Growing up, Carlina White thought she didn’t biologically resemble her family members.  In her teens, when she realized that she didn’t have a Social Security number and birth certificate, her suspicion grew.  Plus, she was reportedly not treated very well by her family.

She said she just had a feeling, she felt different from the people raising her,” said Elizabeth White, her biological maternal grandmother.

Carlina decided to act upon her suspicions.

She went online and logged on to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children.  She then looked up missing children with her birth year.

Carlina came across a photo – her photo actually, taken by her biological parents – that looked very similar to the baby photos her non-biological family took in Georgia. 

She then called up the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“I don’t know who I am,” she said on the phone, according to ABC News.

This started the process that eventually culminated in a DNA test that proved that she was the daughter of Joy White and Carl Tyson, who lost their daughter 23 years ago to a kidnapper.

Carlina’s biological family, on their part, never gave up hope.

“We never gave up hope. We always thought one day she would come back,” Elizabeth White told CBS news.

New York Times also reported that Joy White used Carlina White’s name as her email address.