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LDS woman finds half-sister through Ancestry.com after 60 years of separation

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014 6:00 a.m. MST

“I felt it was inspired. It was the way it needed to happen. The fact that they already knew about me was really great; they were prepared,” Moss said. “The timing of it all just seems amazing.”

The half-sisters met for the first time last September when both women happened to be in Washington, D.C., at the same time. They went to dinner and discovered they had several things in common, including a love of lobster, the “gift of gab” and physical appearance.

“We were waiting in the lobby, and when I saw her coming down, I knew right away," Woodrick said. "She looks just like our mom."

Because both women have a passion for family history work, they attended the RootsTech conference together in early February and openly shared their remarkable story many times, often shedding tears of joy in the process.

“It’s been wonderful; we feel at home here,” Moss said. “This is the community where our story means something and is appreciated. It’s been really fun.”

Moss said she feels a strong connection to Woodrick and the other siblings and they hope to have a family reunion soon, possibly in Atlanta. Although she was nervous about the unknown and how it might change her life, she is glad she found her half-siblings.

Moss also has tremendous sympathy for her biological mother. Two months after giving birth to Moss, she met her husband (Woodrick's father) of 50 years and had four children, which meant she went on to have a happy life.

"That has given me real comfort. I admire her so much. I'm a mother of four and think of the agony she must have gone through. It must have been a painful time, but she did the right thing," Moss said. "I have nothing but respect for her and hope other people do, too."

When asked what people might take away from their experience, the women talked about the powerful connection of families and the blessings of adoption.

"I would encourage anyone, if they are considering placing a child for adoption, to do it. It's a great blessing to that child’s life; make that sacrifice," Moss said. "I would also encourage people if they want to know who they are, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s definitely worth doing it because it’s incredibly fulfilling to finally get the answers of who you are. … There is something that is sanctified here by being natural relatives. It expanded my family circle. … It was OK to do it."

"It was meant to be," Woodrick said. "It’s like my universe has shifted, almost like we have been together all our lives. We haven’t, but it seems like we have."

"A curtain was lifted," Moss said.

Email: ttoone@deseretnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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