Justin Kragt was only 2-years-old when he was found alone and crying outside of a theater in Seoul, South Korea. Some time later, just a mile away in the same city, a 4-year-old girl was found alone in a market.
Police found a note inside of her picket that she had no parents and should be taken to the nearest police station. These incidents happened in 1984.
Both children were eventually adopted separately and unknowingly by families in the U.S.
“We actually found Justin in a magazine with this cute, little cherub of a face,” his adopted mother, Sue Maguire, told The Oregonian.
Kragt grew up mostly in Salem, Oregon, with four siblings.
The little girls who was abandoned near him was his older sister, Renee Alanko. She was being raised in Northern California with her new family.
The two siblings, now in their 30s, recently reunited, after learning of each other’s existence, thanks to DNA tests with 23andMe.
Kragt had done a DNA test in 2014 and successfully found some distant relatives. Alanko took the test this past summer. The news of a sibling match was a huge surprise to them both.
Alanko said she thought she had a brother but was too young to really remember. Kragt said he never knew he had a sibling at all.
Last week, Kragt and his Maguire family were present when Alanko stepped off the plane in Oregon. The two had spoken to each other but it was the first time they were meeting face-to-face. Needless to say, there were lots of hugs and tears.
“I knew about him all this time,” Alanko told The Oregonian. “I just never thought I’d ever meet him. … This is really amazing.”
She told ABC News Thursday that her life had been forever changed.
“I had gone my entire life thinking that I did not or would not know anybody biologically related to me and now that I do. … Knowing that Justin is just a phone call or a text or an email away or short flight away, it has really changed the way that I see myself in the world,” she said.
“My heart absolutely melted,” Kragt told ABC News Thursday about seeing his sister for the first time. “I’m so happy. It’s something that I’m going to treasure the rest of my life.”
“I always thought I was alone in the world and I was content with that,” he said at the time of their reunion.
“Now you’re stuck with me!” she said.