DNA test turns strangers into best friends, reuniting a Jacksonville woman with her sister

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — DNA testing kits have increased in popularity for people to learn more about themselves and connect with family. For one Jacksonville woman, it turned a stranger into a best friend.


Emily Hall, a realtor in the Avondale area, always thought she was an only child. She was adopted when she was three days old.

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“In 2017, I was kind of curious about my history,” Emily Hall said. “Not necessarily finding my birth family, but what ancestry am I?”

She learned her ancestors were European and ended her search there. But, in April of 2022, she got an email from ‘23 and Me.’ It said she had an unread message.

“This woman was like, I’m your half aunt, and I think I know who your birth mom is,” Hall said. She was overwhelmed and emotional. “I was like how do you even start this conversation.”

Hall was connected with her birth mother who informed her she was one of five siblings. Most of them are half-siblings, but she found out she had a full sister in Bowden Georgia.

“I think the whole story takes off,” Hall said. “So, I texted her and I was like ‘hey my name is Emily’. I was connected to you by so and so, and I believe I’m your sister.”

That was on May 15, 2022. The two have talked every single day since then.

“It just feels like something I’ve been missing my entire life is finally there,” Hall said.

She now encourages others who may have been adopted to explore the same journey she embarked on six years ago.

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“Not every story ends with such a happy ending, but it can,” Hall said “I think it’s worth finding out if you have that option.”

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