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A Double Life

Maayan David

If you’ve ever been stopped on the street by a stranger who gushes about friends and family you’ve never heard of, there’s a good chance you’ve got a double out there somewhere. If you’ve ever gotten a call and the caller doesn’t even introduce herself, but jumps into a conversation that leaves you clueless, you probably share a name that intimately links you to another stranger. What happens when your identity or image is multiplied?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

concept of annonymity“Long lost twins reunited!” the headlines scream, luring even the cynics with the sensationalism of its story.

Many people harbor secret romanticism, dreaming of a long-lost twin wandering the earth. For most, this speculation will remain unfounded. But the impossible became a reality for two women inLong Island.

Tamara Rabi and Adriana Scott were identical twins born inMexico; as infants, both were given up separately for adoption. Tamara was adopted by the Rabis, a Jewish couple fromManhattan, and Adriana was taken in by a Catholic family fromLong Island. Neither knew of the other’s existence until they both entered their freshman year in college — Tamara inHofstraUniversity, and Adriana down the block in Adelphi.

The two young women were constantly being greeted and approached by people whom they’d never met. Finally, one twin decided to probe the mystery of this mixed-identity image and discover its source.

When the two finally met, the truth — and their own image — stared them each in the face. Both girls were aware that they had been born inMexicoand adopted as infants. Neither knew she had a twin sister, and Judy Rabi, Tamara’s adoptive mother also did not know. Mrs. Scott, Adriana’s mother, had originally wanted to adopt both twins, but bureaucratic roadblocks forced her to be satisfied with one. She had always wondered what had become of her daughter’s sister. Both the twins’ adoptive fathers died of cancer, one of several uncanny parallels. Now, standing side by side, it was impossible to deny their exact physical resemblance as identical twins.

The story of Tamara’s and Adriana’s incredible reunion was featured in the media as a fairy tale come true. But many of us have experienced the first half of Tamara and Adriana’s story — being mistaken for somebody else.

 

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