BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) - Amid the hustle and bustle of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Friday evening was a reunion that was years in the making. Ten-year-old Mandy Baillergeon was meeting her sister for the first time. The two girls were adopted from Guatemala by separate families, shortly after their births.
“I go outside on my porch, and I'm sitting down, and my parents tell me I have a sister,” said Mandy, who found out in July. “And I'm just shocked.”
Her father, Ryan Baillergeon, said the family found out about the connection when their adoption agency called, saying they had found Mandy’s sister, named Sophie.
“Which was really surprising to us because right after we got Mandy home, we found out that they were shutting all that down coming out of Guatemala,” Ryan Baillergeon said.
Sophie had been adopted by a family in New Jersey when she was 10 months old. They had been tipped off that she had a sibling.
“It’s information we had for many years and recently, our daughter has become a bit more curious about adoption,” said Shabnam Irfani, Sophie’s mother. “Lo and behold, we wrote a letter in July, and put the information out there. And were fortunate enough to get a text back that said sisters.”
The girls have since chatted over Facetime and even had virtual playdates. Now their relationship will have a deeper connection.
“I was nervous at first, but now I’m kind of excited,” Sophie Irfani said about meeting her sister for the first time.
“I've really wanted a sister anyways,” Mandy said. “I've been asking them for a really long time.”
Since the summer, the girls have learned they have a lot in common, with both sharing a love of baseball and skiing.