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40 years later, DNA test reunites biological sisters

Five Thanksgivings ago, Kristy Kirton of Indiana and Stacey Wilbanks-Mohler of Macon were strangers. This week, they will spend the holiday at the same table.

MACON, Ga. — Five Thanksgivings ago, two sisters were strangers. But this week, they'll spend the holiday at the same table.

Five years ago, a Hoosier and a Georgian had separate families.

"I always knew I was adopted. They didn't keep it from me. I did not know I had other siblings," Kirton said.

In 2017, Kristy Kirton of Poland, Indiana, took an Ancestry DNA test. She was trying to find her biological mother.

"Just one dead end after another, after another, couldn't, just could not locate her, so my husband knew it was important for me to know my history, so he got me the Ancestry DNA kit for Christmas," Kirton said.

About a year later, a cousin on her dad's side led her to her biological sister in Macon --- Stacey Wilbanks-Mohler.

"The connection was very powerful. I didn't know I was searching for siblings. I was just trying to get a photograph of my parents," Kirton said.

After months of flipping through photos, bonding and healing, the two are now inseparable.

"You always wanted a sister," Kirton said.

"Amazing. Amazing! I am mad though, because we were cheated of this and it's hard to get over that. It's unexplainable, because you have a bond with somebody that you didn't know, that you didn't grow up with, but it makes you feel complete," Wilbanks-Mohler. 

Wilbanks-Mohler is two years older than Kirton. They didn't know about each other for 40 years.

"So far, you know, no regrets. Obviously, everything I've learned hasn't been roses, but whose is. It's been worth it," Kirton said.

Kirton says it's like she's been her sister the whole time.

"If you're searching for family. It's worth it. It's not always easy, but it's totally worth it. I never would've known otherwise," Kirton said.

It's an everlasting bond between two women, now family.

They first met during the 2018 Christmas season. Now, they travel more than nine hours to one another, visiting at least three or four times a year.


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