A Tale Of Two Sisters


Payson High School graduating senior Natalie Black hugs the sister she has never met after their adoptive parents arranged the meeting.

Payson High School graduating senior Natalie Black hugs the sister she has never met after their adoptive parents arranged the meeting. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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“I’m shaking all over,” said a girl with jet-black hair and striking blue eyes, on the morning of a day she’s anticipated all her life.

Oddly enough, she looks just like Payson High School senior Natalie Black.

Well, actually: that’s not odd at all. She’s Natalie’s sister.

But the two have never met — until today.

And now after years of questions and quests, two families have arranged for

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Natalie Black (right) met her sister Morgan Dell (left) for the first time just before her graduation on Thursday from Payson High School. The girls were adopted by different families when they were babies and didn’t know about one another’s existence for years. Their adoptive parents arranged their meeting this week as a graduation surprise for Natalie.

these long-separated sisters to meet as a gift for Natalie’s graduation from high school.

Best yet — Natalie has no idea Morgan has come to town.

As they arrive at the door of the peer-counseling classroom, the girls’ families clear the doorway.

Morgan steps up and says, “Hi, Natalie.”

Natalie’s eyes crinkle as the tears start to flow.

The girls embrace.

“This is Natalie’s biological sister,” says Janelle Burba, Natalie’s mother as the students and friends who have gathered in the counseling office watch the two, “She’s never met her in person until now.”

The students in the room sigh.

“Your eyes are so blue!” says Natalie.

Later, Natalie said she had no idea the meeting would prove such a shock — and a delight.

Morgan Dell and Natalie Black were both adopted at birth. Both girls knew they had been adopted, but little else.

When she got old enough, Natalie decided to search for her birth parents. When she finally found them, she discovered she had a younger sister who lived with her birth parents. However, she didn’t learn about Morgan.

“I admitted to my mom (Burba), that I knew my birth parents,” said Black. “My mom admitted that I had another sister.”

Two years ago, the two sisters connected on Facebook and from that day forward have communicated digitally — until this week.

“They’ve always intended to meet,” said Morgan’s mom Donna Dell. “Natalie said she was saving up money, but Morgan decided it was time to go.”

Morgan grew up in New Jersey. But despite the difficulties, it’s all been worth it, concluded the sisters.

The two have spent the week meeting Natalie’s friends, shopping and staying up all night to talk, “despite finals the next day,” said Natalie.

They have found they have the same mannerisms and like to do the same things.

“We found out yesterday that we don’t like chocolate or ice in our drinks,” said Morgan.

Both families sat in the stands as Natalie graduated last night — a night for Natalie to remember.

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