Shelburne woman to reunite with biological sister after 42 years

Published on July 15, 2014

By Amy Woolvett

After 42 years, fate has brought two sisters together.

 It began with an Internet classified ad, a post that popped up about a woman looking for her father.

Ann Keith thought nothing of it as she shared the post to try to give it further exposure but didn’t bother clicking the link that went to the online ad.

She herself had once been in search of her birth family and understood what the person was trying to do.

After Keith shared the ad on Facebook, a member of her adopted family opened it and out of curiosity was browsing the page looking at similar posts.

Unbelievably, a little further down the page, was an ad asking for Keith’s whereabouts.

With the help of her adopted family, Ann Keith had found her birth sister.

Kathy Labossiere was adopted at the age of four and remembers very little of her time with her birth family.

While memories were elusive, she was able to keep hold of the names of her siblings.

She began searching for her birth family in the 90’s.

“I was always going through telephone books and calling up people with the same last name,” she said.  As the years went by she searched using every possible means short of hiring a private detective

“Nothing ever became of it,” she said.

She began the search to help fill in the holes of her identity and find a sense of belonging.

When Keith was shown the ad she immediately responded, “I believe I am (your biological sister) it has been many years since I have seen you.”

Labossiere was convinced that indeed Keith was in fact her sister and she couldn’t stop the happy tears from flowing.

“I’m singing all through the house early in the morning when I read her first email,” she said.

At first, Keith approached the reunion with caution. Being older, she was seven when she left her adoptive home and she remembers clearly the horrors of what happened before going into foster care.

She had also attempted to find her birth family in her younger years but to disastrous and heartbreaking results.

She realized soon after making connection with the family she did find, that they were too dangerous to be near.

“After that I was afraid to venture out and find the rest of them,” said Keith.

She loves her adoptive family and has since she escaped into their arms at the age of 7.

But when she received the first email from her biological sister, her heart would not stop pounding as they wrote back and forth discovering bits and pieces about each other.

“It’s surreal,” said Keith.  “It feels real but not real.  I look at her photo and see similarities with being blood relatives…when she first sent her photo I instantly started crying thinking …that’s me.”

While there is joy and wonder at finding each other, there are also memories of tragedy and severe abuse being brought up for Keith, who is treading lightly as they form this new relationship.

“I want to be the big sister I couldn’t be when I was little,” said Keith, with tears in her eyes.

Gently, the two found sisters are forming a new bond and have sent emails back and forth over the past two weeks, sharing their struggles and successes over the past 40 years.

“I knew one day I would find her,” said Labossiere.  “It’s so hard to describe how I feel but I feel complete.”

Both women, despite their destructive past, have chosen to live their lives the way they want, and with a positive outlook.

“I do believe in the energy we put into the universe, positivity breeds positivity,” said Keith in a letter to her sister.  “I control my life and no one else does, I wake up each morning and choose how my day will be regardless of what life throws at me.”

The two women have chosen to take things one step at a time and have so far only corresponded through writing. 

But this August, for the first time since they were little children, they will meet in Winnipeg, where Labossiere lives.

“It’s going to be an emotional reunion,” said Keith.  “It’s strange how things happen.”

Keith is awed by the unusual way the two sisters met and offered a word of thanks to the woman who posted the original ad looking for her father.

“You made a step to change your life and along the way you changed mine,” she said.