British Columbia·Video

B.C. woman abandoned at birth meets biological sister in Vancouver

Janet Keall and Kathie Rennie exchanged a warm embrace at YVR for the first time since discovering they were biologically related.

Janet Keall discovered her half-sister and brother through a social media campaign to find her mother

Keall, left, has been searching for her family for nearly 20 years. Rennie, right, didn't know she had any other biological family until now. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Two Prince Rupert-born siblings who were abandoned at birth, met each other for the first time in Vancouver late Friday evening.

Janet Keall and Kathie Rennie, both living at opposite ends of the country, exchanged a warm embrace for the first time since discovering they were biological half-sisters.

Janet Keall and Kathie Rennie exchange a long embrace at Vancouver International Airport. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

"I'm just so elated, I'm so happy, teary eyed, everything...it's pretty amazing," said Keall, moments after meeting her half-sister for the first time.

Rennie, from Maple Ridge, was waiting at Vancouver International Airport with a bouquet of flowers for Keall as she walked through the arrivals gate. She was adopted shortly after she was left by her mother in Prince Rupert.

Janet and Kathie say they plan to go to the spa for a pedicure while Janet is in town. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Rennie said she had no previous knowledge of any biological family until a DNA test with Keall showed they were related. She says the past month has been surreal for her.

"[It's] not quite real ... it's a movie," said Rennie. "From nothing to everything ... is unbelievable."

Lifelong search

Keall, who lives in Charlottetown, launched a public search in April to find out more about family and her own birth story.

Through that search, she discovered she had a half-brother named Kevin, who lives in B.C. Tips received through her website eventually led her to also find Kathie in Maple Ridge.

Keall hugs niece Lexie Haidon, Kathie's daughter. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

The three siblings were all abandoned shortly after birth by their mother in Prince Rupert. Keall was left on a hospital doorstep, where she was found by a stranger and taken in. Their mother is still unknown to them.

Watch the interview of the three siblings together on CBC Vancouver New at 6. 

Janet Keall discovered her siblings through a social media campaign 7:34

With files from Sara Fraser and CBC Radio's Daybreak North

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