DNA match leads to half-sisters meeting for first time after 67 years

Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Christine Courtwright, 67, waited in anticipation holding flowers and a sign at Orlando International Airport on Thursday while she prepared to meet her half-sister for the very first time.

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"I'm really nervous,” Courtwright said. “I have no idea what she looks like."

Courtwright carefully examined every face walking down the escalator when finally she spotted a face she never saw before that was still somehow instantly familiar.

"She looks a lot like Grandma," Courtwright said.

Liz Cuccinello, 73, flew in from Delaware to meet Courtwright, who lives in The Villages in Central Florida.

"I can't believe we finally got here,” Cuccinello said during their emotional first embrace.

"We got a lot of people that want to meet you,” Courtwright said.

It was a meeting that neither women ever expected to happen.

Cuccinello was adopted and never knew her biological family.

"I never even thought I'd have a sister,” Cuccinello said.

Courtwright said she was told as a teenager that she had an older half-sister but she never planned on meeting her.

The two women share the same biological father.

Courtwright has helped other people find their ancestors as a hobby for the last two decades and while helping a man find his relatives, she uploaded her own DNA data to MyHeritage.com, an online genealogy service.

"They popped up and said, 'we have a match,'" Courtwright said.

With that, the two women started writing each other, then talking by phone before finally deciding to meet in person.

Now, after a lifetime apart, the two half-sisters are looking forward to a future together.

"This is my big sister. Now what do I do to big sisters?” Courtwright said as she laughed. “What do I do with a little sister?” Cuccinello replied with laughter.

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