NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — They look alike, sound alike and even have the same tattoo. But even with those stark similarities, adoption paperwork said it was impossible they could be sisters until a DNA test nine years later proved otherwise.
Cassandra Madison, 32, and Julia Tinetti, 31, met in 2013 while working at the Russian Lady restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut. Madison walked swiftly past Tinetti, who noticed her Dominican Republic tattoo on her left arm. Tinetti has the same one on her back.
“I was like, ‘Hey, are you from the Dominican Republic?'” Tinetti said. “And she like speeds past me and she’s like, ‘Yeah, but I’m adopted.’ And I’m like, ‘Wait, so am I!’”
They formed an instant connection.
“There was no like ‘She’s alright,'” Madison said. “Like no. We hit it off, and it was like dadadada. Like it was nonstop.”
They bonded over being adopted and raised by single mothers in the United States. And even though other people told them they looked alike, errors on Tinetti’s adoption paperwork said it wasn’t possible.
On TikTok, Tinetti said: “We started twinning, we wore the same clothes. We actually bought shirts one day that said, ‘I’m the big sister/I’m the little sister.'”
Madison finally asked her biological father about giving up another child. He admitted he gave up a little girl.
“He was like, ‘I’m just so sorry. It was just a hard time for your mom and I, and I just don’t like to think about it,'” Madison said. “That day, I came home and my husband was like, ‘Hey babe, how was work?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m going to Connecticut tomorrow,’ and he’s like, ‘What!?’”
A long car ride and a DNA tube were all it took to confirm they were sisters. Two weeks later, they shared the news on social media, revealing they had a lot more in common than looks and a tattoo.
Two years ago, when Madison started the search for her birth family, she and Tinetti found out they had seven other siblings. Out of nine children, the newfound sisters were the only two adopted.