Unexpected family reunion at Sissonville, WV Gino's - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Unexpected family reunion at Sissonville restaurant reunites family after 20 years

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Alisha Jones and Mary Smith met at Gino's Pizza by chance after being separated after twenty years. Alisha Jones and Mary Smith met at Gino's Pizza by chance after being separated after twenty years.
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SISSONVILLE, WV -

Alisha Jones and Mary Smith both work at Gino's Pizza.  Alisha supervises three stores in Kanawha County, WV.  Mary works at the Ravenswood, WV location.  This story isn't about where they work, it's about how their work brought them together.

It begins when Alisha was six.  "My mom was extremely young when she had me and was involved in a lot of drugs," she said.  "We went through a lot of bad, traumatic experiences."

So Alisha and her sister were taken away from her mom by Child Protective Services.  The adoption was closed.  Despite being adopted into a wonderful family, Alisha always wondered about her biological family.  After moving several times to different places around the country, Alisha ended up moving back to West Virginia for financial reasons.  She had five different job offers but ended up taking the job at Gino's.

Then Mary was asked to come down to the Sissonville store to fill in because of a staff shortage on Sunday.  Alisha happened to be supervising that day.  Mary went home after working her shift, but she couldn't stop thinking about Alisha.  "For some reason her face just kept popping into my head," Mary said.  "It was just like, you know her. You know her."

Mary is Alicia's her aunt.  Mary went to Sissonville again on Monday to tell Alisha the news.  They both agree, the odds of Mary working at this store location on that day, the odds of Alisha working for this company to begin with, the odds that after 20 years, one family member could recognize another while working for the same company, the odds aren't good.  Call it coincidence, call it fate, these women say it made for one very special reunion.

Alisha said, "At first I was very skeptical.  Then they started saying things and I started asking her questions.  Then she showed me the pictures."  Pictures that Mary's mother, Alisha's grandmother, has kept for 20 years in her living room. 

"I never dreamed that it would be Gino's Pizza that would reunite me with my niece 20 years later," Mary said.   Both say it had to be fate and that they want other families in the same situation to have faith.  Mary said, "Don't give up hope that you're never going to see them again.  This is living proof that it can happen." 

Mary and Alisha said they plan on having a big family reunion in Pt. Pleasant, where the rest of their family is.  Stay with 13 News for more on this unexpected reunion.