‘I felt a joy unleashed’: Two separated sisters finally reunite face to face after 55 years


‘It took our breath away’: Sisters who were separated as infants and given up for adoption when their mom died of cancer reunite for the first time in 55 YEARS after finding each other online through at-home DNA test

  • Sisters Diane Ward, 58, and Mary McLaughlin, 55, were separated just a few months after Mary was born, but now, the long-lost siblings have finally reunited 
  • Diane, who now lives in the U.K., was put up for adoption when she was young, and with a lack of records, she never knew much about her biological family 
  • She spent her childhood in Michigan, and unbeknownst to her, she grew up in a house that was just blocks away from her sister Mary and her biological mom
  • Both women were told that they had no siblings, and it wasn’t until 2020, when Diane purchased a DNA kit that she made the bombshell discovery 
  • The two got in touch via Zoom and they described it as ‘love at first sight,’ with Diane adding that they ‘just clicked straight away’ 
  • Diane made the 5,000-mile journey to Mary’s beach house in Arizona for a long-anticipated meeting, and both sisters are over the moon to have finally met

Two women who discovered they were secret sisters through a DNA test have reunited for the first time in 55 years just months after discovering their related, describing it as the ‘most exciting moment’ of their lives. 

Sisters Diane Ward, 58, and Mary McLaughlin, 55, were separated just a few months after Mary was born, but now, the long-lost siblings have finally reunited.

Diane was put up for adoption when she was young, and with a lack of records, she never knew much about her biological family.

She spent her childhood in Michigan, and unbeknownst to her, she grew up in a house that was just a few blocks away from her sister Mary and her biological mom – who has since passed away from breast cancer.

The two lived within minutes of each other for three years, until Mary was also adopted.

Throughout their childhoods, both women were told by their adoptive parents that they had no siblings but they longed to know more about where they came from.

Just months after discovering they were related, the two finally met face to face and ‘it took the breath out of them.’ 

Sisters Diane Ward, 58, and Mary McLaughlin, 55, were separated just a few months after Mary was born, but now, the long-lost siblings have finally reunited and felt a 'joy unleashed'

Sisters Diane Ward, 58, and Mary McLaughlin, 55, were separated just a few months after Mary was born, but now, the long-lost siblings have finally reunited and felt a ‘joy unleashed’

The two sisters felt an immediate connection saying, 'from the moment we met face to face we sensed each other's emotions'

The two sisters felt an immediate connection saying, ‘from the moment we met face to face we sensed each other’s emotions’

After Diane was put up for adoption, she 'never knew much about her biological family,' adding that she is 'so thankful' to the DNA kit for reuniting the two

After Diane was put up for adoption, she ‘never knew much about her biological family,’ adding that she is ‘so thankful’ to the DNA kit for reuniting the two 

Curious about her roots and whether she might have any family still living in the States, Diane decided to buy herself a MyHeritage DNA kit in December 2020. She is pictured as a baby

Curious about her roots and whether she might have any family still living in the States, Diane decided to buy herself a MyHeritage DNA kit in December 2020. She is pictured as a baby

Throughout their childhoods, both women were told by their adoptive parents that they had no siblings. Diane is pictured as a kid

Throughout their childhoods, both women were told by their adoptive parents that they had no siblings. Mary is pictured as a kid

Throughout their childhoods, both women were told by their adoptive parents that they had no siblings. Diane (left) and Mary (right) are pictured as kids

In 1999, Diane relocated to the U.K. after marrying her husband Colin, 59, and Mary moved to Paragould, Arizona, where she started a family of her own. 

Curious about her roots and whether she might have any family still living in the States, Diane decided to buy herself a MyHeritage DNA kit as an early Christmas present in December 2020.

The results of the $50 kit came back a few months later, informing Diane that she may have a second cousin, who she then messaged online to find out more.

The cousin then dropped the bomb: revealing that Diane has a half-sister who she never knew about.

After doing a lot of research, Diane was able to get in contact with Mary – and the two described the first time they talked to one another as ‘love at first sight.’

Diane and Mary finally met face to face after Diane flew to Arizona.

The two lived within minutes of each other for three years, until Mary was also adopted, when the two met they said they 'would give everything' to have their mom there

The two lived within minutes of each other for three years, until Mary was also adopted, when the two met they said they ‘would give everything’ to have their mom there 

The two sisters spoke on the phone everyday until they were finally able to meet in person, Diane said two both have a 'sarcastic, dark sense of humor'

The two sisters spoke on the phone everyday until they were finally able to meet in person, Diane said two both have a ‘sarcastic, dark sense of humor’ 

Mary said the 'most exciting moment has been putting my hands on my sister's face and giving her a big hug and kiss'

Mary said the ‘most exciting moment has been putting my hands on my sister’s face and giving her a big hug and kiss’

The results came back a few months later, informing Diane that she had a second cousin, who she then messaged online to find out more. Diane is pictured as a teen

The results came back a few months later, informing Diane that she had a second cousin, who she then messaged online to find out more. Mary is pictured as a teen

The results came back a few months later, informing Diane that she had a second cousin, who she then messaged online to find out more. Diane (left) and Mary (right) are pictured as teens

And according to Diane, they ‘just clicked straight away’ and instantly noticed their similarities.

The cousin then dropped the bomb: revealing that Diane (pictured as a teen) has a sister who she never knew about

The cousin then dropped the bomb: revealing that Diane (pictured as a teen) has a sister who she never knew about

‘It was love at first sight,’ Diane gushed to Jam Press. ‘We just clicked and bounced off each other straight away.

‘It was like I found my other leg. When I spoke to her on Zoom for the first time it was just an incredible feeling.

‘Her husband overheard me on there and said we were very similar. He turned to her and said, “Yep, that’s your sister alright.” We both have a sarcastic, dark sense of humor.’

After speaking on the phone every day, the two sisters have finally met in person for the first time. 

When Mary saw Diane arrive at the airport, she couldn’t believe it was ‘really real,’ and was extremely ‘shocked yet sure,’ the two were meant to find each other. 

She said: ‘The most exciting moment has been putting my hands on my sister’s face and giving her a big hug and kiss.’

Mary was shocked she ‘saw so many family members’ in Diane’s face and ‘felt a joy unleashed’ when the two were finally face to face. 

She said: ‘From the moment we met face to face we sensed each other’s emotions.’ 

When Mary and Diane met, they were both ‘too excited to be nervous.’ 

Diane encourages others to try the DNA kit, saying 'when you find a good connection it means everything'

Diane encourages others to try the DNA kit, saying ‘when you find a good connection it means everything’

Diane made the 5,000 mile journey to Mary's beach house in Arizona for the two to finally meet face to face, before their meeting, the sisters said they were 'too excited to be nervous'

Diane made the 5,000 mile journey to Mary’s beach house in Arizona for the two to finally meet face to face, before their meeting, the sisters said they were ‘too excited to be nervous’

After doing a lot of research, Diane was able to get in contact with Mary (pictured) - and the two described the first time they talked to one another as 'love at first sight'

After doing a lot of research, Diane was able to get in contact with Mary (pictured) – and the two described the first time they talked to one another as ‘love at first sight’

When they spoke for the first time via Zoom, Diane (pictured) said she and Mary 'just clicked straight away'

When they spoke for the first time via Zoom, Diane said she and Mary (pictured) 'just clicked straight away'

When they spoke for the first time via Zoom, and Diane (left) said she and Mary (right) ‘just clicked straight away’

Diane, who ‘didn’t expect to find anyone’ through the DNA kit, held back her tears as she saw Mary for the first time in person, saying that their ‘mom lives through her.’ 

As the two sisters embraced, they both wished their mom was there to see their reunion, adding that they would ‘give everything to have their mom here.’ 

Mary, who had always felt different, says that finding her biological family has made her feel ‘like she belongs,’ adding that the DNA kit helped to explain ‘the tribe’ she belongs to.

Both sisters are ‘so thankful’ Diane purchased the kit, and encourage others who are debating purchasing the DNA test kit to ‘do it,’ adding that ‘you only live once, try to put yourself out there.’

Diane said that when ‘you find a good connection it means everything,’ following the face to face reunion of the two sisters. 

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