Barbara Carver, 84, has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for about eight and a half years. Some days she doesn’t recognize her kids. She raised four children: Renee Ward, Runyan, Silvia, and Victor Gurule Jr.

Before that, though, she placed two baby girls for adoption.

Carver was reunited with those daughters on September 14. The reunion took place at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Denise and Karen Mining were happy to finally be reunited with their birth mom. They said they weren’t sure how much of the visit she understood, but they found it amazing to see her and tell her they were okay. Denise and Karen enjoyed the time they were able to spend with their siblings.

Runyan and Renee had suspected for years that they had additional siblings. Ward heard from Silvia at one point that there had been stories their mother had given birth in Germany, before they were born. Carver had kept a picture in her desk. Runyan had never given a lot of thought to the stories until one day when she found the photograph. “Hey Mom, who is this? I never knew who this was,” she said. Her mother explained that the photo was of a friend’s little girl who had been placed for adoption in Germany. Runyan didn’t push the subject.

Around the birth of one of Renee’s children, she made contact with her father. The two had not spoken in several years. He traveled to see her, and one night at dinner he revealed that her mother had given birth to another child. Unsure of whether to believe him, she discussed the conversation with Runyan. They decided the information was probably true but thought there would be no way to find their sibling in Germany. In March she took an Ancestry DNA test.

Denise and Karen found out they were adopted at ages 14 and 11. They weren’t given many details other than that their parents were German, and the adoption had been arranged through an Air Force chaplain. The sisters later discovered their mother had been in contact with their birth parents. After their adoptive mother’s death, the girls came across some contact information from their birth father but were unable to discern who the information belonged to. “They were never far from my mind,” Mining said. “I just knew I was going to find them one day.”

For Christmas last year, the Mining sisters submitted an Ancestry DNA test. There results bore no matches. Ward’s test completed processing on May 26 and the women matched up.

Ancestry DNA is growing more popular by the day. They have surpassed 5 million members in their database. There are many other ways to find biological family as well.