Long-Lost Sisters Find Each Other on Instagram

If you use Instagram, it's probably for sharing photos of your travels or that amazing sushi roll you ordered last night, but two long-lost sisters got much more out of the photo sharing app recently: They found each other after 18 years apart. 

Nia Edwards, a 22-year-old customer service rep from Hazlehurst, Mississippi, has four siblings but was separated from them as a child because, though they all shared the same father, some had different mothers. “I was so young when we all split up, but I knew about my siblings because I had family photos,” Edwards tells Yahoo Shine.   

It was only during high school when Edwards started getting more curious about her family roots. She joined MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook and began searching for her siblings, but she never found a trace of them online. “My mom and I even paid for a few of those ‘people finder’ subscriptions but we didn’t have luck and because I didn’t have contact with my father, I couldn’t ask him for help,” she says.

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A few weeks ago, Edwards bought a new phone and downloaded Instagram in a final effort to find her brothers and sisters. It worked almost immediately. A 42-year-old woman named Brenda Edwards from Houston began following her on the social media app. Nia saw a family resemblance between them, so she wrote on her page, “Hey I'm your sister, Nia Edwards. I haven't seen you since I was 4 or 5. If you are Brenda Edwards daughter of Milton Edwards, I love you sis." Brenda’s response: “Yes, lil' lady I have been looking for you, love you too, do you have a phone?"

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Turns out Brenda had been looking for Nia too. “She had followed so many people named Nia Edwards, hoping that one was me,” Nia says. The sisters swapped contact info and began talking on the phone, and Nia discovered that Brenda grew up with a brother named Milton, now 40, whom she hadn't seen since childhood. Brenda and Milton share the same mother and they both live in Houston. Yet another brother, 38-year-old Maurice Hendrix, who is in touch with Brenda and Milton and lives in Seattle, will now be able to connect with his younger sister Nia, too. “I was so happy that I called my local news station because I wanted everyone to know,” Nia says. “With so much negativity in the world, mine is a happy story.”

All four siblings plan to meet in May for Nia’s little brother Justin’s high school graduation. There's still one sibling left, though, a sister named Candice, whom Nia continues to look for. And she doesn't plan to give up until her family is complete. "I'm so excited to meet my siblings, but I really hope to find Candice soon," she says.

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