A woman has finally reunited with her sister after not realising they lived so close to one another.

Growing up Kate Brown always wanted a sister when she saw friends at school with their siblings.

She wanted someone to share secrets with and a person who would understand her more than anyone else.

But the 53-year-old never imagined one day she would be told that person lives just three miles from her front door.

She spent decades not realising she had a sister until a reunion with her foster brother unearthed the family secret.

Kate, from Portsmouth, said: "It's been absolutely incredible."

She added: "It's turns out we're two peas in a pod. For most of my life I didn't know my sister existed.

"Without trying to sound corny, since we’ve found each other we both say we feel complete."

While Kate didn't know she had a sister, Becky Rhodes grew up streets away knowing she had a younger sibling out there.

The 57-year-old said: "My adoptive mum told me as early as I could understand that I had a sister."

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Becky added: "I looked for her years ago with my mum's help.

"She came with me to social services and they were able to get my files out, but we weren't able to get any further with Kate."

Both sisters were adopted as kids and social services made a note that keeping them together is best, but that wasn't the case.

Their birth mum Pamela Hinchliffe suffered from health problems and gave them up in the hope they would have a good start in life.

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Becky, who found her birth mum before she passed away, was just seven when she was adopted.

She recalled: "Pamela left me at the hospital. The nurses looked after me until I was about 10 days old.

"At that point I was taken by a social worker off in a car with some other little babies.

"I must have looked the ­scrawniest because my foster mum Pamela picked me out."

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It was three years after Becky was born when Kate arrived.

As the birth mum was unable to cope, Kate was fostered and later adopted by the Barters.

She bonded with her foster brother John Newham, although they later lost touch.

But it was her search for her foster brother that led her to discover she had a sister two years ago.

Following years struggling to locate John, who changed his surname to Bradley, Kate found her file which revealed her sister.

She added: "It was surreal to read I had a sister.

"It's hard to imagine that something so small as just those few words could carry so much power."

With the help of ITV's Long Lost Family, Kate discovered her birth mum Pamela had died in 2015.

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But she tracked down Becky and John as she described the experience as "amazing".

They met in January 2020 and got together a few times before lockdown.

The sisters, who connected with their birth mum's family, talk on the phone and see each other once a week.

Kate concluded: "We're making up for lost time. It's so lovely. It's been such an amazing experience."

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