WAUSAU, Wis. — A Wisconsin mom gave her adopted daughter quite the Christmas surprise – she found her adopted daughter’s identical twin sister.
Jennifer Doering was trying to find a special Christmas gift for her 10-year-old daughter Audrey, but had no idea what she would discover.
“Just trying to get some information about her history. I wasn’t looking for a family member. I wasn’t looking for anything intentional,” Doering told WAOW.
She was looking for an article put in the paper after a child is put up for adoption. While she was looking for that piece of history, what she found was another child that looked just like her own.
“We just happened to stumble upon an extra picture and from there we were able to find that there were two of them,” Doering said.
That child was 10-year-old Gracie Rainsberry, who lives in Washington.
“It’s been different! It’s like looking into a mirror for me. It’s super weird,” Gracie said.
After some research, Doering learned that Audrey and Gracie were separated at 15 months old — and adopted out to two different families in the United States.
Audrey, who has three brothers, had always wanted a sister. This year, Christmas came early.
Her parents told her in early December about her identical twin sister, and they were able to meet over FaceTime.
“It’s been fun and cool at the same time. Our laugh is the same. Our mannerisms. We talk the same. We like the same foods and stuff,” Audrey said.
Their similarities go much deeper than that.
“They both have significant cardiac defects that required open heart surgery,” Doering said.
While both girls were born with the heart defect, both of them made it through.
The families plan on getting together several times in 2017. They’ll spend Spring Break in California, and then Audrey is going to Washington over the summer.