After 25 years, Lufkin woman meets biological father, sister thanks to social media

After 25 years, Lufkin woman meets biological father, sister thanks to social media
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Just a few months ago, Nikki Wright thought she knew her family.

"I have a small family," Wright said. "We usually have 10 people at gatherings. My husband has a big family, and I have always been envious."

Since then, Wright was told that the father that raised her was not her biological dad. In the middle of the shocking news, Wright also learned that she had a sister as well that she never knew.

"I was given a photo of my sister and she was just 6," Wright said. "I knew her first and middle name and was told that she could have been in the Waco area.

Wright then took to social media to hopefully find someone.

"I went to a lot of local sale pages in the Waco area and just put out the picture and a short summary of what I had," Wright said. "I didn't think the pages would keep it up, but they did. We started to get people tagged that had those names. We would look at them and see if they looked like the photo I had. We left it up in the day, and I was getting ready to go out to dinner with my cousin when I heard her scream, 'Oh my God, I think I found her.'"

On one of the posts, there was a comment from an Ashley Ethridge with the simple phrase, "OMG that's me!"

"We started looking at it, and looked like it was," Wright said. "We exchanged numbers and then face-timed with each other."

The two hit it off, and Wright learned her father, John Ethridge, was still alive.

"I called him, and we talked," Wright said. "He was so happy and excited to talk to me. He said it didn't matter that it had been 25 years; he loved me. He then told me that he was driving to Lufkin to meet me."

The crazy part of the timeline is that from the time the first post went up to the time Wright talked to her sister it was only a matter of hours.

"Three hours, I couldn't believe it," Wright said. "I'm not going to lie. Knowing that I only had a picture of my sister and a first and middle name and how big Waco is, I felt like it was going to take a lot longer than that. "

That brings this incredible story to now. On a Friday morning, Wright sat anxiously at her kitchen table with her phone in hand waiting to hear that her father made it to town.

"I am pretty nervous," Wright said. "I am scared. I know I want to meet him, but I never have. I do feel there is this connection."

In less than 24 hours, Wright has gone from a small family to having a third family and now 10 more brothers and sisters that she has never met.

As the small white car pulled in her driveway, Wright smiled and walked outside. No words were needed as she hugged the father she never knew she had.

"My heart was racing, and I was nervous," John Ethridge said. "I was happy to see her. I told her no matter what, I love her as much as I did the rest of my kids whether I have seen her or not."

Ashley was also there to meet the sister she never knew.

"Everything that was said had to go in a certain order, and if it hadn't of went like that, then you know she would have never found us," Ashley Ethridge said.

The relationship didn't stop in her home today. Wright is already planning trips to Waco to meet the family she never knew. Ethridge is also planning on coming to Lufkin to spend time with the daughter he never knew.

"I'm just excited to meet everybody," Wright said. "I have 10 other brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. My grandmother is still alive, and so I feel like I have three families now."

Wright said she is also happy for the family she was raised with and the life they gave her. She is hoping to bond with everyone.

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