‘It’s going to be hard not to get teary-eyed’: Myrtle Beach natives hope a new law helps them find their sister

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:15 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Two sisters from Myrtle Beach say they have a lot in common. There’s only a year in between Taylor McSwain and Abby Haight. But they’ve only known one another for less than four years.

In a way, Taylor and Abby’s lives have been like putting together a puzzle. The picture they’re using to put the puzzle together has a few holes.

”It’s gonna be hard not to get teary-eyed because every time I talk about it, it just, wow, I can’t even explain,” said McSwain.

McSwain currently lives in Florida, but still calls Myrtle Beach home. She’s always known her birth mother, who chose to put Taylor’s older sister and younger sister up for adoption. Three girls, each one year apart, all connected by the woman who gave birth to them.

It took Taylor 28 years to find her older sister, Abby.

“I had waited my whole life to find out answers,” said Abby Haight, who still lives in the Grand Strand area. She was adopted as a baby and her adoption was closed. She connected with Taylor through Ancestry DNA.

”There was one [match] that said Taylor, didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy, it just said Taylor with some numbers, and I believe it said, first cousin. I just said ‘Hey I’m Abby, told her the whole story said hey I was adopted in 1990, and within 30 minutes or less, she had messaged me back,”' said Abby.

”And I remember as soon as I saw her birthdate, I just remembered my jaw hitting the floor, I was just hysterical, I couldn’t believe it. I waited my entire life to find my sister and here she is, she just messaged me,” said Taylor.

With some of her puzzle pieces secured, Taylor set up a time to meet Abby in person. This was in October 2019. The pair says the connection was instant.

While Abby and Taylor had very different upbringings, they each walked through life with similar questions about adoption, like pieces that don’t exactly fit, but make you look twice.

”Like I knew it and I said it, but it didn’t really register until I was a teenager, is when I started thinking about it,” said Abby.

”I’ve always wondered my entire life like I’ve always thought about her, I’ve always known her birthdate, every year on her birthday I always thought about her,” said Taylor.

It wasn’t just Abby that Taylor thought about though, it has also been and will continue to be another sister, but neither Abby nor Taylor know her name.

All they know is that she was born at Grand Strand Medical Center on September 26, 1992.

Finding Abby gave Taylor hope that one day, she would have relationships with both her older and younger sisters.

A new South Carolina law serves as another piece of hope. Bill 5000 allows adoptees easier access to their certified birth certificates, especially if their adoption was closed.

It was signed last year but became effective a few weeks ago.

While Taylor and Abby’s sister’s birth certificate won’t have either of their names on it, it could help her find out who she is, if she’s also looking for her family.

”I think it’s really important that people know that they have a story and don’t be ashamed to share your story,” said Taylor.

Taylor and Abby may never get to finish their story, but the two have one another, and they hope by sharing what they know, they can recover a few more missing pieces of their puzzle.