Sister, Sister, Sister: Discovering My 3 Long Lost Sisters & Our 'Gender Reveal' Photos That Are Going Viral!
Editor’s Note: The following story has been submitted by a Guest Blogger here on DNA+Love. If you would like to share your own story we would love to hear from you (click here)! All photos here are courtesy of photographer Megan Dendinger.
In August of 2018 when I set out to find my paternal biological family, I never could have expected what the finish line to my journey would look like. I’ve always known I was adopted and was always curious to know who my father was. I’ve always known the name of the woman who gave birth to me. When I was 18 she found me and of course one of the first things I asked was who my father was and what his name is. She would never give me those answers. So at 35 years old, I decided to find them for myself.
I took an AncestryDNA test knowing it had the largest database of DNA relatives available. Thankfully I had been reading DNA message boards for months, so I had very realistic expectations about what I might find when I went searching. Unfortunately what came back wasn’t what I had hoped for. I had a lot of high matches!!! But ALL of them were from my maternal line except one and we just couldn’t get in contact with that one DNA match. So we had to work from 4th cousin matches and trace back their family trees to discover how I was related to them. Then I could use that information to go down their family trees until I found my likely father. I had a wonderful friend who took up the mantle of helping me find my dad. Without her, I probably wouldn’t have this wonderful story to tell.
My friend lives in England which means we are 8 hours apart in time difference, so we worked on my case literally 24/7 between the two of us. During the day for the brief window we were both awake, we would search together. She’d find people on Facebook and send me the links. I’d message them seeking information. I have the gift of gab and was able to make connections with new family all over the country. When she went to sleep, I’d work and talk to people. When I was asleep, she’d be scouring the Internet for the next people we were searching for. I’d wake up to pages of texts and pictures and links and we’d take a giant leap forward.
In just a few days short of 2 weeks, we had narrowed it down to 2 brothers. I called what turned out to be my uncle and asked if he was my father. The first words I heard from someone in my immediate family were, “I’m not your father. I sure wish I was. I’ve always wanted a daughter. But I am your uncle. And I’m so very, very glad you’ve found us.”
After that phone call my world changed forever. I learned who my father was and spoke to one of my sisters on Facebook for the very first time. I had Facebook friend requests coming in left and right from newly discovered paternal relatives. Group video chats, messages, excitement that they found me. I learned that I have 3 beautiful, amazing sisters. And aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews - all of whom have embraced me and my family with open arms and even more open hearts.
In December of 2018, I flew to CA to meet my sisters for the very first time. Our father had passed away in 2012, so I will unfortunately never get to meet him. But through him, my life has become so much fuller than I ever dreamed possible. Taking photos with my sisters and getting the same sister tattoo that they all have has been the culmination of so many years of wondering. I could never have imagined the wonders that were in store for me when I spit into that tiny little DNA test cup.