Twins separated at birth reunite 78 years later: 'I think it’s kind of a miracle'

Twins separated at birth reunite 78 years later: 'I think it’s kind of a miracle' »Play Video
Twins Ann Hunt (left) and Elizabeth Hamel have reunited after 78 years.

ALBANY, Ore. -- Twins separated at birth were finally reunited 78 years later, setting a world record.

Elizabeth Hamel and Ann Hunt were born in England, but their mother couldn’t afford to keep them both. Their mom gave Ann up for adoption because she worried Elizabeth wouldn’t be adopted as easily due to her scoliosis.

Elizabeth always knew she had a sister but could never find her. Ann only learned about Elizabeth while researching her birth mom. She recently tracked her down with the help from her daughter.

“I'm writing to you as I'm searching for my family connection,” Ann’s daughter wrote in a letter to Elizabeth. “If this is you, I would love to hear from you.”

“This was very exciting for me,” Elizabeth said. “It's been kind of a whirl around.”

Elizabeth lives in Albany while Ann lives in Aldershot, England. They began to talk over Skype and finally met in person in California last week, where they participated in a study about twins.

Ann cried “happy tears” as they hugged for the first time. They think they’re fraternal twins because their eyes are different colors, but they're waiting on DNA test results.

The twins returned to Elizabeth’s home in Albany this week to spend time getting to know each other. They’ve already found a few similarities.

“My husband was named Jim Hamel. Her husband was named Jim Hunt,” Elizabeth explained.

“The way we sit sometimes, we seem to do the same thing together,” Ann added.

They also both enjoyed synchronized swimming, and they say their feet look the same.

They’ve exchanged gifts, too. Elizabeth bought a necklace for Ann and passed on their mother’s broach.

“It's gorgeous. I'm going to cherish it,” Ann said. “I’m part of Liz more now.  I’ve got something of mother’s and I’m connected to mom.”

But the best gift for both of them is getting to know a twin sister.

“Right now, we're just two little old ladies with white hair, and we will get to know more and more about each other,” Elizabeth said. “I think it’s kind of a miracle.”