Two sisters who were given up for adoption at the conclusion of World War II were finally reunited after 75 years.
Annie Ijpelaar and Sheila Anne Fry, both in their late 70s, took it upon themselves to separate in order to
locate their long-lost relatives. It was Sheila’s daughter-in-law and Anne’s son who facilitated the reunion.
Sheila was adopted as a baby in the UK in 1946; she had no idea who her birth parents were. However,
with the help of a DNA test, it was discovered that Sheila had a half-sister who lived in the Netherlands and was born just a few months after her to the same father.
Marc, the son of Annie, messaged Sheila’s daughter-in-law Karen, and both sisters took a DNA test to determine their ancestry.
Sheila remarked after their initial encounter last year, ‘It was like looking in the mirror and chatting to myself. It was incredible.
We share the same interests and health issues, which is quite weird.
She was always aware that she was adopted since her parents had always told her that she was unique because they had chosen her.
They said that her father was a Canadian soldier who served during World War II in Europe and later came home.
The family thought they had reached a dead end because the search for Sheila’s birth father had been fruitless for eight years.
After learning that her stepfather was not her biological father, Annie was also researching her family history in the Netherlands.
Only after listening in on a conversation between relatives and looking through family papers did Annie learn the truth.
The real father of Annie was a Canadian soldier who had served in World War Two and helped free the Netherlands from Nazi rule.
When a joke between cousins prompted Marc, Annie’s 50-year-old son, to request a DNA test, he found a significant discovery.
Marc was shocked to learn that his mother had a half-sister when the email reporting a DNA match arrived.
Marc ultimately told his mother he had discovered her a sister after confirming the DNA relationship by testing both sisters, and he set up a video conference for May 2022.
They had a fantastic talk, Marc remarked. They share the same activities and the same appearance. It was incredible.
A few months later, the in-person meeting happened in the Netherlands.We both enjoy knitting, crocheting, and doing crafts, Sheila jokingly remarked, adding ‘I must admit, Annie is a lot better than me.’
The meeting was ‘really meaningful,’Annie says.
‘We clicked off immediately… Seeing and speaking with my sister after so many years seemed quite normal, despite the language barrier.
‘Since we struggle with technology, it might be challenging to stay in touch. ’I’m trying to improve my English, but it’s not very good. I wish she was nearby.