Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Sisters reunite with long-lost mother after 40 years

After years of trying to find their mother, sisters Starla Medlock, 43, and Jeannie Toomey, 42, gave up, figuring the limited information they had would never lead them to her. Then, on Dec. 30, Medlock received a Facebook message from a man named Mark Szarmach — her mother's new husband.

Szarmach tracked Medlock down on social media after discovering her married name, and he recognized a baby photo she posted — it was the same picture his wife, Lani Szarmach, has carried in her wallet for the past 42 years. When Lani and her ex-husband divorced in the mid-1970s, they were living in England; the girls' father received full custody and brought them back to the U.S., where they lost touch with their mother.

The family reunited Tuesday in Kansas City, Missouri, and Medlock told ABC News when she locked eyes with her mother for the first time in decades, "It felt like time stood still. It just stopped." The meeting also had a major impact on her sister. "I felt like that piece in my heart was just filling up," Toomey said. "It was no longer a void there." As for Lani, who is from Thailand, she wants to make up for lost time in the kitchen, telling ABC News, "I've waited so long to cook for them." Catherine Garcia