Two Sisters Reunite After 30 Years Apart

The two found each other on a DNA testing website, and their reunion was a joyful, tearful experience.

Ashley Foster August 15, 2018
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It was a tearful reunion at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for Jenelle Harris and Andrea Akanmu. Both girls were placed for adoption as their mother was unable to care for them. Harris was waiting at the airport when Akanmu arrived. She was met with squeals of joy. “You look just like our mother,” Harris screams as her biological sister approached her at the airport.

The pair had connected on a DNA testing website. Akanmu, who changed her name at age 18 to that of her adoptive parents, sent Harris a message. “And immediately, when I read that I was adopted in California, and my mother’s name was Rhoda Walles, I knew it was my birth mother,” Harris says. As it turns out, they weren’t the only siblings. There is a brother named Richard, whom Harris had already met. Sadly, there is still a piece missing from their puzzle. They don’t know the whereabouts of their brother, Deshone, born in Los Angeles, California in 1975. All they have is a photo of him.

The sisters are ecstatic to have found each other after all these years. They both vow to never give up the search for their brother.

Using DNA testing to find biological family has been growing in popularity over the last few years. It allows the adoptee to gain access to DNA matches which can lead them to their birth parents. In many cases, adoptees have little or no information about where they came from. DNA testing has the potential to bypass that problem entirely.

While DNA is not the necessarily the easy answer for everyone, it sure has been an invaluable tool for adoptees all over the world. There are many several top DNA testing companies available to use. You should research each one to find the best fit for your needs.

Your first step in your search and reunion journey is to register in’s Reunion Registry.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at

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