- Denise got lost in a market in Seoul when she was only three.
- She was brought to an orphanage and soon got adopted by an American family.
- 44 years later, through a DNA matching program in Korea, Denise was finally able to meet her biological family.
It took 44 long years before Denise McCarty — who got adopted by a family in the U.S. — finally got to reunite (virtually) with her biological family in South Korea, and met her twin sister she never thought she had.
Her Korean name was Sang-Ae. She found her birth family in South Korea through a Korean DNA matching program which matches Korean families with adoptees in America. The 46-year-old Denise visited South Korea in 2016 and registered for the program.
Her mother also signed up the following year and just this month, the result was finally released.
Back in 1976, Denise and her twin sister got lost in a market in Seoul. They were only three years old then, according to the WCAX report.
While her twin sister was found after three days, Denise was brought to an orphanage and got adopted by her now American parents.
“I was told that I was abandoned, so I never knew that I had family,” Denise said emotionally in the reunion video on October 14 from Korea Now.
“We never abandoned you, Sang-Ae,” her sister, Sang-Hee, replied. “We were looking for you every day.”
They even put up a business in the market where she got lost hoping that one day, she’d return to them.
Denise was stunned to learn she has a sibling, and not only a regular sibling but a twin! She also learned they have a lot of similarities in their personality and their habits.
“To have that missing piece of what happened to me is just incredibly overwhelming and happy and it makes me feel whole,” Denise said. As soon as travel is available and safe, she hopes to meet with her birth family again.
Sadly, her father and grandmother have since passed away. But she knew, they were there in spirit during the reunion.
Now that she has found her biological family, she feels complete. She now has a bigger family and there’s nothing else that she could ever ask for.
“You can’t be happier than that. You can’t ask for more than that,” she said.