In the context of the nature vs nurture debate, is the desire to get tattooed ingrained in us?

Jason Greathouse, the phlebotomist that helped make a 9-year-old’s dream to become a tattoo artist a reality, shares another amazing tattoo story. Greathouse was given up for adoption, meeting his brothers two times in a period of 30 years; once in high school and once when their mother was passing away. “I felt I needed to see her and let her know I had no hard feelings, when she was laying there ready to die, she looked at me and called me by my birth name she given me. A day later she passed, but for two brothers who knew nothing about each other, we are so much alike in so many ways,” Greathouse said. These likenesses between Greathouse and his brother, Mike Delorenzo, include being covered in body art.

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

The 44-year-old was given up for adoption at 6-months old, by adoptive parents Roger and Kathy Greathouse. “At that time they could not have children, and one day a close friend of theirs came to them and told them that her sister was giving her third son up for adoption. Roger and Kathy were extremely happy and were excited to finally have a child,” Greathouse said.

At 10-years old, Greathouse was told he was adopted and that he had two older brothers, Buddy (the oldest) and Mike (the middle child.) As Roger and Kathy told Jason that if he ever wanted to see his brothers, they would arrange for them to meet. “I took that opportunity to meet my brothers for the first time, I was excited to know I had two older brothers practically in the same town. I remember hanging out and talking in their room, and that was it for the next seven years,” he said.

Greathouse says being adopted “left a void,” for him. “I waited too long to find out information about my background, I got into a lot of fights being picked on for being adopted, along with having red hair,” he added.

After Greathouse’s parents divorced when he was 13, Kathy moved their family to Arizona. When Greathouse was 17, he went back to visit Roger, and wanted to meet with his brothers. “We went to lunch and had a good time,” he said. “Mike and I seemed to hit it off better than the older brother, Buddy.”

The boys decided to meet their biological mother. “It was like meeting your friend's mom for the first time. We talked and that was about it; us three brothers took some pictures and went our own ways for the next 16 years,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

Then, Greathouse got the news from his Aunt in Pennsylvania that his biological mother was not doing well. “I knew in my heart I needed to be there for my brothers and to pay respect and let my birth mom know I had no hard feelings toward her,” Greathouse said. “I remember when I arrived at the hospital I went to her room and stood next to her as she looked over at me. With very little strength she called me by my birth name and said very softly that it was David Allen. I stayed with her for a bit, prayed with her and left for the day.”

At this time no one told his brother Mike that he was in town. When Greathouse got his number to call him, Jason was excited to hear Metallica start playing as the ringback tone. “When I called and heard ‘please enjoy your ring back tone as your party is reached,’ I was like, 'hell yeah we have the same taste in music,'" he said.

Metallica would later be Mike and Jason’s first concert together.

Greathouse continued, “We decided to meet at the hospital the next day, and I walked in to see not only my brother but to meet my two nieces, my nephew and sister-in-law. I remember they had the Steelers game on the TV and we connected and spent time there with our mom. That night Mike and I went out to spend time together at a local bar.”

The next day Greathouse had to fly back to Arizona. When he got off the plane there was a message on his phone from Mike, explaining that their mom passed away. “I feel in my heart she needed to see all her boys before she left,” Greathouse said.

Mike decided to start a new life in Arizona and get to know his little brother.

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

“Our relationship was a rocky start, we didn't know each other's quirks or what made us tick. We partied a lot... I mean a lot. We would be up until the wee hours in the morning; drinking, laughing, beer bongs and blowing darts at each other,” Greathouse said. “I guess it was our way making up for stupid things little brothers do, but we were grown men doing this.”

Currently Mike and Jason’s relationship is, as Greathouse says, “golden.” He adds, “We still laugh and carry on just without as much booze and blow darts. We enjoy golf together even though we both suck... Mike more than myself but we have a great time.”

While the tattooed brothers do not have any matching ink as of yet, Greathouse says he would like to get the date they reunited as brothers tattooed on them. 

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse

Photo courtesy of Jason Greathouse