MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the season where many people pick up relatives from the airport to spend Thanksgiving together. For one Minnesota woman, however, the family member she’s picking up is a sister she’s never met before.

Mary Jo Norum grew up with a loving adoptive family in St. Paul.

Her own daughters worked online for years to help her find her biological mother. In late October, they found her, but it was too late. She had passed away.

But there was good news. Norum has a younger sister and she has been searching for her family, too.

Norum’s daughter, Annie Chavie, said she was able to learn more about her mother’s sister through her research.

“We are so happy to give this gift to our mother who has given us so much,” Chavie said.

The two sisters decided to meet in Minnesota for Thanksgiving.

So, at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport on Sunday, Norum could hardly stand the excitement as she waited to meet her sister for the first time.

“I can’t describe all the different emotions that I’ve had probably all bottled up,” Norum said while waiting at the airport. “I’ve been the baby all my life and now I’m the oldest.”

Now, Beth Jore-Wynn is in Minnesota from Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with her big sister.

“I couldn’t wait to land. The plane didn’t get in fast enough,” Jore-Wynn said. “(It’s) an answer to every prayer you could ever imagine.”

It’s her first holiday ever spent with a sibling – and the first of many firsts for this family.

“People that have their family need to appreciate them, because if you don’t have them, it’s emotional,” Jore-Wynn said.

Both sisters said they learned about each other from their biological mother decades ago, but had very little information to work with in order to find each other.

Norum says she also has another biological sister she’s searching for. Her family has little to go on, but they’ve learned her birthdate was Feb. 26, 1956. She’s believed to have been born in Fargo, North Dakota and adopted out of Duluth.

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