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Long-lost sisters to spend Thanksgiving together after 45 years

CHOCOWINITY, N.C. (WNCT) — A 45-year search for a long-lost sister has ended, and now, they are spending Thanksgiving together for the first time.

Lisa Strang and Amanda Brooks were both adopted shortly after they were born in England. Neither of them knew they were siblings until two years ago.

Strang was adopted and taken to the United States after her birth. She now lives in Chocowinity, North Carolina. She began searching for her family in an attempt to learn more about her own medical history.

Strang’s godmother, who lives in England, offered to help her search. After sifting through birth records and Ancestry DNA testing, Strang came in contact with a distant cousin.

That cousin happened to be interested in genealogy and, using the information Strang had gathered, was able to find someone “really, really close” to being a match after two years of research.

That person? The son of Strang’s sister.

“My youngest son had done Ancestry DNA to find out more about his grandparents,” Brooks explained to Nexstar’s WNCT. She went on to recount how one morning, while she was driving to work, her son and eldest daughter sent her “loads and loads of texts” telling her a woman was trying to get in contact with her.

It was Strang’s cousin, who explained to Brooks that she believe she had found her sister. DNA testing would later confirm their sisterhood.

After a two-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, they met for the first time at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Monday night.

“I had built up this image of the sister that I hoped I’d have, and I am so fortunate. She’s everything I could ever wish for, for a sister. I’m blown away,” said Strang.

They will be spending Thanksgiving together before Amanda and her husband return to England on Sunday.

View the video to learn more about their reunion.