For some time, Nueces County Tax Assessor-Collector Kevin Kieschnick has been searching for his birth parents.
That mystery has been solved thanks to a simple DNA test.
For his entire life, Kieschnick has wanted to know who his birth parents were, so he sent off for an online DNA test. It finally provided the answers he's been looking for.
"Basically all you do is spit in a tube and fill out some paperwork, and you send it off and that was that," Kieschnick said.
The test gave him the name of a possible first cousin. He contacted her and that led to the discovery that his birth mother, along with his two sisters, are alive and living in Missouri.
Kieschnick first got in contact with them over Facetime, and on Spring Break, he took his own family to Missouri to meet them face-to-face.
The visit was a big hit. Kieschnick finally met his birth mother, Bonnie Lee Phillips, along with the two sisters he had never known, Ricky and Gina.
"It feels like it was just natural. It was like we'd known each other and hadn't even skipped a beat, so it was amazing," Kieschnick said. "I did mentally prepare myself to find something I didn't want to find, because when you do something like this you don't know what you're walking into."
Kieschnick said all he had ever known was that he was born in Kingsville in 1972 and that his birth family had been in the military. Now, thanks to a DNA test kit, he knows his birth name: Raymond Joseph Jones.
Kieschnick said his biological father died in the same month and year as his adoptive father. As for the reason he was given up for adoption, he said his mom told him that she was suffering domestic violence at home and wanted to get him out of the situation.
When asked if he held any resentment toward his mother for making that decision, Kieschnick said he supported the decision she made and that everything has worked out well for everyone.