Knoxville (WVLT) - How do you make up for 50 years worth of memories with a family member you've never met. An East Tennessee family split up as children, opens their arms to a sister taken out of their lives more than 50 years ago.
For Sandy Hannah and her brother J.R. Harper, it's taken a lifetime to make it to this point. Finally meeting a sister they knew was out there and looking for every similarity they share as siblings
"We all kind of have this chin," Mary Anne Bailey said.
Their story starts 50 years ago when their mother left Mary Anne with her father in Connecticut and moved to Tennessee where she would remarry and have 4 more children.
"The woman they knew as mom I didn't have the privilege to know," Bailey said.
But these sisters will learn their paths have intertwined over the years. Sandy's wedding date, her sister says, is no coincidence.
"She said mama picked that date for you to get married," Hannah said.
Sandy's anniversary is Mary Anne's birthday.
"Someone wanted us to be together," Bailey said.
From their past they are learning from each other. For Sandy it's only the second time she's seen her sister.
"She's here it's just hard to explain to finally have her here," Hannah said.
For J.R. it's the first.
"I'm excited it's going to be a good weekend, I hope," Harper said.
A family finally with no missing pieces after all these years.
"Here we go, we're all together, we're going to try this. Maybe this is what she really wanted it to be," Bailey said. "To be continued."
There are also two other siblings. Sister Christine and brother Jimmy who couldn't make it. By the way, Sandy's giving her sister a true East Tennessee welcome and taking her to the UT football game Saturday.
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