MODESTO (CBS13) — A DNA test leads to an emotional reunion between two half-sisters who discovered each other after more than 65 years.
The sisters, Kathryn Orth and Laurie Bauman, shared a hug for the first time this week — one they thought would never happen.
“I hoped, dreamed, prayed that someday this would come, but I didn’t think it ever would,” Bauman said. “When you’re adopted, even though it can be a wonderful experience for you, there’s always like a hole in your heart because you don’t know where your story begins.”
Their story started just a few weeks ago when 70-year-old Laurie took a DNA test in Idaho and discovered her family.
Bauman’s 23andMe test results came back and indicated that she had eight close relative matches. One of those matches shared the same last name as the woman identified as her mother.
She believed the woman was her younger sister, living in Modesto.
“I found her address and I said, ok God, I’ll just write a letter and whatever happens, happens!” Bauman said.
What happened next, neither sister could predict. Orth responded to Laurie’s letting in less than an hour of receiving it.
“I was just amazed because I was in foster homes, I didn’t have a mother, I didn’t have a sister, I didn’t have a daughter,” Orth said.
The women’s mother died back in 1992 after a battle with bipolar disorder, depression, and later lung cancer. Orth said her mother took this secret to the grave, so she didn’t have any hopes of finding her long-lost sister.
But after 66 years, they found each other and have put the missing pieces of the puzzle together.
Since first discovering each other, the sisters have talked on the phone every day. They share a mother so they are half-sisters.
The other relatives identified by the DNA test Bauman took are cousins and a brother on her paternal side.