The doctor delivered the news and it felt like a punch to the gut. But that just couldn’t be right, could it? They were devoted to each other and neither of them had any reason to believe that anything was wrong. But it was.
The doctor was telling them that they were brother and sister. But how had this happened?
Brittany Henley had just gone through a painful divorce. Aside from the unbearable loneliness and upheaval she was going through in her life, she felt like the family she had always wanted was no longer on the cards.
She had been looking for a new start, so she decided to make a huge change. Little did she know, her troubles were just beginning.
Picking Up The Pieces
When 29-year-old Brittany had picked up the pieces and come to terms with her failed marriage, she knew that she needed to make some dramatic changes.
After nights of soul-searching in the house she’d always dreamed would be filled with her children, she finally made a decision. But starting a new life wouldn’t be easy…
A New Beginning
Brittany left her old life behind and relocated to Fort Payne, Alabama. She got a retail job at a small retail store. She felt optimistic about her decision. She purchased a 3-bedroom “fixer-upper” home that desperately needed renovations.
It was a project she’d given herself to take her mind off things. She still wanted a husband and kids… but for now, all that would have to wait.
Keeping Herself Occupied
The renovations Brittany planned to do would cost a lot of money – money she didn’t have. But slowly and surely, she began to make a dent in her to-do list, making most of the repairs herself.
Her project kept her occupied and focused while she slowly got her life back on track. But life had something else in store for her. She met Mark.
Brittany met Mark Torres while she was at work and he immediately asked her out. But she had just come out of a long-term relationship, so she declined. Despite not feeling quite ready to date again, she couldn’t deny the instant feeling of attraction.
A few months later, Brittany felt like they were ready to try things out as a couple. But they had no idea what trouble was looming down the road.
Fast-forward to a year later, and Brittany and Mark were happily married. Brittany finally felt that her life was finally going in the right direction.
Even though her last marriage had ended on such a sour note, she’d learned to love again. And, with Mark’s help, her renovation project was almost finished. But something was still painfully missing.
She Wanted A Big Family
Brittany knew that she wasn’t getting any younger, and she still desperately wanted children. She’d been adopted as an only child, so having a big family had always been important to her.
After all, they were living in the 3-bedroom house by themselves… it made sense to her to take the next step. They decided it was time to try for a baby.
Trouble In Paradise
Everything had seemed like a dream come true until reality came knocking. Things had been going well for the couple so far, but there was something that made Brittany question everything.
They wanted to have kids but, almost a year later, they were having trouble conceiving. It seemed that mother nature just wasn’t on board. And there was a devastating reason for that.
Brittany knew that it was time to get help, so she and Mark decided to consult a fertility specialist to explore the possibility of IVF.
The doctor explained the process and it seemed like a viable option, so they decided to take the next steps. But, when the doctor ran some routine tests, he discovered something that nobody could have prepared for.
During the in-vitro fertilization process, a DNA sample from both the male and female is checked to get a profile of the couple’s genetic background – this is to safeguard against hereditary defects that could be passed on to the baby.
Although the DNA is not usually checked for any relation between the samples, the lab assistant noticed something that made her do a double-take.
The lab assistant who was handling Brittany and Mark’s tests was immediately struck by the similarity between the two DNA samples. At first, she thought that the couple may be closely related, perhaps cousins – which does happen sometimes.
But, on closer inspection, the findings were much worse than that. The doctor called Brittany and Mark back into the clinic to break the devastating news.
Brittany and Mark sat opposite the doctor, completely oblivious that what he was about to say would leave them completely shellshocked.
The doctor gently explained that the results from the DNA tests indicated that Brittany and Mark were, in fact, fraternal twins. At first, Brittany thought that it had to be some kind of joke.
Brittany sat, dumbstruck by the news, and then Mark yelled: “You can’t be serious? There must be some kind of mistake!” Then, he burst out laughing. “Sure, we have birthdays on the same day, but that’s just a coincidence…” he said, trailing off.
But, unfortunately for them, it wasn’t a mistake. Seeing that the doctor was dead serious, the reality began to dawn on them. But how had this happened?
“The biological parents of the couple had died in a car crash when the couple were infants, and they had no close family willing to adopt them. They’d been taken into state care, and were adopted out to separate families,” the doctor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said.
“Due to a filing error, neither foster family had ever been told that their adopted child had a twin.” And they had met each other purely by chance. So, what now?