One more time. That’s what Erika, told herself in the search for her sister. Her mother, Rebecca, had placed her first daughter for adoption at the age of 15 and Erika had made it her mission to find her sister.
“As soon as I was old enough to be on a computer I was searching!” she exclaimed.
The recent wave of public “ads” on social media pleading for public assistance in finding family members encouraged Erika to try this avenue as well. Erika posted her own version of an ad and this too went viral, yet no one initially was able to help her find her sister. She’d post the picture again and see if anything came of it. That one last push on June 19 ended up being the best decision ever. Spokeo Search Angel Award winner Kellie Sharpe saw the picture only a few days later.
Always eager to help, Kellie began the search. At first she couldn’t find anything directly for the sister Erika was looking for, since she’d married and changed her name. But a search on Spokeo helped Kellie find the girl’s parents which connected her to the right person with the new married name. She wrote to Erika within 13 hours of Erika’s last push and provided her the information for the “Brandy Noel” she’d been looking for.
“I saw a picture of her and I about had a heart attack,” shared Erika. “When I called my mom to tell her we thought we’d found her, she was beyond happy. She knew this was it!”
Upon receiving the first note from her sister, Brandy came across the photo that told her exactly who Erika was, “ I went screaming throughout the house and actually scared my daughter a bit. I laughed and tried to explain, ‘no Mommy’s HAPPY!!’”
The ladies wasted no time in scheduling a date to meet. Erika and mother Rebecca made plans with Brandy, packed up the car and set on their way to meet less than three weeks since their first exchange.
The ladies shared a wonderful weekend of getting to know each other, including meeting their niece and granddaughter, and sightseeing. No surprise to us, they look alike and share many common traits. The photographer present noted that she loved how they were all very animated with their hands while speaking. They even all share a passion for tattoos and were sure to get photos.
“I’ve never cried this hard, I had to say goodbye to my sister and it hurt more than ever,” shared Erika as she prepared for the trip home.
Good thing they have photos to document their first meeting forever! We hope you enjoy sharing in some of these precious moments from their reunion and hope you’re inspired. It is our pleasure to support the Search Angels that make reunions like this possible and it is our privilege be able to share them with you. Congrats Erika, Brandy and Rebecca. We hope you’ve found all of your answers.
*photo credit: Sharilyn Fairweather