In what might sound like the plot to a cinematic tearjerker, two women living just a mile apart discovered they were sisters earlier this month.
Indy Star reports that on a Monday, Nia Hayes, 35, and Lana Hayes, 42, became friends on Facebook. But it was that following Tuesday the two became sisters for life — and not in the metaphorical form.
After Lonnie Hayes died in 2012, his daughter, Nia had questions about his life that she was unable to get. For years, she had heard stories of her father having another life with a whole other family, but she couldn’t make sense of it.
All she ever knew was a random baby picture in the family photo album, but there were no details, no explanations, at least none that the siblings can ever recall.
Nia had wondered if her father was making it up and after he died, they let go of those stories not wanting to cause their mother more pain.
However, it took a gentle push from a new co-worker of Nia’s and perhaps a bit of divine intervention to bring her and the mysterious baby in the random photo together.
As it turns out the two lived within a mile of each other in Fishers, Indiana for a little more than eight years. They had been shopping at the same stores, eating at the same restaurants, living separate lives.
The women are half-sisters, but both say they now feel whole after finding each other.
“I feel like I’m looking at myself a little bit,” Nia said as she looked at Lana. “We’re still getting used to it; we just keep looking at each other.”
“It tickles me that we have the same laugh,” Lana said.
In addition to the sharing the same father, the two sisters also have the same eyes, the same sense of humor, the same fun-loving spirit.
As the Indy Star shares, Lana grew up in Rushville with a half-sister and a single mother, but doesn’t remember her father. He and her mother divorced when she was a baby, and while she doesn’t know why she never saw him again, she did call him once when she was 19.
When a child answered the phone, she could hear younger children playing in the background and immediately froze, hanging up and never calling again.
“I have no bad feelings at all. I’m just excited,” Lana said. “My family has gotten a lot bigger. I’ve gone from one to seven siblings.”
In the first hour of their first meeting, the two cried but Nia thinks her father orchestrated this encounter.
“This was unfinished business. I know he tried, he wanted to have a relationship with you,” she told Lana. “I think he’s looking down and saying ‘Finally, they’re all together.’”
The two also credit their mutual friend, Michael Hurst for bringing them together. His old classmate, Lana friended him and oddly enough, something about her reminded him of his new coworker, Nia and wondered if they had been related. Despite their initial reluctance to contact one another, Hurst kept prodding, and today the sisters are grateful to him for bringing them together.
With the loop finally closed, Nia says all those years of wondering if her father was making it all up seemed like a dream. But with her sister beside her, examining the photograph of the infant tucked into their family photo album, she knows it’s a miracle.
“It’s nice to see my baby photo in there. I feel like I missed out because they all got to know each other, but I’m thanking God today that we were able to connect the way we did.”
[H/T Twitter / @indystar]