MEDIA
02/11/2014 09:55 am ET

CNN's Michaela Pereira Opens Up About Her Adoption

Michaela Pereira said Monday that she knew and accepted from a very early age that she was adopted, but she never lost the desire to reconnect with her birth family.

The "New Day" host opened up about her adoption on CNN while discussing a new piece she wrote for Essence magazine, in which she described growing up questioning her identity.

"So much of who I am on the outside-- my skin color, eye color and hair-- is because of my father," she wrote. "My identity is inextricably tied to a man I don't know."

Pereira called her experiences trying to understand her identity and find her birth parents a "real struggle." She revealed that she was eventually led to her birth mother one year and a week after she had died from colon cancer.

"It was devastating," she said.

And while Pereira said she has never had success connecting with her birth father, she gained an even greater blessing from her search: a half sister.

"There's a silver lining in very, very, dark clouds," she told her "New Day" co-hosts. "I found my birth sister, Marnie."

Pereira got choked up towards the end of the segment as she encouraged other children in adopted homes and foster homes to speak out and seek comfort.

Watch the video for the full segment on CNN.

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