Sisters separated for 47 years got to meet recently for the first time after the older sibling found information through Ancestry.com that led her to find her sister.
Jennifer Braica landed in South Florida on Friday more nervous and more excited than she’d ever been.
She was about to meet her sister, someone she hadn’t seen for almost half a century.
Braica, 47, was given up for adoption when she was born.
Her sister, April Kreppel, was 2 years old.
“Mom had said she couldn’t afford her so she had to give her a good home,” April said.
Nobody ever told April she had a sister.
Jennifer’s adoptive family also never mentioned a sister.
The two women both lived on Long Island in New York but never knew the other existed.
When she turned 19, April’s mother told her she had a sister.
April tried to find Jennifer but the records were sealed. All searches were unsuccessful.
Jennifer learned she was adopted when she was 10.
“I always wanted to find my biological parents, not to replace my adoptive family but out of curiosity, to see where my roots were,” Jennifer said.
But Jennifer’s search were also unsuccessful. New York State had sealed the adoption records.
It wasn’t until she was 27 that Jennifer was provided with some basic background information.
“Which is when I found I had a sister that was two years older than me, which made me want to find them even more,” Jennifer said.
For twenty years, the two sisters searched for each other without success.
Recently, Jennifer tried going to ancestry.com, a website that helps trace your roots.
She was able to locate one distant relative who connected her to another relative who connected her to another relative.
Eventually, she tracked down April, who now lives in Wellington.
Jennifer flew from her home in Las Vegas to meet her sister.
“Our daughters are so happy because they’ve listened to us whine about it since they were babies,” Jennifer said.
In the airport, the two sisters embraced, both with tears in their eyes.
They’ve spent the last week together, doing anything and everything together.
“We had a childhood song that we both sang and never knew,” Jennifer said. “We sang it together cooking dinner.”
“It’s just been amazing. This has been the best week of my life,” Jennifer said.
“Best. Best for sure,” April agreed.
Jennifer left on Tuesday to go home to Las Vegas.
The two shared their story and then a few hours later, they drove Jennifer to the airport.
The two sisters who hadn’t spoken for 47 years now promise to speak every day and to eventually live near each other.
“I look at her and I feel like I’ve known her my entire life,” Jennifer said. “She’s beautiful and she’s so much more than I ever expected.
“And she will never get away from me again.”