Companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com are advertising everywhere these days, offering information about where you came from for a one-time fee. If you’ve never taken a DNA test, the odds are that someone you know has. And with a growing network of people looking to reconnect with their roots, the chances of relatives finding each other are only increasing.
This story of one woman shows just how life-changing a simple DNA test can be. Molly Sinert was just a curious person trying to find out more about where she came from. But she ended up discovering more than anyone could have hoped for. Take a look and see exactly what brought Molly to tears on Good Morning America.
Home Sweet Home Was A Permanent Vacation Paradise
Throughout her life, there were no warning signs. Molly Sinert thought all was normal and nice. Maybe that’s because she grew up in Winter Park, Florida. It was once considered a resort town in The Sunshine State and is considered by many to be a dream location. It’s also full of open green spaces and cultural sights, so there was plenty for Molly to do growing up.
Winter Park was incredibly safe, too. On occasion Molly could see actual alligators and snakes by those times were few and far between. She was a top student at Seminole High School, managing to stand out among 4,000 other teenagers. Her love for education was supported at home, too. That was important to Molly because family meant everything.
She Loved To Spin Dreidels on Hanukkah With the Folks
It seems that Molly had a loving home, nearly from the start. Her mom and dad were married in 1976 and stayed that way. Unlike many friends with divorce in their lives, Molly had two parents around. They had a big interest in history and theater in the Sinert household, but their daughter turned out to be more of a science geek.
Molly’s parents were happy she had her own passions and interests. But there was one thing they shared together, which was the family’s Jewish faith. They all enjoyed the traditions, but the truth was Molly had very different origins than the rest of her relatives. Her story of how she ended up with the Sinerts is an interesting one.
From South Korea to Florida, Molly’s Real Background Was Mysterious
Way back in 1985, a baby named Eun Jin was born far, far away. Spoiler alert: She would be known as Molly Sinert within a year! Many Americans hadn’t even heard of Chinju, South Korea. This city was where baby Molly was born, but unfortunately, there would be no permanent family for her in the East.
As it so happens, the adoption of South Korean infants became very popular after the Korean War for Americans. In the late 1980s, it became controversial. Locals started calling this practice “child exports”, and it’s not as common today. But Molly’s story began right at the cutoff, and she found herself in a U.S. foster home. It’s from there that her journey as a Sinert began…
No Matter Her Distant Past, She Always Felt Like a Sinert
Mr. and Mrs. Sinert wanted a child and knew they wanted to adopt Molly as soon as they saw her. She grew to have an amazing relationship with her adoptive parents, and besides her known love of Korean BBQ by friends there was really no other connection she had to the mother country.
She never really thought about things that happened before age one. Molly shared: “I didn’t feel like I needed any other religion or culture to adopt or if, I don’t know, maybe subconsciously I felt that it would be disappointing to my parents that I was looking for something else that they couldn’t give me, which is certainly not the case… They would have been supportive of anything that I pursued.”
The Love of Her Life Was a Pharma Guy, Which Suited Her Just Fine
After graduating high school, Molly pursued pharmacist dreams. She attended the University Florida College of Pharmacy in 2009. From there, she did an advanced residency with an emphasis on inpatient medicine. Today, she has a Pharm.D and gives public lectures on medicine. Basically, she’s thriving.
But earning an honorable profession was not all Molly did at UF. In a delightful twist of fate, that’s where she met her future husband. Campus cutie Stephen Ellis was also studying pharmacy, and the pair really seemed to hit it off. He loved research and he loved Molly. It was a pharma fairytale!
Dr. Prince Charming Was a Regular Renaissance Man
For these students, college was no Animal House party. In the end, both Molly and Steve ended up as Pharma.D grads and they both ended up as doctors. But they were a humble couple who preferred not to use the title. But let’s see how this professional couple liked to spend their free time, without those serious white coats.
The beach was one place they loved to take romantic strolls. Both of them loved watching movies together at home. But apart, they both had their own hobbies and interests. Molly had a particular interest in yoga and practiced often. Steve loved to play golf like his hero Tiger Woods and jam to Dr. Dre.
Married Life Was Lovely With That Man and Those Dogs
Steve and Molly enjoyed a community announcement of their engagement and found Florida to be a fine venue for the wedding. After that they settled into their life in the town of Jupiter – a community north of Miami frequently rated as one of the best beach towns in America. Not a bad choice!
Both dog lovers, they had plenty of places to walk their two pooches. And although they didn’t have children yet, there were endless playgrounds, parks, and tennis courts for a pretty nice plan there. What neither of them knew, though, is that nothing was going to go according to plan. Soon, the surprises would begin.
The Pandemic Made Molly Ask Herself Some Big Questions
Outside of work, both of them were self-confessed travel addicts. But their travels around the globe came to an abrupt end thanks to the pandemic, and their jobs went into high gear. As a pharmacy manager and a researcher who gave lectures on drugs for terminal care, the focus got pretty serious for Molly.
It was during this time that Molly thought about health issues more than usual, as did a lot of people. But in her case, she decided it was a good time to find out more about her genetic history. An adoptee always has questions about their background that others take for granted. For Molly, any inquiry required a DNA test.
She Ordered A Kit and Decided To Take A Gamble With Fate
There are a lot of companies offering personalized DNA analysis these days. For Molly, 23andMe seemed to offer the health data she sought. It was pretty easy, and just required a bit of saliva. Submitting a saliva sample through the mail was a little gross, but it would be worth it to get some answers in return!
23andMe claimed that they could find out a whole lot in their lab, like health predispositions and genetic traits. And on the more serious side, the feedback would include if she had a carrier status for common illnesses. For an adopted adult, this secret information could be life-changing. Molly sent off the test tube and took the plunge.
Soon, She Would Find Out A Lot More Than She Bargained For
The waiting period can be tough for these sorts of things. But the three-four week company promise was barely a drop in the ocean when you’ve gone your whole life without answers. After she packed it up, it was out to the mailbox. She just had to wait for an email, and be patient.
Like everyone, Molly had heard stories of big surprises from home DNA test kits. People really do find out that they have fatal diseases to look out for, or shocking family revelations like their dad isn’t their real dad. She was ready to hear anything. But the message she would soon receive went far beyond what she expected.
You’re Related Somehow, Said A Very Young Stranger
When Molly finally got that life-changing notification, she was eager to see her status. But she quickly became confused – 23andme told her she was a mom! She recalled: “I clicked on the close relative and I didn’t understand it… You share 49.96% DNA with this person. We predict that she’s your daughter. This is obviously not right, because I’ve never gone into labor, I don’t have children.”
Molly decided to reach out to her alleged relative in the database. And the person who was said to be her daughter replied to her right away. A youngster named Izzy explained her own mother had been adopted from South Korea, and that Molly shared the same birth date as her. It suddenly clicked; Molly had a twin sister.
Izzy Had Been Asking For Quite a While
11-year-old Izzy was the one that wanted her mom, Emily, to find out more about her background. “I wanted to do the DNA test because she was adopted,” Bushnell’s daughter, Isabel, said. “I wanted to find out if I had more family on her side.” It goes without saying that Izzy had no idea she would learn of her mom having a twin!
Molly revealed how Emily wasn’t that comfortable with the idea of DNA testing. “Her daughter, our little angel, Izzy, actually took the DNA test and she had been asking her mom and dad for quite some time, ‘You know, can I please do this? I really want to know if mom has any relatives that I could get to know,'” Molly explained.
Lost Babes, More Than 1,000 Miles Apart All Along
“It was really shocking because I never thought of the possibility that my mum could have a twin sister,” Izzy explained. After exchanging a few messages through the DNA service, they discovered that Izzy and Molly shared almost 50% of their genetic material. Such closely matched DNA would ordinarily suggest that Izzy was actually Molly’s daughter! But she knew that wasn’t possible.
Molly admitted that seeing the results was an “unbelievable thing to see.” But the reason why these twin sisters were separated as babies is unknown. But there are lots of similarities to their lives lived separately. Molly was adopted by a Jewish family in Florida, and Emily was also by chance adopted by a Jewish family, in Pennsylvania! And neither of them knew about each other’s existence.
It Was Shocking To See Their Hair Was the Same From The Start
Looking back at their childhood photos, it’s clear to see that these adorable little girls were twins, let alone related. And funnily enough, despite their adoptive families having no idea about the existence of the other sister, Molly and Emily sported the same hairstyle at the same age!
Here the girls are rocking a cute bob with bangs. For Molly, she grew up as an only child with her family. But Emily was adopted into a family with siblings, whereby she was the youngest one. She grew up alongside her two older brothers since she was only three months old.
They Had No Idea That They Were Mimicking One Another
We promise we’re not making this up. Even in middle school, the girls continued to look identical. And we’re not just talking about their adorable smiles. They rocked the same hairstyle at the same time! They both had hair that was slightly longer than shoulder-length.
And they had bangs that covered their forehead but stopped just before their eyes. It’s truly amazing to see how similar these girls were growing up, despite living thousands of miles apart from each other. Thankfully they’re wearing different colors in their high school photo because otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.
The New Families Definitely Didn’t Split Them Up On Purpose
There have been many films and documentaries made about the ethical issues surrounding identical siblings, and the problems that come with splitting them up for fostering and adoption. The practice of separating twin siblings was banned in New York in 1980 after the results of scientific studies became known.
Cases where twins are separated at birth are extremely rare, but it does occur more than twins being kept together. It’s in no small thanks to the internet that twins who have been separated have been able to find each other later in life. But that’s where DNA testing is also proving to be of tremendous help.
Incredibly, They Even Had the Same Cats as Youngsters
By the way, the twin sisters even had a suspiciously similar-looking house pet growing up at the same time. Yep, you couldn’t write this. Both Molly and Emily grew up with a cat that had mostly black fur with some white here and there. And there are even more similarities between the two.
On the day the twins first met (again) they each decided to give the other a gift. It was meant to be a symbolic gift, and neither of them told the other one that that is what they had planned. In the end, they both turned up with matching jewelry – necklaces and bracelets – and they could hardly believe the coincidence.
Molly is Shocked To Learn She Was Never Alone In The World
It’s not surprising that learning about the existence of a secret twin sister reduced her to tears. “It’s a moment that I didn’t know I… that you know, anyone could feel that way… I have an identical twin. Go in the thesaurus and look for stunned and any word that matches it, that’s what I was feeling.”
“A hole was immediately filled in my heart,” Emily revealed, adding “Although I have family who love me and adore me and have been absolutely wonderful, there was always a feeling of disconnection. Finding out that I had an identical twin sister just made everything so clear. It all makes sense.”
They Went to the Phone, But Didn’t Connect Through Video
Once they learned of each other’s existence, they began texting and sharing photos. They were both taken aback by how similar they looked, not only now they were adults but also when they were growing up. Naturally, it wasn’t long before they decided to meet, but they made a mutual decision with each other before that day would come.
Both Molly and Emily came to the decision not to speak through Facetime or Skype or any other video calling service until after they had actually met in person. But they did agree to hear each other’s voices on the phone, and so began chatting and got to know each other first the old-fashioned way. It would take some planning to meet as one of them lived in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and the other lived in Florida.
Izzy Took the Initiative To Start The Whole Wild Process
For Emily, it was actually her daughter Izzy who had been interested in their Korean heritage for a long time. “I resisted for years,” Emily admitted, adding: “I wasn’t comfortable sending off our DNA and honestly thought that it would be unlikely for one of my DNA relatives to have also participated.”
Emily explained how she assumed that she wouldn’t have any luck looking for relatives in the states. “[I was] thinking that my DNA relatives were all in South Korea,” she stated. “Izzy’s interest never faded – so we finally decided to gift her a kit for her birthday a couple of years ago.”
The Big Day Was 36 Years in the Making
After holding off on meeting through a video call, they eventually made arrangements to meet in person on their 36th birthday. And it’s a birthday neither of them will ever forget. Emily and Izzy decided to fly to Florida, where everyone would meet for the first time on the rooftop of the Hyatt Centric Ft. Lauderdale on March 29th, 2021.
Before she had connected with Molly, Emily had actually watched the Netflix show “Twinsters” and “held on to the idea that she’d someday connect with a genetic relative who was also adopted.” You can imagine how emotional the sisters were when they embraced each other for the very first time at 36 years old.
Honestly, Emily Was a Little Nervous To Meet Molly
“This is the happiest moment of my life,” Emily stated on the day. She continued: “I can honestly say that. I was robbed of the last 36 years of a life that I could have had with my twin. But at the same time, I’m very grateful and excited for what lies ahead.” Instead of dwelling on what could have been, she was excited about what’s to come.
“I was nervous to meet her but more excited than anything. The nerves came from my fear that I wouldn’t meet her expectations, but I think I knew deep down that this wouldn’t be the case,” she truthfully revealed. “After getting to know her over prior weeks via text and phone, I quickly learned that we are very similar in that regard and that she was most definitely feeling the same way.”
Their Pictures Proved They Were Even Prom Doppelgängers
Now that they knew their interest in one another was mutual, it was time to catch up on lost time. But sharing each other’s photos with one another showed just how eerily similar they had always been. Their prom photos, for example, show them unknowingly twinning thousands of miles apart. “Emily had sent me a prom picture and I immediately jumped up, went through my old albums, and pulled out a picture of me and my date,” Molly said.
“And we had on basically the same style dress: strapless, beaded, fitted gown,” she continued. “We’re wearing choker necklaces and our hair was pretty much exactly the same. Even our makeup was similar, and the way we were posed in the photos that we shared with each other. And our dates are pretty much mirror images.”
It Was Complicated For Molly, Emily, and the Mirror
Another aspect that the sisters had to navigate was knowing just how similar they looked to one another. Molly declared that it was “difficult to look in the mirror” after they met on their shared birthday. But it wasn’t just about the physical likeness – it was also about their similar upbringing.
Emily stated: “The moment we saw one another and hugged one another, it’s like ‘oh my god, you are me, it’s like looking in a mirror.'” We can only imagine their state of shock upon learning that they were raised in the same religion, too. What are the odds that they would both be raised Jewish?
Never Before Korean Heritage Questions Bubbled Up For Emily
In Emily’s case, she had never really been interested in uncovering her Korean roots as she “was a Bushnell through and through.” She continued: “I was always aware of my adoption, but I grew up like an average middle-class white kid in very white suburban neighborhoods. I just looked different, but not to my family.” But since Izzy came around, thoughts about her background started to sneak up on her.
“A sense of disconnection with the rest of my family, my identity, and the world around me started to grow within and had gotten increasingly stronger over the years,” Emily said. “It was only a few years ago after hearing an NPR interview with another Korean-American adoptee that I started thinking about connecting with other adoptees and diving more into my Korean heritage.”
Missed Connections For Years Were A Little Ironic, Looking Back
There were also missed opportunities for a chance encounter through the twins’ lives. In 2017, Molly took herself to Boulder, Colorado, because she felt a “strong draw to the city and the mountains.” She even considered moving there. And believe it or not, Emily actually lived in Boulder for a period – and it’s where she gave birth to Izzy.
There’s more. “There’s this kind of pilgrimage trip that Jewish people can take. It’s called ‘Birthright.’ And it’s a trip that, unfortunately, I did not get to make because I was deep into pharmacy school graduate studies,” Molly said. “But Emily did get to go on that trip, which is really neat. And my parents joked that maybe we missed our opportunity at that point.”
There Actually Was a Florida Coincidence, In Their Adoptive Families
There were also times when Molly visited South Florida to visit her relatives. “Both of our grandparents lived in Delray Beach, probably at the same time, she [Emily] has a close cousin of her mother’s that lives in Fort Lauderdale, who I got to meet at the end of March,” Molly revealed.
“When Emily came down, we joked that if I had been walking in a grocery store, if they would have seen me, they probably would have been like, ‘What are you doing here? You didn’t tell us you were in town.’” There really were a lot of missed connections throughout their lives.
Molly Has Plans to Visit Pennsylvania When It’s Safe
The next plan is for Molly to pay a visit to Emily in Pennsylvania in the coming weeks. But they also have plans to travel to South Korea in the not-so-distant future. Emily stated: “Uncovering more about our story and possibly even finding new relatives would be another dream come true.”
Emily spoke about how she felt “every emotion under the sun” upon meeting her newfound sister. “All I wanted to do was hug her.” Since their very first hug, Molly remembers feeling the relief of “knowing we had the rest of our lives together.” She added, “We have so much to learn about the lives we’ve lived, but I feel like you know me better than anyone.”
Molly Makes It Out to Emily and Izzy’s Neck of the Woods!
It wasn’t long before Molly flew out to Emily and Izzy after their initial meeting, as the sister were keen to keep getting to know each other. Even though they had waited over three decades, there was no time to waste! Eily told her friends on Instagram: “One month since we first spoke, nine days since we first met, a lifetime ahead of us.”
During this trip, Molly arranged for all three of them to have their photos taken together on a memorable photoshoot. Emily was over the moon: “My twin has stolen our hearts and I am so grateful that she wanted us to be a part of her life. Thank you Molly for this amazing day and for your beautiful and thoughtful gifts. #trustthejourney.”
Their First Out-of-Town Trip as One Big Happy Family
You’ll be happy to hear, all three of them are meeting up regularly to spend quality time together. Here they are in June of 2021 at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Universal Studios theme park near Los Angeles. That’s right, all three of them are Potter-heads!
Who could have guessed that the long-lost twin sisters were also fans of the J. K. Rowling series? They took a trip to Los Angeles, California, to let their wizarding side out and geek out about all things magical. We’re so happy to see that the three of them are going traveling together as a family.
Molly Didn’t Just Gain a Twin Sister
The amazing thing about all of this isn’t even necessarily the blossoming relationship between Molly and Emily. It’s the bond that’s been growing between Molly and Izzy. Emily posted this photo of her daughter and her sister along with this heartwarming caption: “Love this shot of Izzy and Molly.”
She continued: “Izzy warmed right up to her new aunt. Generally not one to strike up a conversation, she wasn’t shy to ask her to take a dip. I walked out to her chatting away, happy as can be.” Molly then replied to the post, saying “I’m so happy for this day and this time for Izzy and me together! So many more memorable moments and conversations to come!” They are all so adorable.
The Big Trip They’re Discussing
What now for the twin sisters? As it happens, they actually do have big plans for their future. They’re planning on taking a trip to Korea to learn more about where they came from. Of course, making traveling plans at the moment is a bit of a struggle.
Due to the global pandemic, any travel to the outside of the United States has to be put on hold. When it will be safer for them, they intend to embark on a journey to the country where their parents came from. They’re both excited and a little nervous about it, understandably.
Molly and Emily Are Asked to Come on The Ellen Show!
Molly and Emily’s story is still fresh, but it’s so unbelievable that The Ellen Show actually invited the ladies to visit the studio! They accepted and came on to the show to tell a wider audience about their miraculous story. As a stand-in for Ellen, the hilarious comedian and guest host Wanda Sykes interviewed them about their revelatory journey.
Immediately, Wanda pointed out how hard it is to tell the sisters apart. “I’m Molly, and I’m actually an inch taller than Emily, so you can look for height.. very subtle difference!” Molly joked. She added: “But also if you cheat like me dad you can look for my wedding ring!” Even her own father can’t tell the difference!
The Identical Twin Sisters Are Given a Wonderful Gift
Emily and Molly admitted that before they had met in person, they didn’t know they were identical twins: “We were both so nervous. We thought ‘Oh my gosh, maybe we’re not gonna look alike!’ I kept asking my husband, ‘Is she gonna look like me? Is she gonna look like me?!” As it turned out, they barely looked any different.
They also admitted to planning a trip for 2021, in which they’ll hopefully travel around Korea. “We hope to,” they admitted. Amazingly, the Ellen Show arranged for a special gift with Shutterfly, in which each sister was given a cheque for $10,000 right there on the show. It’s to help pay for their future travels, and the sisters couldn’t believe the generosity.
Molly’s Husband Is Ecstatic That She’s Acquired More Family
We’ve seen a lot of the sisters celebrating, but how do the people in their life feel about Molly and Emily’s newfound sisterhood? Well, the truth is they’ve been totally on board with it. Here they are posing for an adorable photo together, Molly Sinert and Stephen Ellis.
Molly’s been happily married for a while now. Emily doesn’t have a partner and loves her single life. And judging from their photos mom and daughter are loving life together. It’s wonderful that both sisters have love in their lives regardless, and now their lives are just all the more enriched.
Emily’s Close Knit Family Isn’t Going Anywhere
In this photo, we can see Emily celebrating the Jewish festival Hanukkah with Izzy, her husband, and her adoptive mother. They’re a close-knit family, with Emily’s mom coming over to the house all the time – and not just for special occasions. Emily totally recognizes that she owes her mom everything.
She loves her adoptive mother so much that she constantly posts about her on her Instagram. In fact, Emily’s constantly posting about all of her adoptive family. It’s clear that even though she’s found an amazing relationship with her long-lost twin sister, she had plenty of love already.
Momma Sandy Schwartz Klein Wasn’t In on the Secret
Here Emily is with her mother, Sandy, in recent times. Sandy has been over the moon since she found out that Emily had a twin sister. Even though she adopted Emily just after they were separated, she had absolutely no idea that her little baby had a twin! Unbelievably, that information was kept from her.
She wrote on Instagram, “To all who don’t know this incredible, and quite new story… my daughter found out, from 23andMe, that she has an identical twin sister living in Florida. Both were adopted as infants from South Korea, none of us knowing either was a twin.”
Love Heals All Wounds
And Emily was extremely lucky to have been adopted by such a loving family. One thing that’s massively clear when looking on Sandy’s Instagram page is how much Sandy cares for Emily and Izzy. Her feed is flooded with photos of all her family members, and especially her two beloved girls.
In this photo, we can see that Emily didn’t look like everyone else in her family, and it lead to a lot of questions growing up. Still, her childhood was so happy she simply didn’t care. “I grew up going to synagogue, this Jewish girl who was Korean, and I was a happy kid.”