I found this today during my daily search – Family Mystery Solved Thanks to MyHeritage DNA – May 23, 2019: https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/05/family-mystery-solved-thanks-to-myheritage-dna/.
Sandra Poli was born in Colombia where she was raised by her adoptive family before moving to Miami, Florida as an adult. Her whole life was recently turned upside down when she located her half-sister using MyHeritage DNA.
Born to a single mother in 1975, Sandra was placed with an adoptive family at a very young age. When she turned 9, her parents told her that she was not their biological daughter.
The news didn’t affect Sandra much and it wasn’t until she was a teenager that she became interested in learning more about her roots. Her friends at school were discussing genetic diseases and she realized that she knew nothing about her family or medical histories. That’s when she began to ask questions and dig deeper.
Sandra learned that her adoptive mother wasn’t able to have children. Despite her father’s initial hesitation, they had decided to adopt instead. Sandra began her search with the help and support of her adoptive father but neither of her adoptive parents had any information that could help. Over the years, she tried, again and again, to learn more about her roots, without any luck.
As a young woman, Sandra worked as a journalist in Colombia while continuing her search for her birth family. She appeared on TV shows and wrote into newspapers trying to gather clues. Every lead brought new hope but always hit a dead end.
Her American husband, Michael, urged her to at least get a DNA test to learn more about her ethnic makeup. Sandra didn’t expect to get any DNA matches because she assumed that few Colombians would have taken DNA tests.
When her DNA results came in June 2018, Sandra was surprised by a 2nd-degree cousin match. She messaged the DNA match through MyHeritage and learned that her match also had roots in Sandra’s birth country – Colombia. Together, the two pieced together a family tree, discovering where the match’s parents were connected with Sandra’s birth family. That led Sandra to the huge discovery of 4 half-sisters from her father’s side!
Since then, Sandra has connected with one half-sister, Soraya Halaby, who lives in Paris. Soraya originally moved to France to complete her master’s degree in Social Science at the Sorbonne, where she is now doing a Ph.D. in Sociology. Sandra and Soraya met for the first time in Colombia a few months ago and Sandra then hosted Soraya at her home in Miami.
Sandra is overjoyed at having found some of her biological family and is still hoping to reconnect with many more. “I would love to help more people in Colombia and tell them that MyHeritage works and how it resolved my mystery in such an amazing way!”