LAS VEGAS, NV (CNN) — For decades, Katherine Fisher has been yearning for a hug from her biological sisters. Her wish has finally come true.
“I’m so happy, it’s so surreal,” Fisher said. “What a great Christmas present.”
For the first time, the 71-year-old is face to face with her blood relatives. Her mother gave her up for adoption when she was born to a couple who placed an ad in the newspaper.
Fisher’s sister, Sonta Henderson, still has the original clipping. The only piece of information connecting her to the sibling she never knew.
“We didn’t know if she was alive, if she was not, or where,” Henderson explained.
“I never thought this could happen in a million years,” said another sister Betty. “It’s just a dream come true.”
Ever since she was a child, Fisher searched for her biological family to no avail. It certainly didn’t help that she was never legally adopted and her birth certificate had inaccurate information.
Then, nine years ago, her granddaughter took on the task.
“She said, ‘I will find them,’” Fisher said.
“I was a little, you know, obsessed over it,” said granddaughter Amiee Sands.
Through the years, Sands exhausted every possible lead.
“I was just searching the censuses, the phone books, the years books, the military records,” Sands explained.
When internet searches did not work, Sands turned to DNA. She made her grandmother give three samples and, the third was the charm. Sands got a match: A first cousin who reached out to Henderson in April.
“It’s hard to believe, really,” Sands said. “I was always doing all the work thinking, ‘What if this, what if all this time and nothing ever pans out?'”
But it did and now, their family just got a whole lot bigger.
“Good things do happen,” Henderson said.
“Miracles happen,” Fisher added.