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Best Friends Figure Out They Are Sisters

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 4:48 PM
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Written by Meagan Cantrell and based on an “Early Show Exclusive” interview video by Julie Chen dated 11/29/2007:

After 5 years of knowing each other, hometown best friends, Brandy Hersh and Heidi Wickware discovered they’re full sisters. Only two years apart in age, these two women, from Springfield, MO, went to the same elementary and middle schools, they did not become best friends until they stated dating two boys who introduced them to each other.

Although they have uncommon features, among them they have different eye and hair color, they were interested in, and liked to do, the same things and were even able finish each other’s sentences. The two became fast friends and were closer than the other longtime friends they had each had for years. It was as if they had a special connection… and, in fact, they did!

As it turns out, Lisa Russell, their biological mother, got pregnant by her boyfriend with Brandy in 1980. The cuple wasn’t married and Lisa couldn’t afford to take care of the baby, so she gave Brandy up for adoption. Shortly afterward, she married that same man who first got her pregnant and had a second child, Heidi, who, had no idea that her mom had given birth to another child. Brandy, however, had always known that she was adopted. She figured that it really sunk in when she was six years old and her family adopted a second child.

Brandy’s adoption was “closed”, so the two mothers never met, or actually knew each other, and had no real information about each other beyond generalities. Eventually, Brandy met her biological mother through Heidi. (They are carbon copies of each other on the video interview!) After Lisa found out Brandy’s birthday and at which hospital she was born, she admitted that she had given up a child for adoption. Heidi went to Brandy and said, “My mom gave a baby up for adoption and she thinks it’s you!” Brandy informed her adoptive mother, Debbie Visio, who had some clues as to who the birth mother was at the time. Debbie gave Brandy the only clues that she had about Lisa and it was a match!

After everyone put two and two together, Brandy tried to open up her adoption records. As it turned out, it was going to take years get to through the bureaucracy so the two girls decided to get DNA Sibling Test through Chromosomal Laboratories in Phoenix, AZ. Not too long after they got the tests results back… a 99.999% match!

At the time of the interview the families had just received the results. Although it seemed like the news was still sinking in, the sisters were overjoyed, thrilled and full of happy emotions… Their Best Friend was in fact their sister!

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