When Julia Tinetti met Cassandra Madison in 2013, there was a spark. The two hit it off immediately, brought together by a number of similarities.
The two were both working at the Russian Lady Bar in New Haven, Connecticut. They found out they were both Dominican, both adopted and both looked very similar — so, obviously, they started acting like sisters.
“We become friends, start wearing matching clothes, having a blast together and telling everyone ‘we’re sisters,'” Madison posted on Facebook.
“After that moment, we were so tight,” Tinetti told “Good Morning America.” “We started hanging out. We would go out for drinks, for dinner. We started dressing alike.”
“I thought she was cool,” Madison added. “We just kind of hit it off right away, It was very natural.”
Madison said she was born in 1988, and Tinetti in 1989, and both were adopted shortly after birth.
However, when they compared adoption papers, their affinity for one another appeared to be in friendship only: The papers listed different cities, different last names and different mothers.
In 2018, Madison’s adoptive mother gave her a DNA test kit as a Christmas present. She was able to find distant relatives, but still hadn’t given up hope on Tinetti being her sister despite the paper trail illustrating otherwise.
Recently, Madison did a bit more digging with her biological father. She was one of nine children from her parents, and she wanted to know if she was the only one adopted out or if there was another.
“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,'” Madison recalled her dad saying.
But the answer was yes — there had been another.
“Fast forward to 2021 and I ask my dad if he gave up another baby he says yes!” Madison wrote in her Facebook post.
“I’m buggin out, omg there’s one more sibling!!!”
“I jump in my car last minute and drove to CT to get her to do 23andme and the results came back yesterday. WE ARE SISTERS ! Same mom, same dad ! Just two girls who happen to work together find out they’re sisters.”
The girls believe Tinetti’s paperwork had gotten mixed up with the paperwork of a close friend who had also been adopted on the same day, but despite that throwing them off the scent for a bit, they couldn’t fight the feeling that they were really, truly sisters — and now they have the proof.
“Still processing the magnitude of the situation,” Tinotti said.
“This is the type of thing you see on TV. 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.”
“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.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.