An adopted woman was brought to tears when, for the first time, she was able to hug her biological brother, who had lost all hope of ever finding her.
Lena Kauffman, 27, from San Francisco, California, always knew that she had siblings but was never able to find them through traditional methods of searching.
Similarly, her brother, Frankie, 28, had searched to find his long-lost sibling for 10 years but eventually gave up believing he would succeed.
That changed last year, though, when the website 23andMe matched Lena with her first cousin.
She decided to reach out in July and was informed that she, in fact, had six half-brothers on her father’s side, with Frankie being closest to her in age.
After chatting on FaceTime, Frankie and Lena had an immediate connection, and so they decided to meet in person to discuss their pasts.
On July 29, the pair met at Harris Ranch, a California restaurant Lena has been visiting for years.
As soon she laid eyes on her biological sibling, Lena immediately welled up, heading over to her brother, and crying happy tears on his shoulder as the pair embraced.
For years, Lena said, she had seen her friends have similar looks to their family members, and this was the first time she had ever had that feeling of having someone look like her.
When they chatted afterward, Lena discovered that Frankie is a dad and that she has a niece.
The pair plan to keep in touch and spend more time together going forward, given that both live in California.
Lena said: “The moment we met was surreal.
“My whole life I grew up having friends who had their mom’s eyes or their dad’s smile.
“I had never seen anyone who looked like me. Until now.
“To hug and hold each other was incredibly emotional.
“We both endured so much pain as children and young adults that this felt like a huge weight lifted.
“It felt safe – like I was home.”