By Erin Hassanzadeh

MONTICELLO, Minn. (WCCO) – Online ancestry technology has the power to make once unthinkable reunions possible. It was the reason for an incredible reunion Sunday in Monticello.

Elaine Snodgrass is hosting a family luncheon 81 years in the making.

(credit: CBS)

“I can’t wait, I just can’t wait to meet them,” Snodgrass said.

She has been curious, at times, about the mother she never knew.

“I always asked mom when I got a little older, ‘Do you know why I was in the orphanage?'” Snodgrass said.

But she never could have imagined what an online ancestry test would reveal.

“I have a lot of siblings that I don’t know,” Snodgrass said.

She has five half-siblings she never knew about until a few months ago.

“There was a total of eight of us all together,” Snodgrass said.

She met three of them for the first time on Sunday.

“Here I am 81 just now getting to know my siblings,” Snodgrass said.

For a long time, Raymond Steinke, the oldest, was the only one who knew about Elaine. He carried a photo of her and her brothers in his wallet since his freshman year of high school.

There are memories to share, inside jokes to learn, laughs to exchange and hands to hold. After all, they do have 81 years of catching up to do.

“The only word I can describe it right now is just awesome,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass’s niece is the one who used the DNA kit. She gave Snodgrass a phone number for her brother, Raymond, and that’s how the meeting came about.

Erin Hassanzadeh