Reunited Sisters Talk About Ups and Downs of Adoption Reunion

It is the hope of families that there will be a close bonding between family members, but a blood relationship does not guarantee that relationship. Angela Johnson and Andrea Hill are half-sisters with two very different stories. 

While Angela and Andrea share the same biological mother, they did not grow up together and had very little in common. Angela was adopted at age 3 into a loving family. Her sister, Andrea, was raised by their biological grandmother and then transitioned into an independent living program which later included living in an apartment with a roommate.

To find each other, Andrea and Angela used the many online resources available to people looking for extended biological family, Including the Family Connections program at CASA and the Family Funding program run by Seneca of Orange County. Those programs are just two of the many organizations run by volunteers that search to reunite families. Matthew Wadlinger, a CASA worker, stated, “We all come from someplace. Even if it is just the dignity of knowing, everyone deserves that.”

For Angela and Andrea, while they hoped for an immediate bond and love for each other, it was not there. They didn’t have that immediate bond, but know it can still happen. Andrea stated, “This is my sibling; I feel like I should have that connection. But at the same time, this person is a stranger.”

For everyone, the first reunion is an unknown. It is a meeting between strangers, even though a meeting of blood relatives. According to this article, many people dream about when and how the reunion will occur. It is like Christmas, how we idealize Santa delivering all our hopes and dreams – and often that does not materialize.

While the sisters learned about each other, they also learned about biological brothers. One is a student at Berkeley and they are still searching for information on the second brother.