CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A local man received a phone call a week ago from a son he never knew about - and welcomed him with open arms.
After years of searching, 23-year-old Devin Hutchinson says he's found his birth father.
"I had that in the back of my mind ever since I was a kid," said Hutchinson. "My parents would say, 'You'll find him one day.' I looked all the time when I was a little kid."
Devin says he will always think of his adoptive mom and dad in Kansas as his parents. He says they have provided love and support for all his goals and dreams.
But Devin's first meeting with his birth father was powerful.
"I got here last week and met him for the first time and I was overwhelmed," said Devin. "I tell you one thing, I don't think I've ever hugged someone so hard when I first met him."
Forty-three-year-old Jeremy Ellzey of Moss Bluff never knew about his son Devin, who was adopted and grew up in Emporia, Kansas.
"His mother and I were young at the time when Devin came about, and I guess for whatever reason, her and her parents decided maybe she was too young to raise him," Jeremy said. "Not really sure why I wasn't contacted."
Jeremy immediately accepted Devin with open arms, and says he's excited, happy and grateful.
He also says this father and son need no DNA tests.
"No, he's not making it up," said Jeremy. "He's mine; look at him."
"We look just alike," said Devin, delighted with his new family. "This is what I was hoping for when I met him: a good family that has good morals and values. I couldn't be more proud."
It all makes sense now to Jeremy's mom, Darla Permenter, who had lived in Kansas and saw a young man who looked like her other grandson.
"As this young man walked by I looked at him and I went, 'Wow, that could be Wade's twin,' which is Jeremy's other son, and just never thought any more about it, just kept on going," said Permenter. "So, when Jeremy come told me the news last week, and he told me that Devin lived in Emporia, that immediately brought it back to my mind. It's been about seven years, but I remembered seeing a young man that I really believed was Devin."
And Jeremy's wife Kayla says Devin is a wonderful addition.
"I think it's great, a blessing to have Devin as part of the family," said Kayla.
And there's another bright spot for Devin.
"I thought I was an only child my whole life," Devin said. "And there's nothing wrong with being an only child, but I do remember growing up thinking, 'Man, I wish I had a brother, man I wish I had a sister.' "
Now he does: six in all, part of his new family.
"I saw my brothers and sisters, like, 'I have brothers and sisters! Wow, man!' "
His six siblings here are thrilled, as well.
"To have someone I can just hang out with, and just do stuff with, is really an amazing experience, honestly," said Alajiah Benoit.
"I think it's awesome," said Reagan Ellzey. "I always thought, I always wondered if I had any siblings out there. I didn't think it would be possible, but I do and I love my brother, so it's really amazing."
If there are lessons here, maybe it's to follow your heart.
"Lot of memories we've missed out on," said Devin. "Very fortunate and blessed to have caught up with them. We've got some time to make up for."
And don't take family for granted.
"Be thankful for your family," said Devin.
And when giving love, be generous.
"I give all thanks to God that this has come about," said Jeremy.