Flint woman meets long-lost sister thanks to bus trip - WNEM TV 5

Flint woman meets long-lost sister thanks to bus trip

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A bus trip turned out to be a life-changer for two Michigan women.

Back in 2014 to 2016, one of the routes of the bus driver Dee Starkey was from Flint to Chicago. Flint native Melanie Russell was a regular.

Dee kept telling Melanie that she looked like her friend Molly. She said they also had the same mannerisms, build, and hairstyles.

The doppelganger was Molly Levine of Saline. Her married name is now Richardson.

She and Dee had met years before driving school buses for Saline Area Schools.

Molly knew she'd been adopted when she was nine months old. She was lovingly raised by the Levines, an Ann Arbor couple who'd already had two children of their own.

She had shared her adoption story with Dee years ago.

As for Melanie, she had learned as a teenager that her single mother had given up a baby girl for adoption when she was 20. Her mom, Linda Moore, never forgot the baby's birthday.

Fast forward to November of 2015, and Molly's look-alike boards Dee Starkey's bus again. The question burned in her brain - could this doppelganger Dee was talking about be her long-lost sister?

So, right then and there on the bus, Dee snapped a picture of Melanie and sent it to Molly. Then Dee called Molly on her cell, putting her on speaker.

After that, Melanie and Molly started messaging on Facebook. They started sharing old family pictures.

The resemblance between the two of them as they were growing up was uncanny, but Molly's family was skeptical. Both her brother and her mom were not convinced.

Linda did confirm that Melanie and her brother Jeff and her first baby girl all had the same father, Rodney Morrow, who has since passed away.

Linda had a 16-year love affair with him, but they had never married.

For Linda, the guilt of giving away their first born was at times excruciating. She was always plagued with questions.

After months of Facebook messaging, it was time to meet face-to-face.  They coordinated to meet at Jeff's house in Wixom in the summer of 2016.

Yes, they all wondered if they should get a DNA test.

Turns out the birth date match and meeting in person convinced them all.

When Molly walked through the door into the Moore household, she gave a warm greeting. She and Linda hugged for a long time - a mother and daughter reunited nearly 50 years later.

 All of them still can't believe how they ended up reconnecting.

The family has been meeting regularly and enjoying their time together. Every time Linda hugs Molly, her heart warms. Molly is just as touched.

On April 8, 2018, Melanie and Molly decided to get matching tattoos of a heart with a missing puzzle piece with the words: "What was once lost has been found."

A miracle meeting turned into a new found family.

Copyright 2018 CBS News / WXYZ. All rights reserved. 

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