TODAY   |  March 17, 2013

Friends discover they are related through Facebook

Facebook is meant to connect people, but sometimes those connections seem nothing short of miraculous. Two women learned that firsthand when a Facebook post led to an interesting revelation. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> millions of people use facebook to reconnect with long lost friends, but as a story first seen on our davenport affiliate, kwqc, two facebook friends realized they had a much closer connection. once again, here's michelle franzen .

>> reporter: when abbey met her a couple years ago, they became fast friends .

>> they said we looked alike.

>> reporter: a connection that would not be fully known until paula shared a painful family memory when she was just 10 years old.

>> when i was 11, my family gave up a baby for adoption.

>> reporter: thanks to facebook , a reunion became possible when paula posted her thoughts on her status page, saying, on september 19th , 1982 , my very first niece was born and given up for adoption. the date clicked with abbey.

>> i read it, and i was, like, september 19th ? that's my birthday. how crazy would that be?

>> reporter: suddenly, the exchange between friends --

>> she told me the birth parents' names, and i was, like, it's me.

>> reporter: it turned into a discovery they were family.

>> funny.

>> it was just surreal thing of, is this really happening? did i really just accidentally find my first family?

>> reporter: an accidental surprise.

>> i always knew i was adopted. i never actually felt the need to go out and search for my biological family , because i was loved so much.

>> reporter: and a missing part of paula 's family she had always hoped to find.

>> my family had prayed for this opportunity for years, and for 29 years, we dreamed of this day. and it's here. don't ever give up hope. because your prayers will be answered.

>> reporter: a niece and her aunt now catching up on lost time . for "today," michelle franzen , nbc news.