facebook.com/FOX13TampaBay | youtube.com/ABCNews
Source: facebook.com/FOX13TampaBay | youtube.com/ABCNews

Woman Who Thought She Had No Family Reunites with Her Sister after 75 Years

Ayesha Muhammad
Feb 17, 2022
01:00 P.M.
Share this pen

Two long-lost sisters who were oblivious of each other's existence didn't know their lives were about to change. One of them had grown up thinking she was an only child, never knowing she needed to be found. 


Siblings have a special connection that becomes profound with time. Having brothers and sisters makes one feel less alone and a little more loved and understood. Similarly, sisters share an unbreakable bond that is unlike anything else. 

Imagine the indescribable pain of growing up without a sibling, despite having one all along? Indeed, it sounds heart-breaking, and we wouldn't wish it on anyone. Sadly, two women lived this painful reality for a significant part of their lives. 

Jackie Murphy and Suzan Baekkelund share a warm side hug [Main]. The sister duo embraces each other at the airport [Inset]. | Source: facebook.com/FOX13TampaBay | youtube.com/ABCNews



Jackie Murphy, of Detroit, always knew she had a baby sister somewhere out there. She was five years old the last time she saw her little sister and was 55 when she lost hope of seeing her again.

The sisters were born into challenging conditions in Detroit and had another brother, who died of cancer at 49. Murphy was the oldest of the three siblings, followed by a brother, and a tiny girl, Suzan Baekkelund, known at the time as 'Sandy.'

The siblings grew up without a father, who had disappeared without a word. Their mother was a factory worker during World War II, and under unlikely circumstances, she put up her newborn daughter for adoption because she couldn't afford to feed another child.


Suzan Baekkelund as a baby. | Source: YouTube.com/ABCNews


Murphy recalled that she was dismal when her mother returned home without Baekkelund. With several nagging questions consuming her inside, Murphy decided to ask her mother about her baby sister. 


Following their airport reunion, the then 76-year-old Baekkelund and 80-year-old Murphy came together at the family reunion over the weekend.

The Detroit woman stated that she asked her mother about Baekkelund 40 years ago and kept asking the same question even as an adult. "And so she told me the best she could the adoptive parents' last name, which was Trotter," said Murphy.

A young Suzan Baekkelund with her adoptive parents. | Source: YouTube.com/ABCNews



Without wasting time, Murphy began searching for her long-lost sibling. Her husband and daughter tried to find a Sandy Trotter but failed miserably. None of them knew that Baekkelund had changed her name to 'Suzan' and no longer used her birth name.

Murphy became hopeless and thought she'd never see her sister again. But she was unaware that fate was conspiring in her favor. Baekkelund, who lived in suburban Nashville, Tennessee, didn't know she had a sibling.

In 2018, she and her daughter bought two Ancestry DNA kits on sale and let them collect dust on the shelf for several months. Then, one day, they took the test out of curiosity about her daughter's paternal Norwegian lineage.


Jackie Murphy pictured as a little girl with her mother. | Source: YouTube.com/ABCNews


The DNA test results revealed that Baekkelund's late husband was part Swedish, but that wasn't the only shocking part. According to the report, Baekkelund had two first cousins. The dumbfounded woman told ABC News:


"As far as I knew, I didn't have any blood relatives at all. The only relatives I had were the two I produced: my daughter and my son. I thought, maybe it was a mistake."

Astonishingly, it wasn't a mistake. In the days to follow, Baekkelund's new cousins started tracking down who placed a girl for adoption in their family. The Tennessee woman had difficulty accepting that she was adopted.

Baekkelund and Murphy share an emotional hug at the airport. | Source: YouTube.com/ABCNews



Baekkelund had often wondered about her ancestral roots because she didn't look like her parents. She had red hair, and they were dark-haired, and none of it added up.

Her parents failed to present a birth certificate and showed her a registration certificate. When Baekkelund asked for the reason, her mother told her it was due to a delay in paperwork.

Consequently, the woman grew up thinking she was an only child with no blood relatives, which meant her children would have no family after her death. She couldn't wrap her head around the fact that she was adopted and had a long-lost sister.


Susan Baekkelund and Jackie Murphy pictured with their extended family. | Source: YouTube.com/ABCNews


On the other hand, Baekkelund's cousins eventually called Murphy, who immediately told them they had found her sister. Soon afterward, the two siblings conversed on the phone, laughing and crying together. 


Murphy asked Baekkelund her middle name to rule out her doubts, knowing that her maiden name started with "T." She experienced an emotional meltdown when Baekkelund confirmed that her middle name was Trotter. 

The fateful day arrived when Baekkelund flew to meet Murphy and was astounded by the people waiting to greet her at the airport. Murphy stood in the large crowd, holding a pink rose for her niece and a red rose for her long-lost sister. 



Murphy also clutched a poster that read: "Sisters Suzan & Jackie Reunited." On October 16, 2019, the two sisters embraced, kissed, and cried tears of joy at the Detroit Metro Airport. For the first time in 75 years, they saw each other but promised it wouldn't be the last. 

Following their airport reunion, the then 76-year-old Baekkelund and 80-year-old Murphy came together at the family reunion over the weekend. The pair couldn't stop noticing their subtle similarities. 

"We've missed sharing secrets of our boyfriends, going to shows together, having our sleepovers, and our hugs. I missed it all as she did. But now, we will be together until the day I die," exclaimed Murphy. 


Aly Mikos and Lainey Gafford-Topacio. | Source: youtube.com/FOX5 Las Vegas

We are beyond ecstatic that the two sisters eventually reunited and have epic plans for their future together. Here's another reunion story that follows the same theme, and it's about a sister duo who didn't know each other until they made an unexpected discovery.

Do you want to know how they discovered their familial connection? You can find the complete story here.