Neither time nor space could keep these long-lost siblings apart.
Despite being separated from her sister in childhood, Brittanny Bigley never faltered in believing that she was out there.
“When I was about 2 and a half and Amanda was 1, we got taken away our mum and her dad and placed into foster care,” Bigley, 31, told Caters of her biological sibling. “My dad got custody of me, and the foster parents we were staying with adopted Amanda [Stiles]. It was a closed adoption, so they changed her name.”
Stiles proceeded to grow up in California, Bigley in Utah.
In the 25 years since their 1993 separation, both sisters had tried to find the other, but to no avail. Bigley, who works in management and is now a mother of one, maintained hope Amanda was alive, but eventually gave up the dream of ever hugging her again.
While her father often told her about her sister growing up, he passed away when Bigley was 10, landing her back in the foster care system, with only a few photos and vague memories of Stiles. Then, when she was 23, her aunt brought her some paperwork “and it had court files and information about me and Amanda, which helped my search,” Bigley recalled.
“I made a video talking about my story, and my dad’s ex-girlfriend reached out to me,” Bigley said. “She works in the foster care system and was able to help me with a lot of information that I needed.”
With the new info — including her sister’s post-adoption name — she was finally able to track down her now 29-year-old sister on Facebook.
“When I saw the first photo that popped up my heart stopped: She had the same big fake eyelashes, little button nose, lots of makeup. We looked so much alike,” said Bigley.
She shot Stiles a message.
Stiles responded, confirming she had a sister named Brittanny.
“When I got her message, there were a million emotions running through my body all at once… It was one of the most exciting days of my life,” said Stiles, admitting she’d previously felt “defeated,” believing there was “no chance I was ever going to see her again.”
“I started crying because we finally found each other,” said Bigley.
The pair began talking every day and excitedly planning to reunite in person as soon as possible.
“We finally met in person one year to the day that I messaged her,” in March 2017, in Laguna Beach, California said Bigley. “The rest is history.”
Their connection was “instant” and they’ve been in constant contact ever since.
“It almost feels like there was no time lost between us,” said Bigley.
“[I feel] whole again,” said Stiles of being reunited with her older sister, describing the first time the pair hugged again as “magical.”
Today, the two describe each other as “best friends.”
“It really does feel like a big part of me that was missing for so many years is now finally whole again and that’s an indescribable feeling,” said Stiles. “We have already gotten to make so many fun memories together as adults and I cannot wait to make more.”