Long-lost sisters meet for 1st time

Published 12:02 am Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sisterhood is a powerful thing, and for local resident Amanda Stewart and her Michigan native sister, Brianne Hoyt, it’s a bond they’ve just found.

There are 14 years between the pair, but for the 20 years Hoyt has been alive, the two haven’t met – until this week.

Bri Hoyt and Amanda Stewart are long-lost sisters, who recently met. | Courtesy photo

Bri Hoyt and Amanda Stewart are long-lost sisters, who recently met. | Courtesy photo

Hoyt’s always known she has family on her father’s side, though she never met him.

Stewart found out about Hoyt through an estate issue two years ago when their father died.

“My mom had mentioned him a few times,” Hoyt said. “But I found her all on my own. It took a very long time. I talked to a lawyer and we’re finally here.”

Stewart said her parents had been divorced for a few years when her father took a business trip to Michigan. While there, he had a relationship with Hoyt’s mom.

“It didn’t really work out,” Hoyt said. “I think there was a little confusion, too.”

This week, Hoyt drove 15 hours from Kent, Mich., to Andalusia to meet Stewart.

“I was so nervous,” Hoyt said. “I’ve never been out of Michigan. The trees are so pretty here.”

The South was a culture shock for Hoyt.

“It was so funny,” Stewart said. “We went to run yesterday morning and she asked me if we were going to run on the treadmill. I told her we were going to run in town.”

Hoyt said it was unbelievable that people run outside here and that some people don’t lock their doors.

The pair quickly hit it off.

“When we met, it was like we were best friends,” Stewart said. “We were up until 2:30 a.m. the first night just catching up. We are so similar.”

The pair even have the same chairs at their respective homes.

“It was a little weird,” she said. “But we were doing arm curls and we did them the exact same way.”

Hoyt plans to visit with her sister until June 20.