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Adopted daughter in the Netherlands reunited with sister in Montreal and mother in Colombia, 40 years later

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Two daughters and a mother were reunited online thanks to a DNA kit and a Zoom connection despite living on three separate continents and speaking different languages.

Diana Angarita lives in Montreal and has always known she has a sister named Xiomara.

Her mother, Carmen Angarita, spoke about her often though Diana had never met her and Carmen only knew her briefly as a baby over 40 years ago.

"Actually, she was always talking about Xiomara that I felt jealous," said Diana. "She was not there because we couldn't meet her. I couldn't meet her when I was a child, but I always knew that she was there. That she exists, but she didn't know about me."

Her mother gave Xiomara up for adoption before Diana was born.

Carmen grew up an orphan in Bogota, Colombia. When she was 34 and in a dire financial situation, she got pregnant and gave birth to Xiomara in 1981. Her daughter had health issues, and Carmen knew she had to make a tough decision.

"I didn't have an option to raise her and had to choose," the 74-year-old woman told CTV News from her home in Bogota.

Carmen was comforted to know that Xiomara was adopted by a loving family in the Netherlands, but still longed for her.

"I really missed her," she said. "I was very sad when I had to give her up for adoption."

Xiomara Schuuring grew up never knowing her birth mother or half-sister, but she was later reunited with them thanks to a MyHeritage DNA kit. (MyHeritage)

Carmen had Diana two years later and raised her daughter as a single mother. Diana moved to Montreal three years ago, and a MyHeritage DNA kit and app birthday gift from her husband changed the entire family's life.

The couple wanted to investigate Diana's ethnicity, but the app's ability to show possible DNA matches led her to find her sister living in the Netherlands.

"I had in my mind that it was so hard to find her," said Diana. "It was like a fairy story, like a dream come true, something that you do not [have] in mind because you think that it is so hard to get.

"It was like, I can say like magical. I can't believe it. It's something that you can't believe."

When she found her name, Xiomara Schuuring, Diana began finding ways to contact her.

"I am a little bit impulsive, so when I found her, the app it says half-sister, so I said 'oh my goodness. I am finding my sister. This is real!'" said Diana. "I texted her. Actually I started to like stalking because I started looking for here everywhere in Linkedin, Facebook."

The two soon connected and set up a Zoom call with their mother.

Xiomara made a video introducing herself.

"I'm your daughter and I hope to see you very soon," said Xiomara in the video. "I'm very, very glad that I know now that you are alive and you always think about me."

Xiomara also told her mother that she has a 17-year-old son named Joaquin.

Xiomara Schuuring and her son Joachim living in the Netherlands, have now been reunited with two members of their family they never knew. (MyHeritage)

"I was very happy," said Carmen. "I almost cried from happiness. It was very beautiful to know that I also have a grandson. I was waiting for her for a long time."

Carmen is unilingual Spanish, Xiomara speaks Dutch and English, and Diana speaks English, Spanish and French.

Xiomara told her sister, however, that she is studying Spanish and hopes to learn to communicate before the three meet in person.

Carmen and Diana Angarita are thankful that Diana's husband Martin gave her a MyHeritage DNA kit for her birthday. That gift led to the family discovering Diana's long lost half sister Xiomara in the Netherlands. (MyHeritage)

For Diana, the communication struggles are nothing compared to the gift of meeting her sister.

"It was like the best day of my life. It was actually the best gift ever thanks to my husband," she said.

The two sisters plan to meet their mother in Bogota in December and spend Christmas together. 

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