DNA test kit brings long-lost family together for the first time

Family reunited after a lifetime apart
Published: Jan. 30, 2020 at 10:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A southern Arizona family is whole again thanks to an Ancestry DNA test.

Sherry Wingfield always knew she was adopted. Wingfield was born and raised by a loving couple in Los Angeles, California. She lived her whole life never knowing if she had siblings or what happened with her birth mother.

“I always wanted a brother, I always wanted siblings,” Wingfield said.

Wingfield received an Ancestry DNA kit for her birthday. At first there were no results, until Richard Smith and Jeanine Carroll both did the same thing a few months later.

Smith and Carroll are brother and sister, both born and raised with their six other brothers in Tombstone. Their mother had eventually told them that she had another child and put her up for adoption back in the 1950s.

Carroll said their mother was single at the time and thought her child would have a better life with adoptive parents. Their mother later remarried and had Carroll and several other siblings. She passed away in 2003.

Both Smith and Carroll instantly matched on Ancestry with Wingfield after recently receiving their results.

Carroll then went to Facebook to look her up and saw the proof in Wingfield’s profile picture.

“Her Facebook picture popped up as her as a child and it looked just like my mother,” Carroll said.

Carroll then reached out via Facebook messenger and the two began talking. They haven’t stopped since, and decided to plan a reunion trip back to southern Arizona where several brothers still live.

It’s the perfect fit.

Carroll, who grew up with seven older brothers always wanted a sister. Wingfield, an only child, suddenly has more siblings than imagined.

“I’ve have felt an instant connection, immediately," Wingfield said.

Although there are a few faces Wingfield won’t meet — like a few siblings and her birth mom who have passed — they’re still present in this reunion.

“It just feels like she’s part of it. In fact Sherry feels that both her mom and her momma are together, and looking down,” Carroll said.

Watching in this room full of travelers, three siblings finally feel at home.

“There’s always been a piece missing, but it’s whole. It’s gone. That emptiness that peace has been filled," Wingfield said.

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