had never met, he understood the magnitude of the moment. Nothing would be the same after this: “At that moment, I’m like, ‘This is a bombshell. This is a family revelation here. This is going to change everything for us,’ and I’m immediately thinking, ‘Well, how do I even contact this person or how do I talk to my dad? How do I figure out the story?'”

Whit Didn’t Need To Be as as Stressed as He Was, As Good News Was Right Around the Corner

Even with this huge revelation, Whit wasn’t aware of how big an impact these results would have. He later wrote, “I had no idea what I was getting into. It was more just like, ‘Hey, you know, where are you from?’ That’s the question people want to know, ‘Where are you from? What part of the world? What ethnic background? What countries do you have some affiliation to? Maybe you have distant relatives living in other parts of the world.’ “

After all, it seems like everyone’s doing a DNA test these days. So, Whit wasn’t any different from the rest of us in wanting to hop on the bandwagon and find some interesting tidbits. Now that he discovered there was a living close relative, he’d have to do something about it: “I was in a room by myself when all of this happened. I’m pacing around the room, going, ‘What do I do? How do I tell my dad?’ “

After All These Years, Whit’s Dad Finally Wanted Some Answers About His Biological Family

Whit’s dad had never wanted to delve into his biological family tree out of loyalty to his adopted family. “As far as my dad’s concerned, it was really a personal thing for my father. He loved his father and mother, again, his adoptive parents, so much and felt like it would be an insult to them and the love and the life they gave him if he explored this,” Whit explained.

But Steve’s adopted family had since passed away, and little by little, curiosity crept in. Amazingly, Whit’s revelatory DNA test results came at just the right time: “Little did I know, just as I made this discovery, my father had decided he wanted to learn about his biological mother after all these years and had started to do a little research online about taking DNA tests and family trees but didn’t find anything.”

Whit’s Correspondence With His Stepmom Was Just Preparing Him for the Big Conversation With Dad Steve

The first person Whit wanted to call was his mom. After that, he called his wife and told her about the news, and then proceeded to write an email to his stepmother (pictured in the top right) who he knew to be with his dad on that day. “I said something to the effect of, ‘We need to talk to Dad. I made some kind of family discovery by accident on 23andMe.’ “

Word for word, this is what Whit and his stepmom wrote to each other over email. She replied, “How interesting. What service did you use?” to which Whit answered, “Honestly, I’m kind of freaking out because I may have just found someone related to Dad.” Whit clarified, writing in all capital letters, “VERY RELATED TO DAD.”

Whit’s Old Man Wants to know what he’s found

As you might expect, Whit and his stepmom had a lot to talk about. As the ABC News co-anchor remembers it, “We go back and forth and back and forth and I tell her about this man who was also born in Utah in 1956, six years later than my dad.” Whit’s stepmom replied: “Oh, my God. Yes, Dad wants to know. We’ll call you later.”

This couldn’t have happened at a more sensitive time. Steve was only two days away from his birthday and felt as though this whole situation had something to do with it. While Whit waited for a call back from his dad, he messaged with his “close” DNA match on the 23andMe website, going back and forth and swapping details.

Whit’s DNA Match Has a Startling Revelation That’s Going To Need a Lot More Explaining

Whit remembers everything that played out: “I had reached out to the man who popped up on the website, and as I’m waiting to hear back from my dad and my stepmom, the man messaged me back, and he says, ‘Huh, I’ve been exploring all these DNA websites for years and never saw a relative this close. Tell me your story.’ “

Whit started by telling him a bit about his dad’s background, which we know didn’t take long. “I write back and I’m like, ‘Well, my dad was adopted in 1950 in Utah… I’m looking at our genetic markers.’ He responds and says, ‘I think I’m your dad’s brother.’ ” Now things really got interesting. Whit may not have understood much about the data he received back from the DNA company, but this close relative apparently understood just fine.

An Emotional Steve Calls Whit Back and He Wants Answers

It may seem like a stretch to us, but to Whit, this DNA match really looked as though he could be brothers with dad Steve. The pair of them were still in the middle of talking when Steve finally called Whit back. Whit recalled how Steve was “emotional” when he picked up the phone, explaining, “I could tell that he’s flustered, and he says something like, ‘Whit, what’s going on?’ “

Whit continued: “I’m like, ‘Dad, I think I found something incredible that’s gonna change all of our lives here,’ and I’m like, ‘You wanna know? What do you wanna know?’ He said, ‘You know what? Just tell me.’ ” As soon as Whit told him that he thinks he’s found his long-lost brother, the flood gates opened: “I tell him, and he’s in tears.”

Whit Accidentally Gives Steve the Most Incredible Birthday Present

Whit saw it as him and his dad on this journey together, explaining “I could sense in him that this was a release. He had been trying to find a way to break through to start looking. He had been suppressing these feelings.” Now, thanks to Whit, “He didn’t have to take that first step anymore.” Even more than that, he didn’t have to do it alone. It was also only two days away from Steve’s birthday, making it the most incredible and unexpected birthday gift.

What happened in the immediate aftermath? Whit fills us in, telling us how “All of this happened within just a couple of hours. This immediate discovery and my dad’s in tears, and I’m in tears, my stepmom’s crying. Everybody can’t believe what’s happening here. By the end of the day, my dad and his brother are exchanging emails.”

Whit Was Looped in to Steve’s Emotionally-charged Email Correspondence With His Possible Long-lost Sibling

Whit was looped into all of Steve’s correspondence with this newfound close relative, Bear. The ABC co-anchor recalled reading the subject of the email his dad had written, which simply said “INTERESTING DAY.” You can say that again… Steve started the email off by writing, “I woke up an orphan…”

Steve continued: “…And am going to bed thinking maybe I have a brother out there.” Understandably, Steve didn’t get a lot of sleep that night. He was too busy thinking of what might be, whether this guy is actually the biological brother Steve thinks he is, and whether Bear is just as interested in getting to the bottom of this as he is.

Steve Acknowledges That He and Bear Have Had Similar Challenges as Kids

Steve’s email to Bear wasn’t over yet. He expressed a sense of connection to Bear, considering how they had shared similar experiences in their early years as adopted children. Steve wrote: “So Bear, we share the life of adopted children – always thinking about what might have been.”

Trying not to get too emotional in his first introductory email, Steve continued: “I have been afraid to explore my origins, but in the last month, for reasons I don’t fully understand, I have had my birth family very much on my mind.” Finally, he signed off the email, “Meanwhile, I’m going fishing and wondering if I have a long-lost brother out there named Bear. Interesting day.”

Whit’s Newly-Discovered Biological Uncle Had No Idea That He was Watching His Nephew on TV All These Years!

It didn’t take long before Steve and Bear, the brother, wanted to meet up. They picked a date, and Whit made sure to clear his calendar! Whit shared: “My dad’s brother lives in Utah, where I actually worked as a reporter several years back and learned that, for years, my uncle watched me on TV as an anchor and reporter in Salt Lake City, having no idea that I was his nephew. So, for him, when he put all of this together, it was a complete shocker.

Whit and Steve weren’t the only ones who were surprised. Meeting in Utah, Whit claimed it was a first union, not reunion: “It’s the first union – the first time we’d met. And it’s amazing, all the things they have in common – some of their little geeky traits, how they’re into fixing things, and their habits, and how they walk and how their hands look the same and their dimples look the same.” We can only imagine how strange it must have been for Whit to see.

Steve and Bear Go Digging for More Information and Find a Lot More Than They Bargained For

The surprises weren’t over just yet. Firstly, Steve, Whit, and the rest of their family kept in close contact with their newly discovered relatives. Whit told how “This uncle has a daughter, and so that would be my first cousin, and we had them both come to California to meet my family there, which was incredible.” As we’ll come to see, it’s a good thing that Whit and Steve had a “the more, the merrier” outlook on reconnecting with their relatives.

Whit explains, “Then my dad and his brother started looking at other legal records and documents…” As the DNA testing company can only match other people who have undergone one of their tests, some relatives can easily slip through the gaps. “[They] found that they had another brother,” Whit revealed. From what the records showed, Steve was actually one of three boys.

Steve Hunts Down the Third Brother and Finds a Way To Break the Ice

Steve mustered up the courage to get in touch with the third brother: “My dad breaks the ice with this other brother who lives in Wyoming, and sends him a letter. He tells him about this process, and how this all happened. And this brother wrote back and explained his story. He said he was given up for adoption as well.”

Luckily, the brother in Wyoming was just as enthusiastic about getting to the bottom of this adoption story. A DNA test proved him to be their biological brother, with the same mother but a different father. “So, all these kids, given up for adoption by the same mother, but the difference is it was his biological grandparents – her parents – who actually raised him, and his mother was sort of in and out of his life over the years.”

Steve Finally Gets To See Who He Inherited His Looks From

“So, now we have three brothers, and they could tell by the genetic profiles there are three different fathers but the same mother.” Whit summarized in an interview. But this third brother appeared to have more information than the others about their mysterious biological mother. Whit stated about the third brother from Wyoming, “He knew of her. He had pictures of her.” For the first time, Steve got to see a picture of his biological mother.

“And so my dad, within a short period of time, learned his mother’s name and saw a picture of her. They did a side-by-side comparison of childhood photos with my dad’s high school picture next to her picture about the same age, and you see the striking similarities.” There definitely were similarities between Steve and his mom, but undoubtedly she was a great beauty in her youth.

The Third Brother From Wyoming Travels To Meet the Brothers He Never Knew He Had

This third long-lost brother did more than just share some family photos. He was just as excited about the prospect of meeting the brothers and they quickly set up an in-person meeting for all of them. “The third uncle from Wyoming brought a bunch of family photographs to talk about the background of the family.” This uncle was the only one who actually knew their mother, so the brothers couldn’t wait to hear his stories.

We can hardly ignore how happy Steve looks to be reunited with the brothers he never even knew he had. Whit stated, “With every step of the process, it was like a new wave of emotions. And it meant so much to my father, especially, since for years he was so reluctant to go on this journey, and here it is happening for him.”

The Search Isn’t Even Over as It’s Discovered That Their Mom Had Also Given Birth to a Baby Girl

Believe it or not, the brothers’ work wasn’t over. “My dad and his brother in Utah have continued the process, looking into other public records and documents. But there are many twists and turns left in this family story.” You can say that again – Steve learned of another interesting fact about his biological mom. She had also given birth to a daughter.

“We know that there’s another sister out there, but we have no idea where she is. We would like to contact her at some point and share what we’ve found with her, but we haven’t been able to do that yet,” Whit added. But the brothers haven’t given up, and in fact, they’ve even extended their search to their various biological fathers.

Someone on Instagram Reveals That Steve and Sharon Used To Make a Great Couple, and Conceived of Whit on Mount Whitney…

These photos show Whit while he was still just a kid, and when his parents were together. Whit actually got a bit more information than he bargained on when one of his followers, Catherine Borbridge, turned out to have known his parents while they were still together. “I saw you as a baby while taking a geology trip [with] your parents out of Mendocino,” she started telling Whit.

That’s when Catherine revealed “…I remember them saying you were conceived on Mt Whitney!! Wow!!” before adding that she thought his parents were a fantastic couple together. So that’s where Whit gets his name from. It’s not known why they eventually broke up, but we do know that Sharon used to cut Whit’s hair herself. “When mom actually used a bowl to trim the bangs,” Whit captioned the photo on the left.

The 23andMe Test Concluded That Whit Has a Mix of Both Irish and Spanish DNA From His Father

There’s another part of the DNA test results that we haven’t yet covered. Without being able to track down Steve’s father yet, they did manage to gather some information about Steve’s ethnic heritage. From Whit’s DNA sample, it was determined that he inherited both Irish and Spanish genes separate from his mother Sharon.

This means Steve has a mix of Irish and Spanish genes. Judging from the photos of Steve’s biological mother, it seems possible, or even likely, that she was of Spanish descent. It seems as though whoever Steve’s dad is, he is probably mostly of Irish descent.

Whit’s Little Sister Dana Is the Spitting Image of Their Father, Steve

What about Whit’s sister? Well, she chose to live her life out of the limelight, even if that means coming up to visit her brother from time to time and popping up on his Instagram. Whit captioned this Instagram photo: “My little sister looks nothing like me. Thanks for coming to visit NYC Auntie Dana.” If you ask us, Dana shares a ton of similarities with her dad Steve.

But Whit’s followers appear to have strongly disagreed: “She looks exactly like you!” one person said, while another commented, “You’re just as pretty when you’re a lady Whit.” We have to agree – Whit and Dana definitely share a lot of similar facial features. It’s been reported that Whit is currently trying to persuade his little sister to move to New York in order to be closer to him and their family, but at present, she hasn’t relocated.

Come To Think of It, Steve Gets His Good Looks From His Biological Mother

Knowing what Steve’s biological mother looks like now, we can compare what Steve looked like when he was the same age as her. He’s pictured in the middle, with a high school Whit on his left, and his mother on the right. All three of them are around the same age at the time of these portraits.

Whit shared his high school photo with his Instagram followers, writing “Yep, my pops still has this snow globe with my high school senior portrait.” We’re taken aback by how similar Whit looks to his dad – he clearly inherited Steve’s piercing gaze. Both Whit and Steve even have the same eyebrow raised in their senior portraits, and arguably so does Steve’s mother… It certainly makes you wonder what Steve’s biological dad looks like, and how much he resembles him, too.

Mom Sharon Was on To Something When She Insisted That Whit Should Take a DNA Test

Whit knows his mom Sharon was the catalyst for all of this to happen. He constantly sings her praises on social media, calling her an “extraordinary woman” with boundless “unconditional love, endless guidance, and supernatural ability to inject happiness into those around you.” As you can probably tell, Sharon and Whit have always enjoyed a close relationship.

But Whit doesn’t get to see his mom as much as he’d like. On one particular visit with his wife and kids to Sharon’s house, he explained how difficult it is to get there. “Over the river and through the woods… that’s literally how to get to grandma’s house,” he described. Nonetheless, he was “Cherishing this time with my mom and my girls!”

Steve Showers Praise on All the Loving Moms That Make His Life Complete

But Whit knows the value of all the mothers in his life, not just Sharon. Take a look at the photo collage he threw together on Mother’s Day to celebrate three important women in his life. He wrote on Instagram, “Mom Sharon (top left): The definition of unconditional love who possesses a superhuman ability to make people happy.” She even managed to make Whit’s dad happy, after having insisted that Whit take that revelatory DNA test!

Whit continued to shower praise: “Stepmom Leslie (top right): An endlessly committed parent whose loving guidance has played a crucial role in my life.” And finally, he addressed his wife Andrea, writing “And my wife: A true Earth angel and working mom who blesses our family with every step she takes.” We don’t know what Steve and Sharon did to achieve it, but they managed to raise an incredibly grateful family man who respects all the women in his life.

It’s Becoming Clearer and Clearer That Whit Has a Knack for Bringing Families Together

It’s clear that Whit has a big heart and a lot of love to give. Not just to his beloved father Steve, and not only to his newly discovered biological relatives, with whom he’s been getting closer and closer as time goes by. He also decided to add a couple of new characters to his ever-expanding family, only this time they were furbabies.

The Johnsons already had canine companions living at home, but they couldn’t resist the opportunity to foster these pups in need for a while. “A little crazy around the house, but Copper is the best big brother dog!! Helping to get these sweet girls healthy and ready for adoption,” Whit announced on Instagram. Whit ended up finding two perfect families to adopt each of the foster pups. Yep, Whit’s just creating happy families all around it seems.

Steve and His Brothers Couldn’t Travel To See Eachother Once the Global Pandemic Arrived

The burgeoning relationship between Steve and his long-lost brothers was hindered by the start of COVID-19 and the global pandemic. Travel became heavily restricted, which hindered the brothers’ ability to meet up and see each other. Whit had to trade his ABC News desk and varying locations for the spare room at home.

Whit was a good sport about it, however, writing to his followers: “Good Morning America! Live from Studio WJ!” If you’re wondering about his DIY’d set up, he went on to explain that he had fashioned himself a temporary ring light and step ladder/shoebox combo to keep his laptop at eye level. Only the best for Good Morning America employees!

Whit’s Not the Only One Who Has Been Working From Home, but He Has Been Busy Home Schooling the Girls

Whit wasn’t the only one having to make do with working from home. His news reporter wife was in the same boat that he was, in that she also had to fashion herself a temporary “filming studio” from somewhere in the family house. When Whit wasn’t using the ring light and phone stand, she was!

And whilst Andrea was busy bringing home the dough, Whit was inside homeschooling the kids. She shared her gratitude on Instagram, writing, “In a rare Monday workday, I’m thankful for my pinch hitter home school teacher,” before tagging him and calling out their hodge-podge work from home life. Whit certainly was putting all other dads to shame!

When Everyone Went Into Lockdown, Steve Had To Make Do With Seeing His Dad Exclusively on Zoom

Soon enough everyone was in lockdown, and that meant that Steve couldn’t come over to see Whit and his granddaughters anymore. But they made the most of it, making sure to video call with the family frequently, especially on the holidays. “Dying Easter eggs on Zoom!” Whit captioned these photos on Instagram.

Sadly for all of us, 2020 came and went by in a flash. More than a whole year went by before Steve could even see his son or granddaughter again, let alone his biological brothers. Understandably, it also slowed down the brothers’ hunt for their other biological relatives. Whit wrote on Instagram, “We cherish these moments, but hope we can reunite in person very soon.”

If There Wasn’t Already Enough To Contend With in 2020, the Johnsons Had to Shelter in Their Basement Awaiting a Tornado

Luckily, Whit and his family weren’t suffering from the global pandemic as much as many other families had. Nonetheless, 2020 was a tough year for more than one reason. As if it wasn’t hard enough being locked up at home for months on end, the Johnson home was at risk from a dangerous tornado.

He posted this photo on Instagram with the caption: “Tornado warning!! Woke up the kids to shelter in the basement. Classic 2020. (We’re all safe.)” Tornado warnings are pretty rare in New York, so when they do occur you know you have to take them seriously. Luckily, the Johnsons were allowed to leave their basement eventually and make use of the space around the house!

Leah and Summer Had Been Doing Their Best During Lockdown, but They Finally Got the O.K. To Go Back to School in Person

Whit’s daughters also experienced a dramatic change in their lives over 2020. They went from learning in school every day to learning from home, watching their teachers through a computer screen for hours on end. But it wasn’t forever, and by the time the new school year rolled out in September 2020 they were already allowed to go back in person.

Whit posted this snapshot of them on their first day of school, writing that it was their “First day of ‘in-person learning’!! So proud of my brave little girls. And a HUGE THANK YOU to all the dedicated teachers, faculty & staff who are now frontline essential workers #GirlDad.”

Once Restrictions Eased, Whit Finally Got To See His Dad Again

When Whit and his family were finally allowed to see their parents after months of being in lockdown, it was an emotional moment. He took to his social media to share about the experience: “FINALLY got to see my parents (both sets) and siblings in CA for the first time this year! The pandemic, travel restrictions, and raging wildfires kept us apart.”

“But after hours of flying… hours of driving… multiple COVID tests… and plenty of social distancing… we made it happen. My heart is full. I know so many people across the country are struggling through the same challenges… and much much more. 2020 has truly been cruel. Love and family have carried me through.”

Whit Credits His Stepfather for a Lot of His Career Success, but Arguably His Dad Steve Was the One Who Started His Passion for Journalism

Whit’s stepfather, Dean Edell, is often credited as his role model for getting into journalism and presenting. It’s understandable, as Dean is an accomplished physician and broadcaster, best known for hosting the “Dr. Dean Edell” radio show for a whopping three decades.

That being said, Steve arguably had a larger part to play than most people recognize. Whit developed an interest in journalism and broadcasting after routinely watching the news with his old man while he was growing up. We wouldn’t put it past Steve to have instilled in Whit a sense of wonder and excitement at something most of us take for granted.

A Natural Disaster Threatens the Johnson Home Once More, as Their Basement Flooded Due to a Terrible Storm Following Hurricane Ida

When September 2021 rolled around, it seemed as though Whit and his family could hardly catch a break. Last year the Johnsons had to shelter in the basement from an impending tornado, but now New York was suffering from a huge flash flood. In the wake of Hurricane Ida, a savage storm unleashed heavy rainfall that people simply weren’t prepared for.

Whit was covering the whole thing, albeit with a heavy heart. He took to social media to write: “Covering the historic flooding on the east coast. My basement flooded and we still don’t have power, but thinking about all of those who’ve lost much more.” Even though their family home had suffered some serious damage, everyone was ok.

Because of the Global Pandemic, Andrea and the Girls Hadn’t Been Able To See their Grandparents for Over a Year and a Half

No one knew how long the global pandemic was going to hang around. Similar to Whit, Andrea hadn’t been able to visit her parents in person for an extremely extended period of time. One month turned into three months, which turned into six months, which eventually turned into a whole year and a half of Andrea and the girls not being able to see Andrea’s beloved parents.

When they finally were able to see grandma and grandpa in Hawaii, Andrea took to Instagram to celebrate their long-awaited reunion. She wrote: “After not seeing my parents for a year and a half, so thankful for a blessed trip. A hui hou, until next time!” In this photo, you can definitely see Andrea’s resemblance to her mother, but as we’ll come to see further on in the article, Andrea is pretty much identical to how her mother used to look in her younger years.

Three Years Had Passed Until Andrea and Her Sister Were Able To Reunite Once More

It wasn’t only her parents that Andrea hadn’t been able to see in the longest time. Travel restrictions had meant that Andrea also hadn’t been able to see her sister for almost three whole years. They were already overdue meeting back at the beginning of 2020 when everything went into lockdown.

Andrea isn’t one to share too much about her sister on social media, but when they met for the first time in what felt like forever, she had to share the joyous moment with her Instagram followers. “A day late for #NationalSiblingsDay but it’s worthwhile since we haven’t seen each other for nearly 3 years until now!”

The Johnsons Had Themselves a Very Weird and Stressful Christmas With the Family That No One Was Really Prepared For

When Christmas rolled around in 2021, things were looking a lot more positive than they had done the year before. This time, Andrea’s parents were able to fly out to New York to be with Whit, Andrea, and the kids, however, things didn’t go so smoothly. “Well, it wasn’t the Christmas we’d planned,” Whit told his social media followers, adding “but it’s one we’ll never forget!”

Whit continued: “Our household got the unfortunate gift of Omicron while my in-laws were visiting. Multiple family members got sick with breakthrough infections. We had to divide the house into COVID positive and negative rooms.” Luckily for Whit, he “never tested positive” but he did have to “miss a lot of work due to my repeated exposure while I took care of my family.” He admitted that “It was incredibly stressful and scary at times.”

Finally, It’s Whit’s Turn To See His Parents After an Extended Period of Social Distancing and Travel Restrictions

When it was Whit’s turn to visit his beloved parents after a long period of social distancing, he was over the moon. “FINALLY got to see my parents and siblings in CA for the first time this year!” he excitedly told Instagram and Facebook. “The pandemic, travel restrictions, and raging wildfires kept us apart,” he explained. Pictured below, Whit was visiting his mom and her partner in the mountains of California.

Whit continued: “But after hours of flying… hours of driving… multiple COVID tests… and plenty of social distancing… we made it happen. My heart is full.” Especially after helping reconnect his father to his biological siblings, family had been more important than ever to Whit. “I know so many people across the country are struggling through the same challenges… and much much more. 2020 has truly been cruel. Love and family have carried me through.”

Whit’s Success in Reuniting His Dad With His Siblings Has Sparked His Desire to Foster Dogs and Connect Them With Their Forever Homes

Whit did such a good job in bringing a deeper level of fulfillment to his dad by uniting him with his brothers, that it inspired him to do more for local canine companions needing a forever home. Since the pandemic started, Whit has been busy welcoming rescue dogs into his home and finding them a family. His first foster dog Felix got on so well in their family that it was hard to let him go and join another family.

Whit admitted on Instagram that letting go of Felix was especially hard: “He’s incredibly sweet and loving and quickly became Copper’s (our dog) BFF. But today another wonderful family came along and adopted him permanently!! It’s a bittersweet day… hard to say goodbye.” We must say, Whit certainly has a natural talent when it comes to bringing people (and dogs) together.

When Whit Doesn’t Have To Wear a Face Mask in Public, It Spells Out Good News for Steve and His Siblings

Whit’s coworker took to Instagram to post this photo of Whit, in a public space, without a face mask! Journalist and fellow ABC News Field Producer, Christopher Donato, shared this photo with his followers, captioning it: “Another sign of life slowly returning to normal…for the first time in 14 months, a maskless indoor live shot!”

“More than 10,000 fans expected to fill Barclays Center tomorrow night for the Nets’ first playoff game,” Christopher added. It surely was a sign that things were starting to return to normal. And that means that not only was Whit’s work and the kids’ school schedule returning to how it used to be, but Steve and his long-lost siblings would be able to reunite once more.

The Three Brothers Look Forward To Being Able To Meet Up Again Now That Travel Restrictions Are Being Lifted

Now that things were opening up again, it was good news for Steve and his two biological brothers. Each of them lived in a different state from one another, so meeting up during the global pandemic was pretty much off the table. They would need to travel far in order to actually see each other face to face.

And it wasn’t just the brothers who wanted to meet up, as Whit wanted to get to know his newly-discovered uncles better too. But by the end of 2021, meeting up was starting to look like a real possibility again. Pictured above, Whit is on the far left posing alongside his father Steve and Steve’s two biological brothers.

She Got It From Her Momma! Andrea Is the Spitting Image of Her Gorgeous Mom Back in the Day

Take a look at baby Andrea with her gorgeous look-a-like mom back in the day. Andrea posted this cute throwback photo along with the caption: “Happy Mother’s Day to my biggest supporter and the one who taught me how to be a good Mama.” But we can see that Andrea inherited more than just her mom’s parenting skills.

In fact, today’s Andrea looks like the brunette version of her gorgeous mom back in the eighties. We can see those same high cheekbones, the stunning Hollywood smile, and ballerina-like posture. Not only that, but baby Andrea in this photo looks an awful lot like her two young daughters, Leah and Summer.