RICHLAND, WA - Imagine being adopted as a baby and spending the first ten years of your life with your adopted family, only to find out you have a long-lost identical twin.
Chinese twins, separated at birth, adopted by two different families in the United States, have finally been reunited.
One lives in the Tri-Cities, the other in Wisconsin. Reporter Rex Carlin talked with both families to learn more about how they found each other and reconnected the girls.
It's the type of story that you expect to see on the big screen. A photo of the twins together as babies brought the two families together and created a relationship that will last forever.
Listening to Gracie and Audrey talk on Facetime sounds like two typical friends catching up; however, there's nothing typical about their story.
"We showed her a video of Audrey on Jennifer's Facebook wall. And, I mean, it's crazy," said Nicole Rainsberry, Gracie Rainsberry's mom. "Because not just do they look alike, their voices are the same. Their mannerisms are the same."
Gracie and Audrey are twins, which would explain their similarities: from their smiles, to their glasses, and even their plaid shirts they wore and didn't even plan. But before last Friday, each of them had no idea the other existed.
"I did not even know I had a sister at all," said Audrey.
Audrey and her parents live in Wausau, Wisconsin. Her mom had wanted a man who works with parents and Chinese adoption agencies to track down her 'finding ad' on his last trip to China, which is basically a 'Lost and Found' clipping in Chinese newspapers for babies.
While searching, he found the photo for the family and sent it to them on Monday, December 5th.
"Essentially from, between Monday and Wednesday, we were able to locate the Rainsberrys," said Jennifer Doering, Audrey's mom. "And by Friday, everybody kind of knew."
As for the Rainsberrys, they've had Gracie's finding ad for years, but what they didn't realize was that Audrey was right there on the same page the whole time.
What at first seemed like a normal Friday for Gracie Rainsberry, ended with her reuniting with the other half she didn't even know she had.
"I was very overwhelmed and I started to cry," Gracie said.
The Rainsberrys say other families may have done it differently, but telling Gracie right away was the best way to handle the news.
"We've always been open to our kids, honest as much as we can be, and as much as we think they can handle," said Scott Rainsberry, Gracie's dad. "And knowing Gracie, we knew that she could handle this. She needs to know, and she wants to know."
What's next for these families?
They say hopefully a trip. A trip to reunite two little girls; two twins and two long-lost best friends, in person.