Student Reunites with Brother after Katrina

Danielle Cunningham, Managing Editor

Recently, one student that attends Mansfield High had the opportunity of a lifetime. Senior Elijah Carr-Walker, also known as Ely, was reunited with his little brother, Ivory Dabner, at the first varsity football game of the season against Flower Mound Marcus.

The devastating disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the intense process of adoption had caused the brothers to drift apart. The two brothers had not seen each other ever since Dabner was adopted by his family.

“We split up because of how the adoption process started,” Carr-Walker said. “Usually the young ones go first. So that’s pretty much how we got separated. They came to visit the house to get to know my little brother and then I got to go to their house to see if I liked the environment and what not. Like a week or two later they came and got him and he moved and lived there.”

Even though the brothers had not seen each other in years, that did not take away the significance and excitement of the moment when they were reunited.

“I was very excited and I was also nervous,” Dabner said.

Ivory Dabner was not the only one feeling the excitement from the situation, but his brother Ely also had some strong feelings.

“I was too happy. I was shocked because we were doing the fight song and I guess his dad was screaming my name. So I looked over and I was like ‘oh, who are you?’ and then I see my brother with his big ol’ eyes. That’s how I knew it was him, it was his eyes that got me,” Carr-Walker said.

Not only did Carr-Walker and Dabner feel the excitement of the moment, but so did NBC 5 news. With a major television news network coming out with the story and different social media networks blowing the story up, a lot of attention was brought to both individuals and their families.

“I’ve gotten calls from multiple states about hearing this on their radio shows. So not only are people picking it up on their TV but it’s also being talked about on talk radio in various states. I’ve heard from four states where people know me and have heard the story,” Rick Dabner said.

The reuniting of the brothers has opened up the opportunity for them to get back to where they started and continue growing from there.

“Now I can see my brother more often, like I hung out with him yesterday. We had like a little barbeque and what not. So it’s good that I can stay in my brother’s life,” Carr-Walker said.

Their lives have been changed forever and the effect will last a lifetime for both Ivory and his older brother.

“I feel like this is the final piece coming together for our youngest son. This has been the catalyst that has really gotten him to engage in life and connect,” Carol Dabner said.

The day the brothers reunited was also the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. That devastating day was one that has gone down in history and hope for the future of the victims of the hurricane has been slightly restored by this touching story.

“It’s jut really nice to see the reaction that people have to it. I mean everybody is so warm and they kind of have faith in a whole bunch of stuff. Faith that God works like everyone says ‘He works and sometimes you just don’t see it’. So I think it gives people that assurance that there is something greater happening.” Rick Dabner said.