(ABC News) – A pair of twins who were separated at birth in China, and then adopted by two different American families who lived hundreds of miles apart, were reunited for the first time in person this week live on “Good Morning America.”
Identical 10-year-old twins Audrey Doering, from Wisconsin and Gracie Rainsberry from Washington state, were in tears as they embraced for the first time before the show, after being separated since shortly after birth.
Audrey told ABC News that she had asked her parents for a sister for Christmas this year. She could have never expected what came next, when she found out that she had an identical twin who was also adopted by an American family.
Shortly after the meeting, Gracie said she was feeling excited and happy.
“It’s very overwhelming,” she said.
Audrey said, “it felt like there was somebody missing.”
“Now, it’s complete,” she added.
Audrey said when she heard the news, “I thought my parents were, like, playing a joke on me.” Audrey added that when she video chatted with her sister for the first time, her initial reaction was that “she’s me.”
Gracie Rainsberry said that when first found out she had a twin she was “really overwhelmed.”
“I was, like … started to cry a lot, and my mom kept on asking me … what my crying was for, and I was saying, ‘I don’t know,” Gracie said. “I didn’t know what to think.”
Gracie added that she and her sister have a lot in common. “We both love chicken Alfredo,” Gracie said. “That’s like one of our favorite foods. And we both love mac ‘n’ cheese.”
In addition to their mutual love of the same dish, the twins also found out that they both suffered heart conditions. Gracie underwent two heart surgeries after arriving in the United States and Audrey underwent one, their families told “GMA.”
Jennifer Doering, Audrey’s mother, told ABC News that it’s “the craziest thing in the whole wide world to look at your child exactly.”
“I mean, everything was the same. The same hair, the same glasses, the same outfits,” Doering added.
Doering became curious about her daughter’s past while she was trying to find a Christmas present for her. With the help of a Chinese researcher, she discovered a photo that depicts her daughter on the knee of her Chinese foster mom, who is also carrying another baby that looked just like Audrey.
“As soon as I had that picture, I was desperate to find out … who that other child was,” Doering said.
Doering eventually found out that the other child was her daughter’s twin, who had also been adopted and brought to the US.
“Oh, it was unbelievable. I’m like, ‘How?’ I mean, this is stuff you read about,” Doering said. “And how, how could it really be that there are two of them?”
With the help of Facebook, Doering was able to find Nicole Rainsberry, Gracie’s mother.
Rainsberry said that finding out about her daughter’s twin has been “surreal.”
“I mean, it’s hard to process that information,” Rainsberry added. “It was so crazy to be looking at what looked like Gracie, but knowing that it wasn’t Gracie.”
Top: Twins Audrey Doering and Gracie Rainsberry separated at birth meet for the first time on Good Morning America, Jan. 11, 2017. Photo: ABC News
Inset: Audrey Doering, 10, pictured left, sports her beloved Green Bay Packers gear, and Gracie Rainsberry, 10, pictured right, wears a Seahawks jersey.Photo: The Doering Family and the Rainsberry Family via ABC News
SOURCE: ABC News’ Cathy Becker, Shannon Crawford and Doug Lantz