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Adopted Woman Finds Sister Living Next Door

Adopted Woman Finds Sister Living Next Door

In a May 31, 2018 photo, Hillary Harris, left, and Dawn Johnson, who live next door to each other and share a driveway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, found out recently through Harris' research that they are actually sisters. (Dan Reiland/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP)

By    |   Monday, 02 July 2018 08:42 AM

An adopted woman recently found her sister living next door.

Dawn Johnson and Hillary Harris, who became next-door neighbors last year, recently discovered that they are half-sisters, sharing the same father in a revelation that stunned both women in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, according to WISN-TV.

Johnson, 50, and Hillary Harris, 31, became neighbors when Johnson and her partner Kurt Casperson moved from Greenwood, Wisconsin, to Eau Claire and purchased a home next to Harris, sharing the same driveway, the television station said.

Harris was adopted and knew little of her birth family, including birth father Wayne Clouse, who died in 2010. In 2012, Catholic Charities, her adoption agency, gave her a packet of information about her adoption, including the obituary of Clouse, the WISN-TV said.

While she was able to track down two half-brothers on her mother's side with information from the obituary, she could not find the half-sister "Dawn Johnson" from Greenwood on her father's side.

When Johnson moved next door and Harris learned she was from Greenwood, she admitted she became suspicious, but quickly dismissed it, thinking what was the chance that her lost half-sister would randomly move next door to her, WISN-TV.

Harris told the television station that her preschool-age daughter Stella developed a friendship with Johnson, repeatedly visiting their home.

"I was annoyed by it to be honest," Harris told the Eau Clair Leader Telegram. "I'm like, 'Stella, just stop. What if they don't even like little kids?' But Stella was just so drawn to her."

Still, not wanting to pry, Harris did not investigate her neighbors further until August. Johnson and her partner were redoing their roof and the name on the shingles at their home read "Johnson," the newspaper said.

At that point, Harris did not know Johnson's last name, the Leader Telegram said. Harris told the newspaper she used texted message to confirm her questions for her still new next-door neighborhood.

"Your name is Dawn Johnson. Were you the Loyal Corn Fest queen in 1983?" Harris texted to Johnson, who initially felt she would join others in making fun of her honor, the newspaper said.

Yet, when Johnson confirmed she was, Harris followed by asking her father's name. When Johnson answered Wayne Clouse, Harris wrote, "We have a lot to talk about. Can I call you?" the Leader Telegram wrote.

"Do you remember how I told you I was adopted?" Harris told Johnson, who immediately responded, "You and me have the same dad, don't we?" the Leader Telegram said, solving the stunning mystery.

The newspaper said the two have been making up for lost time after decades of separation, even though how they found each other still leaves them in a state of disbelief.

"I can feel the love," Harris said, now referring to her next door neighbor as "Big Sis."

Stella's attraction to Johnson no longer seems unusual and now spends the night routinely at her aunt's home. Johnson, who told the Leader Telegram that she didn't know she had a lost sister until Harris showed her the evidence, said she was glad the family web has been untangled.

"We don't care about the tangles so much, but we like how it turned out," Johnson said. "This whole time since we found out has been so much fun. We've been making memories."

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Next-door neighbors Dawn Johnson and Hillary Harris of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, recently discovered that they are half-sisters in a revelation that stunned both women.
dawn johnson, hillary harris, sisters, neighbors
Monday, 02 July 2018 08:42 AM
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