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After a Series of Tragic Losses, She Found a Half-Sister with MyHeritage DNA

Dianne Larson, 71, was on her way to a Christmas show with her husband in November 2021 when she got a phone call from her daughter, Saundra. “You’ve just received a message to your inbox at MyHeritage,” said Saundra. “Congratulations, it looks like you have a new half-sister!”

“A sister? I was not expecting that!” Dianne laughs.

The discovery came out of nowhere — during a time in Dianne’s life when she needed it the most. In a devastating series of losses, Dianne had lost her two brothers, her father, a beloved aunt, and her favorite uncle all in a period of a few months. Jimmy, her youngest brother, died in October 2014 from liver cancer, after Dianne had cared for him through his illness. Her aunt had died a short while before. Only 3 days after Jimmy’s death, their father Vernon passed away after many years of suffering from dementia. Dianne’s uncle died in December of that year, and Dianne’s older brother, Wayne, died of lung cancer in January.

“Suddenly, in a shockingly short period of time, I was left without a family,” says Dianne, whose mother passed away from a heart attack years before in 1991. “I felt so abandoned and alone.”

Dianne's parents

Dianne’s parents

That was when Dianne’s daughter Saundra decided to buy her a DNA kit as a gift. Dianne wanted to know more about her distant family, like her mother’s Scottish roots, or her paternal grandfather’s family history, since she didn’t know him. At first, she got no significant results, and after a while decided to upload her DNA to MyHeritage. She never dreamed she would find a half-sister around a year later.

‘I’ve wanted a sister all my life’

Sarah Triplett, 74, was born a few months after Dianne’s parents got married and was placed in an orphanage for the first two years of her life.

“I was adopted at age two by a wonderful couple who gave me a sweet and loving home all my childhood,” says Sarah. “But I always wondered ‘who’ I came from and if I had siblings. Then when I had children and then grandchildren, I really began to wonder about my DNA medical background to be able to pass on to them.”

“I don’t think my father knew he had a daughter,” says Dianne. “I know that if my mother knew he had a little girl she would insist on raising her. She was a woman who loved everyone, especially children. She wanted children more than anything, and almost died while giving birth to my baby brother Jimmy.”

There was a man who visited Sarah regularly at the orphanage who eventually ended up adopting her. According to what Sarah’s adoptive mother told her before her death, her adoptive father might have known her biological parents.

The woman from the social services who helped arrange the adoption was probably Sarah’s biological mother’s sister. This woman, Ruby, “was in touch with my adoptive parents all my life until my parents died,” says Sarah. After their deaths, Sarah learned from a letter Ruby had sent to her parents that her sister (Sarah’s biological mother) died of a brain tumor (in 1990–1991).

Sarah grew up as an only child and had a beautiful childhood. “My parents were wonderful,” she says. She also heard from her adoptive mother that she had two brothers and a sister, but she assumed they must have been from her birth mother’s side.

“After losing both my brothers, finding my sister was the biggest present of all. I’ve wanted a sister all my life,” says Dianne.

An immediate bond

“The evening I received the email from MyHeritage showing a match for a half-sister, my jaw dropped and I think I went into mild shock,” says Sarah.

Dianne also received an email from MyHeritage. “I had to read it three times before it really hit me what it said. Since I was on the way to a Christmas party, I called my daughter and had her check it out and have her contact Sarah to tell her I would be in touch with her the next day.”

Since the discovery, Sarah and Dianne have kept in touch every week. They met for the first time on July 21, 2022. Their daughter joined them for a short dinner at a restaurant in downtown Wilmington, and the connection was immediate.

“According to pictures we both noticed the resemblance between us. The eyes, the nose, the shape of the head,” says Dianne. “But the minute I saw Sarah in person I said to myself — she’s the spitting image of my dad. The high cheekbones, the mouth…”

Dianne says they both love the same books, movies and TV shows/series, same genres, same authors. “Every time one of us mentioned a book author or a movie we liked, the other would say she liked it too!”

From the right: Sarah, Dianne, Saundra and Theresa

From the right: Sarah, Dianne, Saundra and Theresa

“It has been such a dream come true,” says Sarah. She says that Dianne and her daughter “are truly a part of my family now, and a closure for me. Thank goodness I sent that DNA sample in.”

Dianne’s story is a perfect example of how a DNA kit can change someone’s life in ways they might never have expected. After losing so many of her loved ones several years ago, Dianne has a new sister in her life she never would have known existed if not for MyHeritage DNA.

Order a MyHeritage DNA kit today — you never know how it might change your life.

The post After a Series of Tragic Losses, She Found a Half-Sister with MyHeritage DNA appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Source: My Heritage

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