AUDUBON, NJ (WUSA9) - Just one day ago, WUSA9 helped a D.C. man in his persistent search for the father he never met. Lamar Carter didn't know his father’s name, where he lived or whether he was still alive.
The two-year search for Carter’s father ended in Southern New Jersey. Someday soon, his father will meet the son he never knew he had.
“It’s confirmed, man. You’re my father. Get out of here, man,” Carter said. “Oh my God.”
DNA testing confirmed it and Carter was reduced to tears.
Lamar Carter’s father is, without a doubt, Mark Shumate.
“He’s a Shumate,” Carter said. “I have the same Shumate genes. We have that resilience.”
Lamar’s search for his father began on Facebook two years ago with a public plea for help.
“He was determined. That’s a testament to his resilience, his will power and determination,” Shumate said. “He never gave up. And I’m so glad.”
Both men have already defied the odds. Lamar endured the death of his mother Yvette when he was just two years old. He survived gang- and drug-infested neighborhoods to go on to earn a college degree from Rutgers.
“For it to all work out the way it has, I’m beyond words. I don’t feel like I deserve it,” Carter said.
“We all deserve one another. I’m so glad,” Shumate said. “What a great story.”
Mark is the father of six, including Lamar. He’s a former drug addict who’s been clean and sober for 27 years.
“Everyone in some kind of way is going to fall down in life. But it’s not about the falling down, but the getting up,” he said.
Tragedy has touched both their lives. Carter lost his mother and Shumate’s son, Rakyme, was murdered at the age of 28. No one expected Lamar to walk into their lives at the age of 29.
“My oldest daughter Ayanna just said yesterday, she said Daddy you know something how we lost Rakyme? But we gained Lamar,” Shumate said.
Carter is working in California, so flying back East to meet his new family was a financial burden. WUSA9 offered to pay.
“That is awesome. Oh man, thank you, thank you!” Carter said.
Both men credit Carter’s mother with this miraculous outcome.
“It’s just another example of her smiling on us,” Carter said.
“God bless her and God bless all of us,” Shumate said.
Carter will turn 30 on Nov. 4, and it’s shaping up to be a birthday celebration he’ll never forget.
Shumate’s four surviving children are thrilled to meet their new big brother. WUSA9 will be sure to bring you the reunion when it happens.