An adopted woman who spent years searching for her birth family has discovered her long-lost sister was closer than she thought.
Hillary Harris, 31, was adopted as an infant and had been searching for her biological parents for seven years without any luck.
The mother-of-one knew little, except that she had a half-sister named Dawn Johnson from Greenwood, Wisconsin.
Countless Facebook searches for Dawn came up short, until last year when a couple moved next door to Hillary and her family’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin home.
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Hillary Harris, 31, (right) discovered her long lost sister Dawn Johnson, 50, was living just next door in Wisconsin
The mother-of-one, pictured with her daughter Stella, five, was adopted as an infant
Hillary said her five-year-old daughter Stella immediately took a liking to her knew neighbors and would constantly go over to play.
She was hesitant at first of her daughter’s attraction to Dawn, 50, worried that she was bothering the neighbor who she was not very social with.
Beyond a cordial greeting, the women rarely spoke, but Hillary did know that Dawn was from the same city as her long-lost sister.
However, without knowing her neighbor’s last name she thought it was a long shot.
Until one day, a package was delivered to their shared driveway.
Hillary picked up the package and was shocked to see the name Dawn Johnson.
‘My stomach dropped and I called my husband right away,’ she said.
‘Her name is Johnson, it’s Dawn Johnson, she’s from Greenbrook. It’s got to be her,’ she told her husband over the phone.
After being wary for a couple of days over the discovery, Hillary mustered up the courage to inform Dawn of their miraculous connections.
‘I said, ”No, I’m not going to go ask her,” Hillary said. ‘What if she never knew about me? What if it’s a secret?’
Hillary knew she had an adopted sister named Dawn Johnson, 50, from Greenbrook, Wisconsin, who happened to move next door with her husband (left) last year
Hillary made the connection and the women discovered they share the same father who passed away several year ago
With a push from her husband Lance, Hillary sent a text to Dawn.
The women learned they share the same father, Wayne Clouse, who died in 2010.
Dawn was raised by her stepfather and had only met her birth father at 18 years old.
She said she never considered her dad had other children but it made perfect sense that Hillary would be her half-sister.
The next day, Dawn showed up at Hillary’s home with a bouquet of flowers and pictures of their birth father.
‘For me this is 100% fate. I was so sad when I discovered my biological father had passed away,’ Hillary said. ‘But by meeting Dawn I feel like I have all the answers I will ever need.
‘She’s the missing puzzle piece I have been looking for for so many years,’ she told The Washington Post.
‘I’m very happy to have a wonderful neighbor, also my sister,’ Dawn said. ‘And I get to watch my niece! And she gets to play and I get to feel young,’
Hillary is now urging those struggling to locate their biological family to not give up.
‘Keep looking. Look everywhere. Go look next door. You don’t know what you’ll find,’ she said.
After months of cordial ‘hellos’ a package arrived in their shared driveway with the name Dawn Johnson printed on it
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