Sarah Hatherly exudes a quiet confidence which masks a personal history defined by a single event – being given up for adoption.
The 30-year-old, who works as a business development manager and lives in Hospital Lane in Canterbury city centre, was just 18 months old when her mother Christine gave her up.
Problems with alcohol and prescription drugs had rendered Christine unable to look after her.
Sarah was Christine's second daughter and she and her four sisters ended up in care before being adopted.
Knowing she was adopted as she grew up, Sarah swapped letters and photos with her two older sisters, but not the younger ones.
"I was very fortunate as a child and had a good education, horse riding and music lessons," she said.
"This was ensured by my adoptive parents, and despite differences over the years, I am eternally grateful for that.
"I had an older sister who was my adoptive parents' birth daughter, and a younger brother who was long-term fostered.”
At the age of 12 came another emotional mountain for Sarah to scale: The death of her mother from a heroin overdose.
She found it difficult to comprehend as Christine was not a regular user. Sarah remembers there being many unanswered questions about the death.
But the pain grew worse when her adoptive parents decided not take her to Christine's funeral.
She said: "It did not affect me immediately, but when I was 15 I harboured much resentment towards my parents, as despite sending flowers on my behalf and donating money towards a gravestone, I could not forgive them for denying me the chance to meet my family."
Sarah's unsteady emotional state was beginning to have an impact on her life and she was put into care until she was 16, followed by three wild years.
"It caused me to end up in a lot of trouble, including being arrested, battling depression and suicide attempts.
"I finally reunited with my adoptive parents for a visit when I was 19, and told them I understood that they had made a very difficult decision and only made it with my best interests at heart.
"Our relationship has grown ever since."
In 2002, Sarah moved to Canterbury and four years later decided she wanted to find her birth sisters. On July 9, 2012, her life changed forever when her younger sister, the third of five, sent her a text out of the blue. It said she had tracked down all the sisters and there was a meeting planned for the following weekend.
Sarah added: "I started shaking, then crying, then nearly passed out with shock. I had waited all my life for a message like this, but couldn't quite take it in.
"I started shaking, then crying, then nearly passed out with shock. I had waited all my life for a message like this, but couldn't quite take it in..." - Sarah Hatherly
They met at a park and when all the sisters were united for the first time, there were torrents of emotion.
"We all hugged, took a photo of the five of us together, then went off for lunch and bubbly and hours of swapping stories.
"We all got on famously, and the family eyes were uncannily similar – all my life I had been complimented on my piercing blue eyes, and we all had them.
"Finally, we had people we looked like. Although it sounds silly, it's something we had all craved and wondered about.
"It's been life-changing and has laid to rest some issues I didn't even know I had.
"I am close with the two youngest and cannot wait to share the rest of our lives together to make up for 30 years without them."
Sarah's determination to help others who have been adopted led to her holding a charity auction at the St George's Centre at Christ Church. It raised £750 and her fundraising drive still has money coming in.
The 50s-themed auction was held in aid of the charity After Adoption, which brings people together.
Sarah said: "They are dedicated to helping people like us find each other and providing support. They help make stories like ours happen."
Click here to visit her fundraising page.