Long Lost Sisters Meet for First Time Since Adoption

For more than five decades, Penny Emberton-Brooks and Gaynor Miller never knew they were sisters. They met recently for the first time since Penny’s adoption in 1957.

Adopted over five decades ago, Penny was unaware of her older sister’s existence. Gaynor learned she had a younger sister from a relative, and once the sisters’ mother died in 1991, Gaynor began an earnest search to track her down.

Gaynor inadvertently discovered the identity of her younger sister while briefly mentioning to her mother’s brother-in-law that she wished she had a sister. He proceeded to tell her of Penny’s existence and since that day Gaynor’s life was changed.

Gaynor began her three-year search on the internet with only her mother’s maiden name to assist her. She eventually discovered Penny’s birth certificate and requested assistance from a specialist agency.

Gaynor’s search revealed insights into her “muddy” past. She discovered that at four years old her mother left her and traveled to London to give birth to Penny. Gaynor was left to be adopted by another family and she never saw her mother again.

Penny regretted not knowing her parents.

“I wish I’d known them. There’s always questions about who you are and where you’re from and your family history,” she said, “Well I don’t know it, but am slowly finding out some more.”

Penny knew she was adopted at a young age but she thought she was an only child. Not only did she discover she had an older sibling, but she also was surprised to learn she lived only a few hours away.

Gaynor located Penny, and the agency that assisted her sent the long-lost sibling a letter at her place of work. The correspondence requested permission for Gaynor to contact her.

Penny was full of emotion when she received the letter.

“You name it I felt it when I read that first letter – shock, amazement, wonder, anxiety, pleasure but overwhelmingly joy, she said.” It’s difficult to put into words. I had hundreds of questions yet none, I was flummoxed.”

The relationship flourished with many letters, emails and texts. They finally met face to face at a pub in Staffordshore on a special day, Penny’s 55th birthday.

Gaynor said, “…we recognized each other from our photos straight away. It was very emotional. We hugged and there were a few tears.”

After the reunion, the sisters stayed in touch meeting bi-monthly and texting every waking moment. They exchange photos and discuss their children and grandchildren. Their families met as well.

For Gaynor and Penny, the last years of their lives will be so much more fulfilling now that they have each other.