There are scatterings of stories about long-lost siblings meeting after completing DNA testing kits. But one such story is especially amazing because, as the Washington Post reports, the two women who discovered they were sisters were already great friends. Cassandra Madison and Julia Tinetti developed a close relationship while working at the same bar in New Haven, Conn., beginning in 2013. "People started to confuse us," asking, "'Are you sure you're not sisters?'" Madison tells the Post. The women not only look alike but have similar personalities, as well as tattoos of the Dominican Republic's flag. It was that discovery that led the women to dig into their shared history: Both grew up in Connecticut—Tinetti, 31, in New Haven and Madison, 32, 10 miles away in Ansonia—but were adopted from the Dominican Republic as infants.
Their adoption papers, showing different surnames and birthplaces, suggested this was a coincidence. In January, however, the women learned Tinetti's paperwork had been switched with that of Molly Sapadin, Tinetti's best friend who was adopted from the DR on the same day, per the Post. Adoption records showed Sapadin and Madison had the same birth mother, but DNA tests showed they were cousins. Tinetti's DNA test results finally confirmed the "very big mistake": that "my best friend is actually my cousin," Sapadin says—meaning Tinetti and Madison are actually sisters. "This is the type of thing you see on TV," Tinetti tells People. The sisters have now connected with family in the DR, whom they plan to visit next month. Their birth father tells the Post his daughters were put up for adoption amid financial hardships tied to the ill health of another child, but "I prayed for this day to come." (A teacher and student found out they were sisters.)