Katie Doak of Phoenix, AZ, was adopted when she was just 18 months old because her birth mother was unable to care for her. When she turned 17, her adopted mother decided to help her find her biological mom.
“I’ve been interested in finding her for five years, but the past year has been the main push,” Katie told PEOPLE. “My mom has been supporting me through all of it. ”
Katie held up a sign with a few details about her life, her mother’s name, and a half-sister’s name. She snapped a photo, then posted it to Facebook.
A local news outlet, 12 News, saw the post and interviewed Katie. Hours after the news story was shared on Facebook, an individual messaged Katie with information on her half-sister, Kelsey Wilson. Katie messaged Kelsey and discovered a strange coincidence: A year before, Kelsey had made a similar sign, snapped a photo, and posted it on Facebook in search of Katie. So while Katie was using social media to find her biological family, her half-sister was also doing the same.
“As soon as I read her poster, I instantly ran downstairs and showed my mom and we knew it had to be her,” Katie said. “I cried in disbelief.”
The sisters spoke over the phone and Katie discovered a secret family she never knew existed. She had five more half-siblings, some of whom were being raised by Katie’s grandmother, while others were adopted by an aunt.
Katie may not have found her birth mother, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t find a wonderful new family.
“I’m still kind of trying to process that it happened,” she said. “It feels great.”
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