LISTEN to this Good News Guru story here, which was broadcast on the radio with Ellen K and Geri, GNN’s founder, on KOST-103.5 — Or, READ the story below… (Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes – or for Androids, on Podbean)
Hillary Harris spent years searching the internet to find Dawn Johnson — until fate stepped in, in a big way.
Adopted as a baby, Harris only found out she had a half-sister after reading her adoption file as an adult. There, she discovered that her sibling’s name was Dawn Johnson.
For years, Hillary trawled the internet, and hundreds of Facebook pages hoping to find any Dawn Johnsons who might look like her, but found no one.
Last year, the 31-year-old was amused when, coincidentally, a woman named Dawn moved next door to their home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Harris joked to her husband that –even though the new neighbor was 20 years older— the woman living next door was her long-lost sister.
“I’m, like, Lance! Her name is Dawn!” Hillary told The Washington Post. “He was, like, ‘No’.”
They had a good laugh, but Hillary was still curious, and couldn’t shake the feeling that it might be her. After two months of peering through the window to catch glimpses of the curly-haired blonde, the universe interceded.
A large shipment of roofing shingles was left in the shared driveway between their homes. A big red, hand-scrawled label said JOHNSON – and Hillary was stunned!
“I was floored,” Hillary recalled to the Post. “I called Lance right away and said: Her last name is Johnson. That’s Dawn Johnson. It’s got to be her. It’s got to be.”
Introverted, and afraid of prying open any family secrets, it took an entire day for Hillary to muster the courage to say something. She finally texted Dawn for the first time, and she asked about a tidbit that was in her father’s obituary: “Were you the Loyal Corn Fest queen in 1983?”
After sharing a phone conversation filled with laughter and tears, Johnson showed up at the Harris house the next day with flowers in hand, and photos of their shared father, saying: “Hi sis.”
Since the two made the connection last year, they have been virtually inseparable. In addition to talking every day and living only a few yards apart, Harris’s 5-year-old daughter often goes over to her new aunt’s house for sleepovers and playdates.
Harris says that they decided to share their story with local reporters because they want to show people that anything is possible, and it’s never too late to search for family.
“I love sharing it because it’s such a beautiful happy story,” Harris said. “I know a lot of people struggle with adoption things and finding their biological family. But I want to tell them to not give up. Keep looking. Look everywhere. Go look next door. You don’t know what you’ll find.”
Share This Sweet Story Of Sisterly Fate With Your Friends – Photo by Hillary Harris