While Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, were employed at the Russian Lady Bar in New Haven, Connecticut, they often got customers commenting how the two looked like they could be sisters… Turns out, they are!
According to Good Morning America, the two met at work in 2013, and became fast friends after learning that both had a tattoo of the flag of the Dominican Republic, and that they were both born and adopted from the country.
Madison was born in 1988, and Tinetti was born in the following year, and each was adopted shortly after birth.
“After that moment, we were so tight. We started hanging out. We would go out for drinks, for dinner. We started dressing alike.”Julia Tinetti
Out of curiosity, the women compared their adoption papers. Their mothers’ names were different, and the papers listed different cities and last names as well. The pair considered the timelines, their birth dates, and their strong resemblance, and always thought that there was more to the story.
Madison moved out-of-state in 2015, but the two remained friends on Facebook. Later, Madison was given a 23andMe DNA kit by her adoptive mother in 2018, but it was Tinetti’s friend Molly Sapadin, 31, that put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Sapadin was also adopted from the Dominican Republic after her birth in 1990, and her and Tinetti’s adopted mothers were friends. The childhood friends began examining their adoption papers, and Sadin thought they could potentially be half-sisters. The documents showed that they had the same last name and the same woman listed as their mother.
Good Morning America reports that Sapadin and Tinetti were adopted on the same day. The three women believe that the information listed on Sapadin’s and Tinett’s adoption papers were mixed up.
Sapadin took a DNA test earlier this year, the test results revealed that she is a twin, and that Madison is her third cousin, not her sister. She added that she is unsure if the woman listed on Tinetti’s paperwork is her biological mother, that more DNA testing would have to be conducted.
“I’m so excited to be a part of a huge family I didn’t know about.”Molly Sapadin
Madison was connected to her biological father, Adriano Luna Collado, after matching with a cousin through DNA. Collado still resides in the Dominican Republic, and Madison’s biological mother, Yulianna Collado, passed in 2015, after suffering a heart attack. In 2018, she met her birth father and siblings.
Adriano and Yuilanna Collado struggled caring for one of their sons, who was seriously ill at the time Madison was born. After the genetic testing eliminated Sapadin as her sister, Madison asked her biological father if they had ever placed another child up for adoption, and he said yes.
“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.””Cassandra Madison
This revelation from Collado encouraged Tinetti to take a DNA test, and on January 28th, the results showed that the women are indeed sisters and that they share the same biological parents.
In total, the Collado’s had nine children together, with Tinetti and Madison being the only two who were adopted. Tinetti plans to meet her family in the Dominican Republic in the future.
“Still processing the magnitude of the situation, this is the type of thing you see on TV…
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.”Julia Tinetti