Sisters meet after six decades

2015-09-23 06:00
andlt;?Joy Strydom (left) and Jenny Horton at the airport after meeting each other for the first time.

andlt;?Joy Strydom (left) and Jenny Horton at the airport after meeting each other for the first time. Photo: SUPPLIED

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SIXTY years after learning she was adopted and almost 14 years of searching for her biological family, a Port Elizabeth woman, has finally managed to meet her only surviving sibling, a half-sister.

The meeting took place over this past weekend when, Joy Strydom finally got to meet her half-sister Jenny Horton, whom she welcomed at the Port Elizabeth Airport with family in attendance.

And after a weekend of getting to know each other, both feel as if they have never been apart.

Joy (68) was adopted as a 17-day-old baby in Johannesburg in 1947. She knew that she was adopted since the age of five.

“I grew up with the most amazing family and never felt I had any reason to look for my biological mother,” said Joy.

“My adopted mother told me from a very young age, why my biological mother couldn’t raise me.” This made her understand the situation, and appreciate her adopted family even more.

“My adopted mother died on October 31 in 2001, and thereafter I decided to start looking for my biological mother,” said Joy who is mother to a daughter, Bronwyn Moss.

Years passed and despite her search she could not find any information. That was until she contacted Leonie Erasmus, founder of Adopted Child - a website aimed at reuniting adopted children with their biological families.

Leonie found out that Joy’s biological mother had unfortunately passed away in November 2001 - just a month after her adopted mother died. There was, however, some good news too.

“Leonie then told me that I still have a biological sister, and that she could make the necessary arrangements to get us into contact,” said Joy. She also had a half-brother, Desmond, but he had also passed away.

Jenny did not know that her mother had another daughter whom she had given up for adoption.

Jenny, who is the mother of two daughters, said words fail her to describe what she felt when she met her sister for the first time on Friday.

“When I walked in at the airport and saw my sister, it was amazing, I couldn’t let go,” said Jenny.

According to both sisters the weekend was way too short. “We are so much alike and there is just no doubt that Joy is my sister.”

Joy described the experience as the most unbelievable one, and everything more. “My heart felt at ease. It’s almost like we were never apart.”

Joy will visit Jenny in December, where she will meet Jenny’s two daughters, Merilyn Byers-Horton and Bonny Pedra, and hopefully the rest of the family.

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