Long lost sisters meet in airport for first time
Posted June 23, 2016
NEW BRUNSWICK, Canada — There may be no better place to witness a happy reunion than an airport, and that’s exactly where two sisters found each other for the very first time.
Sharon Dennis spent the entirety of her 56 years never knowing she had an older sister. Sharon Rein, 58, learned about her younger sibling 18 years ago, when her dying mother confessed her secret just before she passed on, according to CBC News.
After a long, often hopeless search, Rein finally got the meeting she’d waited so earnestly for — flying from her home in South Africa to Canada, where she was able to hug her younger sister for the very first time.
"For me it's like having a closure. It's like something was always missing, and I didn't know about it," said Rein. "So, for me, it's like a healing. It's just amazing."
Rewind a few decades, to the day the women’s mother — Hazel Barker, gave birth to a baby girl. She already had two very small children at home, and a social worker convinced her and her husband, Vernon, they wouldn’t be able to handle the load, CBC reports.
So the couple gave the baby up for adoption. The baby’s adoptive parents chose the name Sharon, which happened to be the name of the girl’s biological sister.
"I think I always knew that I wasn't an older sister. I always felt I needed some guidance," Dennis told CBC News. "There is something in birth sequences. And I really felt I needed an older sister."
Dennis tracked down the names of her biological parents as an adult, but didn’t do much beyond that. Her older sister, however, commenced an extensive search nearly 20 years ago after Hazel told her about the younger Sharon on her deathbed.
Rein’s search finally proved fruitful this year, when she posted her story to an adoption reunion Facebook group called Baby Come Home. With the help of a genealogist in Greece, she was able to track down the younger sister she’d never met.
"I put my little story out there, but did not expect a response, and here we are two months later," Rein told CBC.
The sisters spoke on the phone for the first time earlier this year. Dennis said she was nervous — not knowing at all what to expect when she dialed her sister’s number. Her fears evaporated almost immediately after the other Sharon said hello.
“Immediately I sensed love and welcome and happiness,” she said. “The connection was there right from the start.”
Rein will spend the next couple of weeks in Canada with her long lost sister, and Dennis hopes to be able to travel to South Africa soon to meet more of her biological family members.
The sisters are thrilled to have found each other, once and for all.
“It's been amazing. I didn't think it was going to happen," Rein said.
Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.