Lisa Boyd of Caraway has many family reunions stored in her memories, but her latest reunion is like one out of a fairy tale book. She was reunited with her baby sister, Angela, first by telephone and then in person on July 13. Angela had been separated from her six siblings since 1969.
Lisa was born in July 1963 and Angela was born in March 1966.
"There was less than three years difference in our ages and even though we had not seen each other since we were young children, we immediately reconnected. It was like we had never been apart," Ms. Boyd said.
Their mother became ill after her husband was killed in the late 1960's and was unable to care for her seven young children.
"Three of my sisters, Vicki, Becky and Cindy, were in the same home, our brother Jimmy went to live with an uncle, and Marie and I grew up in the same family in different households," Boyd said.
The children, all except Angela who was adopted, were able to keep in touch with each other while growing up. In 1974 their mother remarried and three of the children went to live in Texas with her and their stepfather.
"Through the years as we became adults and married, we knitted back together and the older we get, the closer we are," Ms. Boyd said.
Her brother and sisters now live in Texas, Missouri, Florida and Arkansas.
She said she started looking for her baby sister about two years ago. She searched through the archives and she did find her sister's birth announcement.
"When our mom was diagnosed with cancer in October 2001, more than ever, she decided she wanted to find Angela. We located her in Florida in January. My brother made the initial contact with her and found that Angela was thrilled to hear from the family. She knew that she was adopted. We got home late from a ball game and there were messages from my mother that she had talked to Angela. I could not wait until morning so I could talk to her. I got very little sleep that night," Ms. Boyd said.
Her brother took their mother and stepfather to Florida to meet with Angela, and they had a great visit.
"We had a reunion in the planning for July 13 for all of us to get together in Texas at our mother's home and we were all looking forward to seeing Angela. Sadly, our mother passed away on July 4. We had the reunion that our mother had planned at her home but only four of us could be there. We had stayed during our mother's last days and three of my sisters had to get back home.
"Our reunion was not exactly as my mother planned but it was still wonderful for the four of us that got to catch up on our lives," Boyd said.
Ms. Boyd and her family visited in Florida with Angela and her family spending four days together.
"We had a great time. As soon as I talked to her on the telephone, I began to compile a scrapbook of family photographs so she would have a concept of the family. We spent hours catching up. We plan to get together again this summer. Hopefully someday it will be possible for all seven of us to be together at the same time once again," Ms. Boyd said.