Years after working together at a Connecticut bar, Julia Tinetti and Cassandra Madison — who were both adopted from the Dominican Republic — discover they’re actually sisters!
January on Facebook, Cassandra, 32, told the touching story of how she learned Julia, 31, was her blood relative.
“Julia and I met in 2013 working at Russian Lady in New Haven, CT. Julia notices the Dominican flag on my arm and makes a comment about how she’s Dominican too BUT she’s adopted from there,” Cassandra wrote.
“I stop her in her tracks and tell her I’m adopted from there too. We become friends, start wearing matching clothes, having a blast together and telling everyone, ‘We’re sisters.’”
“After that moment, we were so tight,” Julia also told “Good Morning America” on Wednesday. “We started hanging out. We would go out for drinks, for dinner. We started dressing alike.”
However, when Julia and Cassandra compared adoption papers, the documents didn’t match up.
“Papers said we were from two different cities [with] different last names. And, our mothers’ names on our paperwork were different,” Julia told “GMA.”
Despite the contradictory paperwork, Cassandra was confident that she and Julia were sisters.
When Cassandra asked her biological father if he placed another child up for adoption, he said yes.
“He said, ‘It was just a difficult time for your mom and I. So, I don’t like to talk about it. I don’t like to think about it,’“ Cassandra told “GMA.”
After taking a 23andMe DNA test, the two women learned that they are in fact sisters and have the same biological parents.
“WE ARE SISTERS! Same mom, same dad! Just two girls who happen to work together find out they’re sisters,” Cassandra wrote on Facebook. “I love you twin.”
Per “GMA,” the women believe that Julia’s adoption papers were mixed up with those of her childhood friend Molly Sapadin, as Julia and Molly were adopted on the same day in close proximity. Additionally, Julia’s mother is listed as Molly’s.
Citing a January 1 DNA Test, Molly says Julia is her third cousin.
Following the arduous process, Julia admits she is “still processing the magnitude of the situation.”
“This is the type of thing you see on TV,” she told “GMA.” “Finding my biological family just wasn’t a thing for me. I grew up with a great family, so I just kind of left it to what it was.”
Julia also reveals she is being contacted by others who were adopted as children and are searching for their birth families.
“People who were adopted are now reaching out to us, which is really special. That to me, [means] more than anything. I also try to remember not every story has a happy ending... I’d say be prepared for anything.”
“Be prepared. They may not want to meet you and may have closed that chapter of their life,” Cassandra added to “GMA.” “For me, it’s always been, ‘I’m going to find these people if it’s the last thing I do.’ I was going to die trying.”