Despite having grown up mere minutes away from each other, a pair of long-lost sisters didn’t even know about one another’s existence until one of them tried out a DNA kit
A pair of sisters have been reunited after 55 years, having only learned of each other’s existence after one of them began searching for their biological family.
Diane and her sister Mary grew up mere minutes away from each other but only found out about their connection after Diane took a MyHeritage DNA kit as an adult.
The results showed Diane, who grew up in Michigan but now lives in Devon, UK, had relatives in Paragould, Arkansas. Her search soon led her to Mary, her half-sister on their late mother’s side.
Emotional footage shared by MyHeritage shows the two women embracing joyfully at Charlotte Douglas airport in North Carolina, after Diane flew some 5,000 miles to meet her sister for the very first time.
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The pair have known about each other for a good three years, but the coronavirus pandemic has sadly meant they’ve had to wait to meet in person.
Diane had initially been hesitant about looking for her biological family, feeling as though it would be an “insult” to her adopted family.
However, she now says she’s so pleased she took the leap, with her newly forged bond with Mary giving her the sense of “belonging” she says she never quite felt growing up.
For Mary, the connection was immediate from their very first online meeting, and she was left taken aback by Diane’s strong resemblance to other family members.
Mary says the best part about the reunion was being able to place her hands on her sister’s face, and “give her a hug and a kiss”, which she says felt like a “joy unleashed.”
However, there was a bittersweet element to their long-hoped-for hug, with their mother having passed away before their happy reunion.
Mary added: “For me, the saddest moment has been knowing that our mother couldn’t be physically there to see our reunion and participate in it.
“We have this sense of each other that is so deep. It’s this sisterly connection that I’ve heard people talk about, but was never able to experience myself.”
According to Mary, she and Diane can “sense each other’s emotions from thousands of miles apart”, a sensation she’s found to be “intriguing.” She’s now advised others considering searching for family members not to hesitate.
For Diane, the experience has been just as positive. She says she was “too excited to be nervous” ahead of their first meeting, while Mary was a little more cautious.
During their first video call, Diane says they spoke for around three hours, with the pair getting on famously. At this point, she says Mary already felt like her half-sister, and there was no way she was going to “give her back.”
Diane said: “I expected not to find a match, I expected not to find anyone. But when I found out my mother had passed away, it was really hard for me.
“But then I met Mary, and I feel like I have everything. Mary looks like our mum […], and I just feel like my mum lives through her.”
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