CONNECTICUT, USA — What started as a 60-second post on TikTok quickly touched the hearts of millions of people across the world.
Cassandra Madison recently went viral after sharing an unlikely story that transcends borders, friendship, and sisterhood.
“I didn’t think this was going to happen, I just thought I was making a TikTok," Madison told FOX61's Lauren Zenzie, who went digging into an unbelievable story.
According to Madison, she became close friends with Julia Tinetti when they were both working at the Russian Lady Bar in New Haven. The two started talking about Tinetti noticed a tattoo of the flag of the Dominican Republic on Madison’s arm and that’s when they realized they were both adopted from the Caribbean island nation.
The meet-cute could have ended with just a lifelong relationship. But other people started noticing the two women were eerily alike – like they could be sisters.
“When I started with Cassie I met Julia and I looked at both of them and I was like you two look alike like are you guys sisters and she was like no we’re not we were both adopted from the Dominican Republic," Courtney Ritchotte, a friend and former co-worker of the two women, told FOX61. "And I was like well you guys look a lot alike there’s got to be something going on.”
Over the years they played along with it – even dressing up in “big sister, little sister” clothes at events to convince people they were related.
Their fun took an unsuspected twist about when Madison took a 23andMe DNA test to search for her family in the Dominican Republic.
In 2018, Madison connected with her biological family and the siblings she had on the island.
“There is just an enormous amount of people standing there with T-shirts with my face on them. It was the most emotional thing I think I’ve ever been through,” she said, recalling her trip to meet them. “My father and I just embraced each other, and he would not let me go, and I would not let him go.”
She found out from her father that another sibling – a little girl – was also given up for adoption. This got Madison thinking that maybe there was some truth to her and Tinetti being sisters.
Their adoption paperwork showed that they could have been cousins, but a DNA test did not lie – they were in fact, full biological sisters. They have the same biological mother and father.
At first, Julia had no interest in meeting her biological family, but now that she has a partner to navigate her new journey with, she’s fully on board.
“I’ve actually met them over FaceTime. It’s definitely a great moment. I definitely want to go visit them now. I just didn’t have any interest in doing it by myself. You don’t know what your DNA is going to bring up” she said.
A true one-in-a-million story of love, family, and happiness.