TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Two long-lost sisters who had no idea the other existed for over 50 years are now reunited! They met for the very first time in Tampa this week.
Jeannie Oliva says “My sister didn’t know I existed.”READ MORE: Florida Breaks COVID-19 Case And Hospitalization Records
It was a surprise Barbara Carmichael and Jeannie Oliva could have never predicted.
Carmichael says it all started with some curiosity.
“My daughter was looking for her father and so when she said ‘Hey, I’m going to do a DNA test.’ I said ‘I will do it with you. Maybe i can find some family’ and sure enough, I did the 23 and Me and I got a hit,” said Carmichael.
Once Carmichael found out her sister she didn’t know about for over 50 years lived in Guatemala, she reached out.
“It was a great surprise because I didn’t know there was another sister around the world,” said Oliva.
But with the pandemic right around the corner, their plans got complicated.
“We finally connected in February of 2020. We’re all excited about getting to see each other over the summer, and things got shut down,” said Carmichael.
A year and a half later Oliva flew to TampaREAD MORE: Child Tax Credit: Monday Is Deadline To Opt Out Of Advance Monthly Payments
“Excited, excited,” said Oliva.
While in Florida, Oliva and Carmichael traveled and visited family, went to the beach, and got to know each other.
“God must have known we needed each other now and we are enjoying every minute that we can,” said Carmichael.
Through their DNA searches and investigations, Carmichael and Oliva found out they have three other siblings they didn’t know about in Cuba and New York, all with the same father, but it doesn’t stop there.
“I think we are on track to find another one or two,” said Carmichael.
“I just hope that somebody can listen to this story and maybe they can help us with more pieces of this big puzzle,” said Oliva.
Eventually their reunion came to an end. Oliva packed her bags on Thursday and Carmichael dropped her off at the airport to go back to Guatemala. With tears of joy in their eyes, they said goodbye.
“Even if we never saw each other again, we have each other’s heart,” said Carmichael.MORE NEWS: Delta Variant Presents Challenges To Metro Atlanta Schools
Carmichael and Oliva say they will continue looking for any more long lost siblings and will be planning a family reunion again soon.