"On my grandmothers deathbed in 1997, she shared with my mom that she had given up a daughter at birth in Cape Town 1960 . This daughter was the third out of six children.
At first my mother was sceptical as nothing had been said before and my grandmother was known to expand on her stories especially after some tipple.
She didn't think too much of it but it niggled her and she would bring it up with myself and my sisters and her younger sister every now and then. No one could confirm my grandmothers words and my grandfather had died many years before my grandmother.
It always worried my mom as she had a feeling that there was some truth to this story. My grandmother had also told my mom that she had named this newborn Salome (we think the daughter was given up for financial reasons).
Straight after my grandmother died, about 18 years ago, my mother went to the welfare and started her search for her long-lost sister.
Needless to say there was no information about this Salome anywhere.
The welfare told my mom to leave her details and they would put it on record in case someone ever came looking. Years went by and nothing came about from it and my mom decided to look into family heritage websites. She went to YOU magazine [Ed's note: YOU used to run a desperately seeking section], the welfare and a private agency. She also chatted to a few genealogists with no luck at all of these.
Nothing came of this either, my mom was now really beginning to doubt if this story was true.
Then about five years ago my mom's cousin decided to start a family group and started gathering all information she could about my mom's side of the family. What a huge effort this was as the family is extensive and all over SA with quite a few around the world too.
A book was also published for family to buy as a keepsake. Family trees were updated and placed on the Internet for future generations to look at. Such a mammoth task this was, but so appreciated.
I'm sure that it is because of this work that the events of Friday 8th April 2016 came about...
On one Friday night my mom got a message from her cousin who had worked on this family ancestry. The message was from an amateur genealogist in Greece who was doing some work for a client in finding her biological parents... yes, you guessed it... she was looking for my mom's parents and said she was the daughter they had given up in 1960.
The long-lost sister had more luck as she had the actual file from the hospital/home.
The long-lost sister did know about our family but only recently decided to look into it as she has an adopted sister (her adoptive parents had no biological children but adopted two girls), who was also looking for her biological family.
My mom was beside herself with excitement and could not sleep that night in anticipation of contacting the genealogist that Saturday morning. She was also amazed that her mother's story about the long-lost sister was true.
In the morning this amazing discovery was confirmed and my mom started conversing with her biological sister. They first spoke on their cellphones, then became friends on Facebook and then Skyped. They are now in regular daily contact.
My mom was excited and emotional, but a happy emotional. She is so overwhelmingly happy.
Another amazing twist to the story is that although this daughter was originally named Salome, her adoptive parents chose to call her Sharon - and my mom, her biological sister, is ALSO Sharon!
The resemblance between the two is uncanny! They look like twins and even have the same gestures!
How blessed! How lucky! How amazing!
The sister who was adopted unfortunately does not live in SA anymore. Twenty-two years ago she moved to Canada and lives there with her husband and four children. She does come to SA on holidays so we can only hope it is soon as my mom is so so excited!
The adopted daughter is now 56 and my mom is 58.
Unfortunately two of the brothers have passed away, as well as the parents, but still there is extended family, cousins and the like that are now able to share life together.
At first, when my mom got the message from the genealogist and told me, I was nervous. I think more for my mom being disappointed as I knew how much she longed to find this sister. I didn't want my mom to be hurt. But as the reunion unfolded I was super excited for my mom, Sharon, and her long-lost sister Sharon.
The two are hoping to meet in April next year as the long-lost sister wants to come visit SA then."