- Associated Press - Friday, November 14, 2014

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - Going at their own pace, sisters Cheryl Poole, 56, and Teresa Wynn, 53, strolled through Carey Park.

Both women, beaming with a grin from ear to ear, proudly walked announcing to the world “This is my sister.”

The two met for the first time this month, The Hutchinson News (https://bit.ly/10MzTkr ) reported.

Poole had been given up for adoption three years before Wynn was born by their mother, Alberta Brewer Smith. Until recently Wynn had no idea she had a sister. Her mother and family kept it a secret.

Growing up in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Poole learned to play the violin. So did Wynn, who grew up in Hutchinson. The two both performed with the Wichita Youth Symphony, but their time never overlapped. Both women majored in English in college. Poole is now an IT specialist in Boston and Wynn is a pastor at Mitchell United Methodist Church and Fairview United Methodist Church.

“God is all over this,” Wynn said.

Poole had tried several times to learn more about her birth family to no avail. Poole had an open adoption, but said for various reasons it was difficult to find any valuable information. She finally made a connection earlier this year meeting their mother’s sisters in Oklahoma.

Seven weeks ago Wynn received a letter from Poole letting her know who she was and how to contact her if she wanted to. The letter came a day before her birthday.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Wynn said.

Wynn contacted Poole that day. The two have spoken daily ever since.

“We’re making up for lost time,” Wynn said.

“This was really phenomenal,” said Teresa’s husband Robert. “They knew exactly who they were when they saw each other.”

The two women bear a resemblance to one another siblings often share. Both have dark hair, petite hands, and are roughly the same height. However, the trait that really unites the two women is their laugh.

The two women often go from smiles to laughter to happy tears when together.

“It’s our language,” Poole said.

The women only have a brief time to spend with each other before Poole has to return to Boston and they intend to make the most of it. The Wynns plan to head to the east coast to spend Thanksgiving with Poole and her family.

Both women are thankful their mother gave Poole up for adoption because they now have the opportunity to be sisters.

“Love just gets bigger and bigger,” Poole said.

The women participated in Love Life Run, a charity race for the Open Door Pregnancy Care Center, this month.

More than 450 others took part in the 10K/5K/1 mile fun run.

“Their story just makes you want to cry,” said Becky Hughs, director of Open Door.

Poole and Wynn’s story, Hughs said, is a testament to the power of adoption.

The race raised roughly $10,800 for the center, said organizer Sonya Caley.

Since 2009, Open Door has hosted a charity race to raise funds for its operation. Open Door offers free and confidential services including pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound, options counseling, parenting classes and many other services.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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