Four years ago, the story of non-identical twins Emelie Falk and Lin Backman captured the world when they found each other after 29 years. As it turned out, it was only the beginning of a saga that would take them to Netherlands to reunite with their brothers, Tim Dondorp and Mark van Weg, who--get this--are twins as well.
The story of these two sets of twin siblings begins, of course, when Emelie and Lin found each other. The two were put separately put up for adoption by an orphanage in Semarang in northern Indonesia. By coincidence (or cosmic force), the two sisters were taken in by two Swedish couples, who didn't know that their respective baby had a sibling, let alone a twin. But when Lin's adoptive parents picked her up from the orphanage in a taxi, the driver they were somehow knew the babies and asked them, "Where is the other one?" That's when the Backmans jotted down the girls' Indonesian names.
That piece of paper with the girls'names helped Lin's parents to track down Emelie's parents in Sweden, and the two couples even got together a few times when Emelie and Lin were babies. They went through the adoption papers, which showed two different names for the biological father, but Lin and Emelie apparently shared the same mother, which they assumed was an error. Over the years, the families didn't dig any deeper and lost touch. The girls grew up knowing they were adopted, but they didn't show any interest in tracing their biological family. That was until Emelie got married in 2010.
Emelie's adoptive parents always told her about how she came to be part of their family. "When I got married, I started thinking about family and my adoption, and when I asked my mother she told me this story again, and I decided to look for Lin," she said.
She knew the first place to look for her sister: Facebook. Emelie, who has two boys, found Lin's name and sent her a message through a Facebook community of Indonesian children who were adopted by Swedish families. Emelie told Lin her biological mother's name and the date of her birth. In less than two days, Lin replied, "Wow, that's my mother's name as well! And that's my birthday!"
IMAGE Courtesy of EVE
That's when the sisters started to entertain the idea that they could have shared a womb. They had so much in common; they were both teachers, got married in the same day only a year apart, they even had the same wedding song ("You and Me" by Lifehouse), and they lived just 40 kilometers apart in Sweden. "It was really strange, but really cool, too," Emile said.
When DNA test results came in, it only confirmed what they suspected all along: they were fraternal twin sisters. "It was amazing that we found out about each other and, I mean, our lives changed a lot. It was absolutely a great experience," Emelie said. "Suddenly I got a sister and it is very beautiful to have someone to share everything with,” added Lin, who also has two kids.
According to The New Paper, it was Lin who discovered that she and Emelie may have a brother after visiting their birthplace of Semarang in 2013. She met the family of her biological mother, who, she found out, bore 15 children, 11 of whom were in Indonesia. A relative then told her that she had an older pair of twin brothers, one of whom was also adopted and living in Netherlands name Heru, while the other, HeroSeriawan, was believed to have died.
In August 2015, armed with just the birth certificates of their brothers, the sisters began their quest to find their sibling with the help of social media. Emelie and Lin posted a poster on Facebook, calling out for anyone who might have useful information.
IMAGE Courtesy of EVE
Within 24 hours, their post received more than 6,000 shares and 460,000 views and messages started pouring in from people claiming to be or to know Heru. Eventually, a man named Tim messaged them that he was Heru. He had the correct birth date and place of birth and even mentioned the names of their oldest brother and sister, which had not been made public.
Shortly after, they received another message, from a man named Mark who claimed to be Hero. Within a week of their original Facebook post, the sisters had found both their brothers.
Heru, or Tim Dondorp, and Hero, or Mark van Weg, who were both living in the Netherlands and work in IT, immediately flew to Sweden.
Emilie and Lin both said that there have never been any feelings of anger or resentment towards their biological parents. Another main factor in their quest to reunite with lost family is a solid support system, from their adoptive parents to their husbands.
"We have always known that we were adopted and we have never questioned that the family had to give us up or give us away," Lin said.
"I think the most important thing is to be prepared that it can bring a lot of emotions. But for us, it was really a happy moment to meet our brothers, and now, soon meet our biological family," Emelie added.
They look forward to meeting everyone, especially their mom whom they had only talked to via Skype. The siblings hope that their kids grow up having a natural relationship with their extended family in Sweden, in the Netherlands, and in Indonesia.
The sisters’ much awaited reunion with their biological family in Indonesia is featured in two episodes of the TV series Separated at Birth, which will air on June 19, 3:10 p.m. Sunday, on EVE Skycable Channel 114.