Chinese twins separated at birth find each other in America

By Derek Dellinger

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (WHNS/CNN) - We want to introduce you to two girls who, despite being twin sisters, had never met until this past weekend.

The girls were separated at birth and abandoned, and later adopted by different families. Now, they've reunited and become fast friends.

You really wouldn't know it from how they act, but Ella and Anna had never met before, until this past Saturday. And it's not lost on the parents that the two have many similarities.

"They have a lot of the same facial expressions, so things like that catch me off guard," said Karen Kandl, Anna's mother.

And an immediate connection.

"She's a bundle of energy when she's around others but normally she's extremely shy and timid," said Teresa Cuares, Ella's mother.

How they came to meet is a story in itself, and it goes all the way back to when they were adopted in China in 2006.

They're fraternal twins, but Ella's parents say she was left at a park, and Anna's parents say she was left at the doorstep of a hospital.

No one was really sure if they were sisters, but during the adoption process the mothers of both met, and there was an inkling that something was special about these two.

"As soon as we realized the girls shared birthdays, Karen e-mailed me and said 'You know, I noticed that our girls shared birthdays. Do you think it's a possibility that they are twins?'" said Teresa.

The two families remained friends through Facebook. Each would see pictures of the other's child, and over time, the double-takes they would have on the photos came to be too much. They had to know.

"I'll look at Anna, I'll look at Ella, and I can just see that they are related," said Randy Cuares, Ella's father.

And earlier this summer the parents took a big step, asking for a DNA test.

"Within a day or two she said 'yes, yes!' and here we are," said Teresa.

The test proved it, they're sisters.

Ella's family lives in Warren, Mich., but on their way to vacation on Myrtle Beach, they made a stop in Cullowhee, N.C., where Anna's family lives.

The two were understandably shy towards one another, but that changed pretty quickly.

"It didn't take long for them to realize 'Oh, if we go inside and avoid all this parent stuff, we can get to know each other,'" said Teresa.

And it appears that they have. Anna has an older sister, too but Ella is an only child. But the parents of both say the girls have gained a second family.

"It's a connection we can't give her, it's something we can never ever provide, and now we have that connection," said Teresa.

"I think it's invaluable for her to know she has a sister," said Karen.

Anna and Ella's parent's say that the girls have already written letters to each other and plan to stay in touch.


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