Septuagenarians Find Out They're Long-Lost Sisters
Pennsylvania women say the discovery is a Christmas miracle
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2015 10:16 AM CST
An emotional holiday surprise.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Barbara Smith didn't find any firearms or wooden PS4s underneath her Christmas tree this year—instead, she got a sister, the AP reports. The 78-year-old woman from Pottsville, Pa., tells the Progress she received a call from a man named Carl Trusiak last week, and he delivered astounding news: Based on his genealogy research, he believed his 77-year-old mother-in-law, Sandra Fitzgerald of Apollo, was Smith's long-lost sister. He had found a family tree while delving into Fitzgerald's past to find out more about her father, and "there was just enough right on that tree that it led me to start searching for you," he told Smith. Smith's name was listed on that tree, and from there Trusiak tells the Progress he found her wedding announcement and some other info that helped him "connect all the dots," as the paper puts it.

The two women had the same biological mom, but when Smith was 9 months old, she was adopted by relatives; Fitzgerald was born a year later and adopted outside the family, the AP notes. Last week actually wasn't the first time Smith had heard rumblings of a long-lost sibling: She tells the Progress that when she was 7, she was informed she had a sister named Sandra, but it was never mentioned again and she was too young to understand its implications. Mere minutes after Trusiak's call, Smith was on the phone with Fitzgerald, and they finally met, hugged, and exchanged stories for the first time on Sunday—what they both say was one of the best days of their lives. (A group of five siblings may have found their older brother via Facebook.)