Story Time

Two Families Tested Their Adopted Daughters’ DNA – And The Results Left Them Totally Dumbstruck

It is the job of an adoptive parent to make their new son or daughter feel like a part of the family, as well as a part of the community at large. For some, though, these can be difficult tasks, especially when the child originally comes from a different country. So, perhaps with that in mind, when two families from a small town in Missouri adopted daughters from two different cities in China, they set their new children up on a friend date.

Specifically, they hoped that this would help both girls acclimate to their new American homes. But while the girls played, one of their moms couldn’t help but wonder why they had become so close so quickly. She hoped that a DNA test of her and her friend’s adopted daughters would answer that question. However, the results of that test would come as a real shock to everyone involved. That mom, moreover, was Stacy Manage, who knew in her heart that she would be a mother to children from an ocean away.

“Even at a young age, I always desired to adopt from China,” she said in a Facebook video for Calvary Church posted in September 2016. In 2010, Stacey made her wildest dream come true. She and her husband, Jim, adopted Eliana, a four-year-old girl from Longzhang, China. However, while the Manager family hails from a Missouri town with fewer than 6,000 residents, they weren’t the only locals trying to adopt children from overseas. Indeed, it turned out that a couple who lived three miles away from the Managers were also in the process of adopting a girl from China.

Stacey and Jim quickly befriended Paige and Steve Galbiers after bonding during a meeting at their church for adoptive parents-to-be in 2008. At that time, Paige and Steve were attempting to become mom and dad to a girl who had been left at a bus station in Zhuhai City. However, it would be a further five years before Paige and Steve’s new child made it to the U.S. The Galbiers’ daughter, Kinley, arrived in 2013, and she immediately bonded with Eliana.

“They go to the same school, they go to the same church, our families are together,” Paige told Fox 2 St. Louis in November 2016. But Stacy started to notice even closer similarities between the pair. They pout the same way, she explained to USA Today in November 2016. Their personalities are the same.

As a result, she couldn’t shake the notion that her daughter shared more with her new friend than just her nationality. What’s more, Stacy’s mom was Kinley’s Sunday school teacher, and she too had noticed the similarities between her granddaughter and her pupil. “She’d tell me all the time, ‘It’s just like Eliana,'” Stacy revealed in a January 2017 interview with People. Stacy’s husband, Jim, had a different perspective, though, and so he encouraged his wife to let go of her notion that the two may be connected in some way. But instinct overcame all of the logical thinkers whispering in Stacy’s ear.

As a result, she circumvented her husband and went straight to Kinley’s mom, Paige. Then she asked if she could give the girls a DNA test to find out if they were somehow related. But no matter how many similarities the two girls seemed to have, the odds were stacked against Stacy’s gut instinct. After all, her daughter had been discovered in a hospital two hours away from Kinley’s bus station. On top of that, China has an enormous population of more than one billion people.

What were the chances that the adopted Missourians were related? Yet with all of this in mind, Paige still agreed to let Stacy conduct the DNA test. She hoped a definite no would end the discussion. “All those times when she would ask if the girls looked similar didn’t go unnoticed,” Paige told USA Today. She added, “I thought, ‘Will this finally stop the conversation?

There’s nobody who thinks the odds are in favor of this having merit.” But Stacy stuck to her instincts, and in April 2015, she gave each of the girls a cheek swab. She then sent their DNA samples to a testing lab and waited patiently for the results. And when Stacy finally received the results in August 2015, she could barely contain her excitement. She even penned a Facebook post to share what a little bit of genetic testing had uncovered.

“This picture is not just a picture of two beautiful and very happy little girls from China who happen to be connected because their parents are the best of friends living three minutes from door to door,” she wrote. “What your eyes are seeing is a miraculous gift.” She went on to say, “The girls have too many similarities to mention. In our flesh, we would compare smile and laugh. But the population of China is one billion four hundred one million five hundred eighty-six thousand six hundred.

So of course, that was impossible. Well, friends, nothing is impossible.” What prompted Stacy’s remarks was, of course, the test result. Incredibly, this showed with 99.99% certainty that Eliana and Kinley shared a biological parent.

And the end of Stacy’s Facebook post reflected this reading: “After DNA testing, we found out our sunshines are sisters.” Understandably, the situation stunned everyone involved. “I think all of us were just looking at the odds,” Stacy’s once-skeptical husband, Jim, told People. The family’s adoption counselors were at a loss, too, since they had never handled such a situation. They didn’t know how the Managers and Goldbergs should tell their daughters.

Even Stacy, who had been convinced that the girls were related all along, had a hard time processing the news. “It took a calendar year for it to go from a head level to a heart level,” she told USA Today. But now that it has, the families, and especially their daughters, couldn’t be happier. At their stroke of incredible luck, indeed, Jim would tell People how his daughter Eliana reacted to the news that her best friend was also her sister. “She was literally out of her mind excited,” he said.

“She had that grin on for a couple of hours.” And Eliana herself told the magazine that she enjoys her newfound role of big sister. “I’m the boss,” she said, like the bigger sister. After the amazing finding, then, the girls’ families decided that they want to do all they can to continue to let their children’s sisterhood flourish. The Managers and the Goldbergs have even considered purchasing a plot of land to live on side by side so the girls can always be together.

“These girls have a treasure,” Paige told USA Today. “Our job as parents is to foster it and support it.”

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