Human Interest Women Learn They're Long-Lost Sisters, Meet for First Time After 73 Years: 'Our Parents Never Told a Soul' "I think we found each other when we were supposed to," Linda Hoffman said of meeting her older sister, Harriet Carter, who was placed for adoption at birth By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Instagram Twitter Joelle Goldstein is the Staff Editor of TV for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle helps oversee all things TV, and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians, America's Got Talent, Love Is Blind and Dancing with the Stars for her "work" responsibilities. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter, where she was co-nominated at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Magazine Article for feature cover story. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor's degree in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 10, 2021 01:28 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A pair of long-lost sisters received the most wonderful Christmas present a few weeks early when they got the chance to meet for the first time. Though it was bittersweet meeting her older sister Harriet Carter for the first time so late in life, Linda Hoffman, 73, told ABC affiliate KMGH that she wouldn't have it any differently. "I think we found each other when we were supposed to," Carter shared with the outlet. The women first connected by chance after both signed up for an account on Ancestry.com, according to KMGH. At the time, Hoffman was unaware that she had an older sister because Carter, 76, was placed for adoption at birth when her parents were just 18, the outlet reported. In the years that followed, Hoffman said her parents never mentioned to her that she had a sibling and ended up taking that secret to the grave with them when they died decades ago, per KMGH. Friends Finally Meet in Person After Connecting Over Call to Wrong Number 20 Years Ago Then, two years ago, the sisters came across each other on the ancestry site, which collects familial history records and connects families across the globe. "I had a message from Harriet saying, 'I think we might be related,' " Hoffman recalled to KMGH. "We were 100% match, but our parents never told a soul ever." The two ended up connecting over the phone — and have been talking almost every day since. However, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the sisters were not able to immediately meet in person, according to the outlet. RELATED VIDEO: Biological Siblings Meet for the First Time After Three Decades That all changed on Tuesday when they finally got the chance to meet after Carter flew into Denver International Airport from Sacramento, California, per KMGH. "Oh my God, that's her," Hoffman said, as the two embraced for the first time ever. "I can't believe how much you look like our mom." "Let me see you!" exclaimed Carter. "I can't quit staring at you!" Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. The sisters ended up sitting in the airport terminal, where they caught up and looked at old photos of their mother and the family that Carter missed out on. Friends Who Discovered They're Actually Sisters Reunite with Biological Dad: 'A Gift from God' But for Carter, the images were more about the importance of family. "To see all these pictures of the love and the bonding and the closeness... and now that I get older, it's especially relevant," Carter told KMGH.