Varda began searching for her biological parents from the moment she found out that she was adopted and Ofra looked for her sister for her whole life. 70 years later, the two finally met this week thanks to the DNA test that proved that they are sisters.
Yemenite Children Archives Photo Credit: Screenshot from Israel News Company
On Wednesday, two sisters who searched for one another their whole lives finally met in Holon. The two are only now meeting because someone thought it was ok to take a baby away from its mother 70 years ago, an all too common story among Israeli-Yemenite families.
When Verda was 11-years-old, her parents told her that she was adopted, but she said that she has known since she was 6-years-old and has been looking for her siblings for her whole life. Ofra, Verda’s biological sister, has known her whole life that she has an older sister. “When we were children, Mom and Dad would always say to us that if we see someone who looks like us, we’ll know that it’s our sister,” Ofra said. “That’s how we lived. At a later age, Mom told us, but each time she would tell us slowly.”
When the two sisters met, Ofra told Verda the story of her disappearance. “It was before she was married,” Ofra said regarding her mother. “She went to give birth at Hadassah and afterwards, she went to call for my father.” According to Ofra, her parents returned to the hospital in an army vehicle, where they were told that there was no baby girl at the hospital and that they must leave the premises.
As reported earlier this week by JOL, the Israel State Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday that it has approved the exhumation of 17 bodies for the purpose of DNA testing after a request was filed by the families of children who went missing between 1948 and 1970.
More than 1,000 families from Yemen, the Balkans and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region claim that their children went missing in the so-called Yemenite Children Affair, when babies were kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and put up for adoption without their parents’ consent or knowledge.