When Katie Doak took to Facebook to find her biological family, she had no idea that her half-sister was trying to find her too.
The Phoenix, Arizona, teen was adopted at 18 months old when her mother was unable to care for her. With help from her adoptive mother, the 17-year-old girl began searching for her birth mother and half-sister, Kelsey Wilson, 19.
“I’ve been interested in finding her for five years, but the past year has been the main push,” Doak says. “My mom has been supporting me through all of it. ”
On Monday, Doak took her search to Facebook, posting a photo of herself holding a sign that included everything she knew about her birth mother and half-sister (who was raised by grandparents).
The sign read: “Hello, my name is Katie. My birth name was Katherine Rebecca Leigh Wilson. I was born on Oct. 10, 1997 in Jefferson County Kentucky. I am seeking out to find my birth mom & half-sister to find out about my biological family. My birth mom’s name is Cynthia Michelle Wilson. She was born May 9th, 1977 (38) in Louisville Ky. Has moved around to Az, Ky, and In. My sister’s name is Kelsey Wilson. She was born April 16th, 1996 (19) in Ky. PLEASE HELP ME FIND THEM!!!”
A local news outlet, 12 News, saw the post and interviewed Doak. Hours after the news story was shared on Facebook, an individual messaged Doak with her half-sister’s contact information.
After messaging her long-lost sister on Facebook, she began looking through her online photos and discovered that Wilson had been looking for her too.
Unknown to Doak, Wilson had even posted a similar photo last year with a sign that read: “Hi, my name is Kelsey. I’m looking for my sister! Her name is Katherine Rebecca Wilson. As far as we know, she lives in Arizona. Her birth mothers name is Cynthia Wilson. Please ‘share’ this and help me find her!”
“As soon as I read her poster, I instantly ran downstairs and showed my mom and we knew it had to be her,” Doak says. “I cried in disbelief.”
The two sisters reconnected by phone on Wednesday night.
“It wasn’t as awkward as I was expecting it to be, it was more like I’ve known her and it was really easy to talk to her,” Doak says. “She’s really sweet, and I really look forward to getting to know her a lot more.”
After connecting with Wilson, Doak discovered she has five more siblings who have either been adopted or are living with her biological grandparents and aunt. She says she plans to meet them all.
“I’m still kind of trying to process that it happened,” she says. “It feels great.”