Reunions
Sisters have no clue each other exists until a DNA test brings them together
Not only were Jen and Janine thrown for a loop when they learned about each other, but they realized they lived only 30 minutes apart.
Alissa Gaskell
06.03.22

There is no perfect family, but one thing is inevitable: some connections are too strong to ignore. You may not realize it, but perhaps there’s a particular pull you feel towards another person because you share something stronger – you may end up being family.

Pexels - Elle Hughes
Source:
Pexels - Elle Hughes

One 43-year-old shared the incredible story of how a DNA testing website brought her and her sister together.

Jen was born in Seoul, South Korea. She was only a year old when she was adopted in the United States. Whenever she would speak of her life in America, she’d always have nothing but wonderful things to say about growing up with her four older brothers and how great things were in their North Carolina home.

The same could be said about 42-year-old Janine Dzyubanny of New Jersey. Born in South Korea and adopted when she was only five months old, she grew up with three older brothers in America.

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

Both users of 23andme.com, a DNA testing website, the two women initially signed up just to learn more about their respective family medical histories.

They were not expecting something bigger and more life-changing.

It all started with a notification that they shared 47.9% of the same DNA. Typically, siblings with the same parents share about half of the same DNA. This news prompted them both to reach out to each other.

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

Jen recalls how Janine first reached out upon receiving the results. She told USA TODAY:

“It was something like, ‘I just got my results back. I think you and I might be sisters.’ I definitely remember she had ‘OMG’ in there.”

Janine added,

“I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to scare her away. This was 42 years into my life, and I find out I have a sister. It’s kind of startling to people.”

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

After the first few messages, the two women happily exchanged more details and discovered how much more they had in common: they both loved Labrador Retrievers, they played softball when they were younger, and surprisingly, they’re both preschool teachers, too! How amazing.

Then came another shock – they realized they only lived 30 minutes away from each other!

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

This was their cue to set up a face-to-face meeting. After all, they lived apart from each other their whole lives.

Now was their chance to bridge the gap and genuinely get to know each other better.

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

Jen shared with USA TODAY,

“We saw each other, and we hugged each other, and it was very emotional. Very exciting and very surreal, just awesome, all at the same time. We both feel like we’ve missed out on the first 42, 43 years of our lives together. We’re just trying to spend every waking moment together and just make up for all that time.”

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

After further discoveries were unearthed, such as being adopted through the same US agency and sharing a few acquaintances, the two women decided to stay in touch. They make it a point to get together at least once a week. They also wish to learn more about their biological parents. Jen happily explained,

“I just feel like there was an instant connection, and yes, we’re still trying to get to know each other, but sometimes, I just feel like I’ve known her forever. Easily, seamlessly, our lives coincide.”

YouTube Screnshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screnshot - Humankind

The sisters also share the same wish for their biological mother – for her to know that they’re both okay and found each other.

“Being a mother myself and having two kids, I can only imagine she thinks of us every day and worries about us. And we know that she loved us because she left us on a police station steps to be found.”

YouTube Screenshot - Humankind
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Humankind

From not even knowing the other existed to finally being reunited and having countless opportunities to catch up and create new memories, Jen and Janine are genuinely grateful and overjoyed to be present in each other’s lives.

Watch their incredible story in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Alissa Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Alissa Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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