NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTIC) - Sometimes longtime friends feel like siblings to each other, but in a one-in-a-million case in Connecticut, two women who bonded over their adoptions found out they actually are sisters.
What started as a 60-second post on TikTok from Cassandra Madison quickly touched the hearts of millions of people across the world. In it, she shared the story of finding out her friend and coworker was actually her long lost sister.
“I didn’t think this was going to happen. I just thought I would make the TikTok,” Madison said.
Madison met Julia Tinetti while working at the Russian Lady Bar in New Haven, Connecticut. One day, Tinetti noticed Madison’s tattoo of the Dominican Republic’s flag. They got to talking and realized they were both adopted from the country.
Coworkers always told the two they looked alike, so they just went with it.
“We had an event one day, and I bought a shirt that said ‘I’m the big sister’ and her shirt said ‘I’m the little sister.’ Everyone would just go along with it, and so would we,” Tinetti said.
About five years ago, Madison and Tinetti got serious about finding out if they were, in fact, related, but their adoption paperwork didn’t match up. However, Tinetti’s best friend, Molly’s, paperwork did match. The two had been adopted on the same day, and their families stayed close.
But Molly’s Ancestry DNA results indicated she was cousins with Madison’s sister, so she couldn’t possibly be her biological sibling. That’s when Tinetti decided to do a 23 and Me test to try and figure out the mystery.
After two and a half weeks of patient waiting, the results were in: Madison and Tinetti were, indeed, sisters. It turned out Tinetti’s paperwork had been switched with Molly’s when they were both adopted.
By fate, two friends turned into family.
“You don’t know what your DNA is going to bring up,” Tinetti said.
Back in 2018, Madison connected with her biological father and seven siblings in the Dominican Republic and has had tough conversations about her biological parents’ decision to put her up for adoption. She has since visited the family several times and says the moment she met them, she felt right at home.
Tinetti previously had no interest in finding her biological family, but with a new sister to help her navigate the journey, she’s all on board.
“I’ve actually met the family over FaceTime. It’s just a great moment, and I definitely want to go visit them now. I just didn’t have any interest in doing it by myself,” she said.