Nowadays, when people want to look for their long-lost family members they'll go on social media sites like Facebook, searching for any evidence of their existence.
It's not an easy task, but it has worked before.
Another way to find family members is through home test kits from services like Ancestry DNA and 23andMe.
A simple saliva sample could unlock the answers to your past. Sometimes you'll even find family members you didn't know you had. (Last year, I found my half-sister!)
One woman from Wisconsin spent seven years searching for her long-lost sister when the answer was right under her nose.
In 1987, Hillary and her brother, Tyler Hardy, were adopted by Lee and Rochelle Hardy.
When the childcare worker became pregnant with her daughter, Stella, who is now seven years old, she began the search for other members of her family.
She visited her adoption agency and discovered the names of her biological parents, and was heartbroken to hear that her father, Wayne Clause, had died in 2002.
"For me this is 100% fate. I was so sad when I discovered my biological father had passed away," Hillary said.
Upon finding her father's obituary, she discovered the names of her sisters: Dawn Johnson and Renee Diericks.
Hillary tried to search for her siblings on Facebook, but to no avail.
Then one day she glanced at her neighbor's mail and noticed something strange.
The name on the package was Dawn Johnson.
The Answer Was Right Under Her Nose
You see, Hillary knew her neighbor's first name, but never her last name: "For me something first clicked in June when I first found out her name was Dawn and she was from Greenwood. My husband and me joked for a few weeks that she was my sister but we didn't know her last name."
Once seeing the full name on the package, Hillary mustered up the courage to contact Dawn, and they "felt an immediate connection."
"I began to shake. It was such an intense moment. It was late at night, but I finally got the courage to text her and ask her who her dad was," she explained.
[B]y meeting Dawn, I feel like I have all the answers I will ever need. She's the missing puzzle piece I have been looking for for so many years," she added.
Once they met, they confirmed their parents' names.
“When I met my birth mom I thought I would have this tingly feeling and an immediate bond and I didn’t. With Dawn I felt an immediate connection," Hillary said.
Hillary and her brother are planning to get DNA tests to officially confirm that Dawn and her sister are their siblings.
“We would hope to [do] DNA tests soon but we’re in no rush," Hillary said.
Right now, the long-long sisters are enjoying each other's company.
“I have become so close to Stella. I only ever had boys so it’s so fun to have a little girl playing in the front yard. Hopefully, my boys will be able to meet the whole family soon," Dawn said.
Hillary added that her daughter adores her new aunt, and that they feel blessed to have found Dawn and her partner, Kurt Casperson.
“I think all our bad luck with weird neighbors finally turned around because I feel so lucky to have found Dawn.”
What a heartwarming story! Fate works in mysterious ways.
[H/T: NY Post / Daily Mail]