(NEWSER) – When Abbey Donohoe and Paula O'Brien met at a party four years ago, a few people mentioned that they looked alike. Little did the Iowa women know that's because they're related—O'Brien is Donohoe's aunt, a fact the two women discovered completely by accident via a Facebook post. On March 6, O'Brien posted about her older brother and his girlfriend, who gave a baby up for adoption, and mentioned the birth date. "I read it and I'm like September 19th, that's my birthday," Donohoe, 29, says. After comparing more information, the two confirmed Donohoe was the baby in question.
"It was just surreal," Donohoe tells KWQC. "Did I really just accidentally find my birth family?" Her response to O'Brien's original post: "That's my birthday & I was adopted.... crazy!" She had never thought to search for her birth family, she says, because she "was loved so much." As for O'Brien, who the Quad City Times reports was 11 years old when Donohoe was adopted: "My family had prayed for this for years," she says, noting that her family even celebrated her absent niece's birthday each year. "For 29 years we dreamed of this day and it's here."