Jennifer Doering of Wisconsin, mother of four, had a special gift idea for one of her children. Her 10-year-old, Audrey, had been adopted as a baby from China and Jennifer decided to search for information about Audrey’s family and ancestors. Together with her husband, she contacted an organization that specializes in learning about adoptees’ origins.
In one step along the way, the orphanage that had Audrey as a baby agreed to send the Doerings a family photo that they’d had on file.
When Audrey’s parents saw it, they were flabbergasted: next to Audrey was another little girl just like her. They were like two peas in a pod. They had no doubt about it, Audrey had a sister!
Now they were like bloodhounds on the trail. They simply had to track down their daughter’s sister. This news was too extraordinary not to follow up on. Christmas was approaching fast, however, so they didn’t have much time.
Audrey’s Chinese name is Gui and now they learned that her sister’s name is Mei. But wait, when you put the two names together in the right order, it forms the Chinese word for Rose. This was a practice only reserved for twins. So Audrey didn’t just have a sister… She had a twin sister!
First the Doerings posted queries on Facebook pages about adopting children from China. This opened up many lines of communication but no result.
At last one day they came across Dr. Andrea Olsen’s website. She specializes in congenital diseases common among adopted Chinese children. Audrey had dealt with a health issue like this, and now they had a source: maybe if her twin had also been adopted to the U.S., she’d also had the same condition. The Doerings contacted Dr. Olsen, begging for information.
Finally they received a response. Their hearts pounded audibly in their chests as they read it. Yes, she wrote, she had treated a little Mei, born on the same day as Audrey.
Now they discovered that Mei was now called Gracie Rainsberry. Thanks to the Internet, Jennifer found pictures and what she saw made her scream: “It’s a clone of Audrey!”
Soon the two families were in touch, planning a video chat between the two girls. Right in time for Christmas, between tears and laughs of joy, they all watched the unforgettable moment unfold. The girls have tons in common, they both love animals, math, and sports. They have the same gestures, the same smile.
Grace lives in Washington though. To meet in person, they’ll have to travel by plane. A trip is being planned for as soon as possible.
Audrey’s mom and dad managed to give her so much more than knowledge about her ancestry. She got a living member of her biological family for Christmas, and more than that, the closest member you can possibly have! It’s just about enough to make you believe in the magic of Christmas…