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November may well go down in history as the favorite month of these twin sisters.
On Nov. 14, Katey Bennett and Amanda Dunford — identical twins — met for the first time during a heart-wrenching appearance on Megyn Kelly TODAY.
It was a deeply emotional and life-changing moment for the sisters, who were adopted and raised by different families.
But the 33-year-old sisters quickly set out to make up for lost time. They celebrated their first Thanksgiving together in California, where Bennett lives.
"It’s been awesome. My family immediately took to her. My mom kind of cried. They’re so excited to meet her," said Bennett. "My mom especially was very excited. I showed her around my town and how I grew up. My family loved her."
Their connection was magnetic and unbreakable. "I feel like she’s my sister. She’s not some stranger. We laugh a lot. We ate the same favorite Thanksgiving foods — gravy, casserole, stuffing. We’ll look at each other and know what we’re thinking. We have that instantaneous connection," said Bennett.
Dunford felt like a member of the family. "I did feel like they opened their house to me willingly. They were curious about my family and vice versa. We would just talk about our adoption stories," she says.
Bennett grew up in California with parents who adopted her from a South Korean orphanage. Dunford, who grew up in Arizona but now lives in Virginia, was adopted when she was about a year old. Bennett learned about her sibling through a DNA test conducted through 23andMe, and found out she had a direct relative.
Being together, said Dunford, "feels so familiar. She has the same mannerisms sometimes. We both love Mexican food. We both don’t really like chocolate that much. We don’t really prefer sweets either."
And they're experiencing a joint rite of passage together: a visit to Disneyland.
"I’ve never been. And it’s been a while for her. It will be a nice experience to have with her. She’s been showing me around Los Angeles. I’ve been finding out a lot about her," said Dunford, adding that she hopes Bennett heads to Virginia to see her. "I told her the welcome is always there and she can visit whenever she gets time."
Bennett’s birth certificate says she was born on Dec. 25, 1983, while Dunford’s says her date of birth is Jan. 13, 1984. But for the first time, and perhaps most special of all, the two celebrated their first birthday together as twins.
"My parents combined our birthdays and did a birthday cake, so we celebrated a joint birthday while she was here. My parents gave us both a card with money in it. They sang happy birthday twice, once for me and once for Amanda. They wished us a happy first birthday together," said Bennett.