Sisters meet for first time after DNA test connects them
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 5:10PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:44PM EDT
Two sisters who had no idea they were related just a few months ago met in Ottawa today for the first time. The women say they connected after their DNA matched online through the genealogy company Ancestry.
Michele Gibson, 58, and Debbie Walsh, 56, say the testing shows they have the same father.
Walsh says she was adopted as a baby and ended up living in Nova Scotia. While connecting with her biological mother she learned she had half siblings in Ontario.
Determined to find them Walsh submitted her DNA to Ancestry and was linked to the Gibson family. She reached out to her potential sister on Facebook in February and says the rest is history.
“She knew right away and she called me and we’ve been BFF’s ever since,” Walsh said.
The pair has been chatting on the phone until this point. They came face-to-face for the first time at the Heart and Crown in the ByWard Market on Thursday.
They cried and laughed while catching up and exchanged family stories during the meeting.
“You look like a Gibson,” Gibson told her sister.
Walsh has never met her biological father who she says passed away in 1990.
It took 56 years for the sisters to meet but they say they wouldn’t change a thing.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Gibson said.
For two women who just met the pair says they have several similarities.
“We both love the colour blue,” Gibson joked.
“And we eat onion rings the same… we just eat the batter and leave the onion – it’s the quirky little things,” Walsh replied.
Walsh is visiting in Ottawa but will return to her home in Nova Scotia. The pair say they will keep in touch.