Life Changed By One Click
Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student, was on her phone and got a message from a friend. When she read it, her jaw dropped, as she knew her life would never be the same.
Bordier On The Bus
Anaïs Bordier is a fashion designer who was raised in Paris, and studied at Central Saint Martins in London, one of the premiere design and art schools in the world. She must have absorbed something from both fashion-renowned cities, as Bordier was a natural who eventually became an expert in the design of products made of leather. As a student, she took the bus in London. One day, she was sitting on the top floor of the double-decker, bored, browsing her messages on her phone.
Worth A Thousand Words
The message from her friend was a picture. It was not any picture, though. It was a still image taken from a YouTube video of an actress in a funny clip. The picture was extremely intriguing to her, and she immediately looked up the video. It was uploaded by a YouTube star who goes by the name KevJumba, in a video called “High School Virgin.” In this video, the actress from the picture punches Kevin, the main character, where no man should be punched. The slapstick made Anaïs laugh.
I’ve Just Seen A Face
Beyond the hilarious slapstick, Bordier was intrigued and confused by the power the actress had over her. She had a face she could never forget. Anaïs was captured by her. However, once the bus got to her stop, she put her phone back in her purse, and her focus was back to the moment and the crisp London air. Every once in a while, in the next few weeks, Anaïs would think of the actress in the video and wished that she could somehow know more about her. Suddenly, the universe conspired in her favor.
Through the grapevine, Bordier was sent the trailer for the comedy film 21 & Over. The film follows straight-edge, straight-A student Jeff on the night before his all-important medical school interview, which happens to also be his 21st birthday. His rabble-rousing friends want to take him out for a drink, and won’t take no for an answer. The crazy thing to Anaïs was not Jeff’s issues, but of another person in the trailer: the very same actress from the YouTube video! Coincidence? Perhaps.
Now, since this actress whose look has fascinated her for weeks starred in a major Hollywood film, there was all sorts of information about her on the internet. There were no excuses now for Bordier to lean on when it came to learning more about the girl who had dramatically piqued her interest. A quick search revealed the actress was Samantha Futerman, who lived in L.A., but was grew up in New Jersey. It was what she saw Samantha posted on YouTube that shocked her.
One YouTube video in particular of Samantha’s, which spoke about how she felt about her childhood, made Anaïs feel like she truly understood Samantha. She decided to reach out to her, as watching her from afar was not enough. It was hard to imagine you could simply reach out to a Hollywood actress. Still, although Bordier felt silly, she punched “Samantha Futerman” into Facebook. Surprisingly, she popped right up. As the cursor blinked at her, she tried to formulate the right words to say.
Samantha “Sam” Futerman was halfway across the world in Los Angeles. She was raised by her parents, Jackie and Judd Futerman, in Verona, New Jersey, a quiet, suburban town. Growing up, she probably frequented Verona Park, which has a beautiful lake with paddleboats. However, her real passion was performance. Since she was a young child, she would dress in a tutu and skillfully prance on stage, even able to do the splits at a precocious age. Eventually, she moved to Tinseltown to pursue a career in acting.
Anaïs knew exactly what she wanted to say to Futerman. The paragraphs-long message that she put together started with a simple “hey,” but got very deep, very quickly. When she finished, she realized that a message like this from a complete stranger might be off-putting, so she signed off her message with, “let me know… don’t freak out….” Bordier was unsure if this message would even reach Samantha. After all, she was an actress who appeared in the Oscar-winning film Memoirs Of A Geisha.
It is not uncommon for young women to receive many messages from strangers on social media platforms. Therefore, many have a filtering system in order to avoid spam messages. Anaïs’ friends decided to send messages to Sam too through Twitter and Instagram telling her to check the Facebook messages in her spam box. Since she got pinged through multiple channels, Sam decided to open the mysterious message. Little did she know, this Facebook message would alter the course of the rest of her life.
Samantha Was Also Shocked
Samantha was similarly shocked by the image in the profile picture. It was almost like she was able to predict what was going to be in the message, which she was suddenly eager to read. Soon she understood why Anaïs warned her not to “freak out” upon reading the Facebook message. With a growing curiosity, Samantha opened up the message and began reading the paragraphs long message, not truly yet knowing how this message would impact her life.
Like A Mirror
The first incredible thing that Samantha notice was they looked really alike. As Samantha read on, Anaïs herself described the uncanny similarity between the two. In the very long message, Anaïs described them as “very really similar,” emphasizing that this could mean something. The two were so strikingly similar, that other people on Facebook could not tell the difference between them, and some friends of Anaïs even confused Anaïs with Samantha in the still from the YouTube video. However, there were slight differences in some of their features.
Since Anaïs was adopted, she began to wonder whether the two could, in fact, be related and even be siblings. This thought was so farfetched, as they were raised across the world from each other. Plus, people look similar all the time. She decided to reach out to Dr. Nancy Segal of the Twin Studies Center at California State University. She was set on finding out, could the two actually be twins despite the slight differences in their faces and complexions?
Decided To Video Chat
After the two exchanged several messages on Facebook and gathered some information on one another, they decided to set up a face-to-face video chat on Skype. Though the two were still wondering if they were twins, they looked so similar that they did not even know which screen to look at. They spoke for hours and wondered whether their similar appearance was a mere coincidence, as people often have celebrity doppelgangers. However, their next Skype session was a bit different.
Coincidence Or Not?
Another thing that gave Anaïs and Samantha reason to believe that they could possibly be related was the fact that they have the same exact date of birth. Although this might seem like the obvious answer and hard evidence to some, twin study professor Dr. Segal stressed that that did not necessarily mean much. Dr. Segal insisted that DNA confirmation was necessary in order to prove that the two are, in fact, truly related.
Anaïs and Samantha knew that in order to know the truth, they would have to go through the DNA test process. They swabbed their mouths for DNA samples whilst Skyping each other and sent the swabs out to a lab for a test. Now the hardest part began, waiting for the results that would convey the truth about their lives. In the meantime, the girls received some bad news from the adoption agencies they contacted regarding the woman they believed to be their birth mother.
Sam and Anaïs were hoping for answers, not just from science, but also from the woman who had given them life. Whether they had the same mother or not, they wanted to hear from their own flesh and blood, and not merely from a piece of paper with DNA evidence. However, much to their dismay, the woman who they had contacted denied ever having twins. With more disappointing news, they learned that the doctor who they believed help deliver them was no longer alive.
As Sam struggled with whether the two are sisters or not, she experienced something strange. She had a very bizarre dream that mirrored her curiosity and even a few doubts. In her dream, she and Anaïs were looking at dinosaur exhibits. She then saw dream-Anaïs walking in front of her in peach-colored pants, but out of nowhere her hair changes from straight to curly, therefore making the two look less and less alike. Her subconscious was almost telling her they were not twins.
The London Trip
While hope was still alive, they decided to just meet up in person in London as they awaited the lab results. Their adoptive parents were supportive and excited for them to meet, and they even joined their daughters on the trip. Anais shared her thoughts on their meeting: “Surrounded by people, we couldn’t stop staring at each other. It was like she was my mirror. Then…we both started laughing.”
Sam arrived in London first, and when she got to the apartment they had rented out, she jumped onto the bed. She was happy with the nice accommodations, but trepidation began to creep in. The DNA test was still out, and Dr. Segal had warned them to prepare for the worst. She wondered whether she had spent all this time and money away from L.A. to just meet up with a total stranger. However, the moment Anaïs arrived and they finally met, all doubts seemed to fade away.
Once the initial shock was over, Anaïs and Sam were completely inseparable. Anais shared that, “we wanted to be by ourselves, so we went to have lunch. We kept stopping to look at our reflections in shop windows. It sounds weird, but after we’d eaten we took a nap together in the flat where Sam was staying. Seeing my identical twin sister across the bed felt so normal that my anxiety just melted away. We didn’t stop talking all week and I was amazed how similar we were.”
Like Two Daughters
Everyone in the two girls’ families could not hide their amazement as well. It almost like they already knew that the two were sisters, despite the fact that they were still awaiting the actual confirmation from scientific tests. Patricia, Anaïs’s mother, said that seeing them together made her feel like she had two daughters. Standing back to back, Sam and Anaïs were simply indistinguishable. Everyone knew that no matter what the DNA results were, this would remain a lifelong friendship.
When the two families came together, it was an emotional experience. However, after the initial emotions subdued, the girls decided to have a bit of fun. They decided to try to trick Sam’s father by pretending that Anaïs is Sam. Naturally, the trick did not work, since her father knows his daughter too well. Sam’s mom shared that she felt that she already knew Anaïs since her mannerisms were so similar to Sam’s. However, only the DNA test could reveal whether the girls are actually related…
Matt and Andrew
Anaïs grew up as an only child, but Sam grew up with two brothers, Matt and Andrew. Sam’s brothers shared that they never felt as though she was a step sister or different in any way. They grew up side by side and they always had her back. After meeting Anaïs, Matt and Andrew said that it felt as though she was their sister immediately as well. They said she already fit into the dynamic of the siblings, however only the DNA test could reveal if their intuition was correct…
DNA Test Results
The moment of truth was finally in. Sam and Anaïs geared up for answers as they Skyped Dr. Segal, who was in the States. As they braced themselves, Dr. Segal said: “Turn and hug your identical twin!” Sam and Anaïs were overjoyed to hear the news, but they said that after everything that had been through together, they were not even shocked at all. Dr. Segal and the DNA test merely confirmed what they knew all along: they were twins.
The two went through several other studies at the Twin Studies Center in Fullerton, California, which included tests that checked their similarities. They even did tests to see which hand each one instinctively used to catch a ball. The tests showed that their similarities include their levels of competitiveness, planning, as well as self-control. They differed in some ways, for example, Anaïs tended to be moodier and more introverted, while Sam was a lot more extroverted. Despite their identical looks, the two are still very different individuals.
Still More Questions
However, Anaïs and Sam’s journey was far from over. Even though they had solid proof that they are twins, the biggest mystery of all still remained: who is their birth mother? All the answers to their initial questions had opened up a new set of questions about their past. One thing was for certain, they had a yearning to meet her. However, they remembered that the woman they had initially contacted had denied giving birth to twins at all. Despite this obstacle, the girls were determined to find answers.
They Penned A Letter
Adoption agencies recommend that in these situations the best way to contact a birth mother is by writing a letter. This method of communication seemed harder for Anaïs because she always felt unloved due to the fact that she was adopted, while Sam never felt this way. Still, they decided to compose the letter. They wrote it together, and it expressed their gratitude for their birth mother for giving them life. Then, the girls decided that they would take a trip to their birth country, South Korea, together.
Coming To Terms
In a certain way, Anais feels that although her birthday is November 19th, she considers her actual birthday to be March 5th, which is the day that she arrived at the airport in France, with her adoptive parents. She always felt dejected and insecure about being adopted, since she was made fun of as a child for looking different than her parents. Since Sam was not subjected to this kind of torment, perhaps this is why she is the more extroverted of the two girls.
Samantha and Anais decided that it would be a good idea to attend a Korean adoptees conference. The conference took place in Seoul, South Korea. The trip to Korea overall helped the sisters bond and connect even more. This experience inspired Sam to start a non-profit organization, Kindred: The Foundation for Adoption, which aims “to provide international and domestic adoptees and their families (both adoptive and biological) with services such as travel, translation, and support for those who wish to reunite,” according to its website.
Found What They’re Looking For
Sam reflects on the chance meeting: “If my friends weren’t obsessed with YouTube, or if I hadn’t become an actor, we might never have found each other. But everything’s lined up perfectly. Anaïs and I continue to work towards our dreams and hopefully will see each other often. We think a trip together somewhere new is definitely in order. Someplace neither of us have ever been.” The two sisters found each other for life, and it is all thanks to that first YouTube video.