A woman has been reunited with her long-lost father after 56 years apart—and it’s all because he was “suggested” as a friend on Facebook.
56-year-old Karen Harris was adopted as a little girl in the early 1960s after she was born out of wedlock to her teenage birth parents.
When she turned 18, Harris approached an adoption agency seeking to track down her birth parents.
She knew virtually nothing about her biological family, but after a social worker shared with her what details they could, Harris managed to find her mother ten years later, after she had had a child of her own.
However, finding her father proved to be more difficult.
She knew he was an electrician from Croydon and his name was Trevor Sinden, but with such little information at her disposal, she failed to track him down—that is, until decades later when she saw the name appear on the “Suggested Friends” feature of the social media site.
Harris, who lives in Penryn, Cornwall, saw Sinden lived 350 miles away in Kent. Upon scanning his online profile and history, she realized she might indeed be looking at her father.
The pair then chatted for several weeks before meeting for the first time in an emotional reunion last week—and they both said it was like they have known each other their whole lives.
“It’s so surreal, the chances of actually meeting were so slim,” said 72-year-old Sinden. “I have looked on the internet, but could never find her. It’s early days now, but I feel we already know each other quite well.
“If it wasn’t for Facebook we wouldn’t have met.”
The reunited father and daughter decided to meet in Lyme Regis, Dorset, roughly halfway between Cornwall and Kent. When they first spotted each other, they hugged for so long that a passerby said: “I hope you know each other.”
They had a lot of catching up to do in the following days, which were spent going on walks and searching for fossils on the Jurassic Coast.
Harris was also introduced to two of her long-lost cousins and has had “an amazing time with many new memories.”
“Looking at your family that brought you up, you’re really grateful that they brought you up, but you don’t have that sense of belonging,” says Harris. “Now I’ve found completion. I’ve found connection and completion and I’m cherishing it.
“Those who are adopted can understand that moment when you first see someone other than yourself in a mirror that has your cheek bones, your eyes, your chin,” says Harris. “It is something that someone who isn’t adopted probably can’t relate to or understand, but it changes the way you look at the world.
“Now there is someone else like me, loving me for me and I cherish every moment. I’m incredibly blessed to find him now.”
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