During the past 14 years, 45,000 Chinese children have been adopted by American families. Many of these families look for communities to share their experiences and, indeed, find they have much in common.
But for two families, the shared experience was actually much more. Their daughters apparently were twins, separated as babies.
The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm explored their amazing story. In Florida, she met Renee Surrey, a happy 8-year-old who loves gymnastics, dancing and horseback riding. You would never know she was once a sad and scared orphan in China.
"She was crying so hard she was, turned all red," remembers Renee's mother, Eileen Surrey. "She was very scared. She'd never seen anyone who looked like us."
Eileen and her husband David brought Renee home to shower her with love, but they could tell her heart still ached.
"Her sense of loss was just so big and she was just so afraid to be alone," said Eileen. "At first I thought it was because in the orphanage she wasn't alone. But it seemed bigger than that."
Meanwhile, just outside Philadelphia, Annie Bernstein, almost 8, loves her new home a world away from the orphanage in China.
"She was very alert and bright," said her mother, Andrea Ettingoff. "She was looking around and she was very aware of what was going on."
But she also seemed very deprived. Her parents noticed she ate as if she'd never eat again.
"She wouldn't want to leave the table," said Ettingoff. "All the other kids seem to eat and be satisfied. But all this food was around her and she wasn't stopping."
Ettingoff sought help from a support group on the Internet and one of the many who responded was a mom named Eileen.
"Her answer was the best answer, which was to try a sharing plate in the middle of the table and we both eat from the same plate," remembered Ettingoff. "It was incredible. It was just solved immediately."
These two moms, who lived a thousand miles apart, noticed their daughters were from the same orphanage, and decided to exchange pictures. When they saw the resemblance, they were shocked.
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