LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Two sisters were separated for decades. It turns out, they lived blocks apart in a northwest valley neighborhood.
They contacted each other in February and met in person in March. Aly Mikos and Lainey Gafford-Topacio said it must’ve been fate that brought them together.
“I grew up in South Texas,” Gafford-Topacio said.
“I grew up in Florida,” Mikos said.
They showed FOX5 a picture of themselves around the same age, side-by-side.
“They’re almost identical. Same haircut same bangs, brown hair, freckles,” Mikos said.
They look the same but led different lives.
In 1965, Sherry Mikos lived in Louisiana. She got pregnant.
“Nobody knew, not even her mother,” Gafford-Topacio said. “She actually went to her step-father’s house and they were the only people who knew about me.”
Baby Lainey was born in 1966 to a family in Kingsville, Texas. She was the youngest of seven. Gafford-Topacio is now 53. She grew up in a happy home, but always wondered where she came from.
“I’ve always known I was adopted at three days old,” she said. “When I turned 18, it kind of bothered me. When I turned 25 and then 40, and 50.”
That’s when she bought an Ancestry DNA kit.
“I didn’t have any matches for about two years,” Gafford-Topacio said.
That’s until 2018, when she found out about a half-sister living in Las Vegas. Her half-brother Steve on her father’s side reached out first. He pointed her toward Aly Mikos.
“I looked on social media everywhere and I couldn’t find her so I finally looked on LinkedIn and there she was,” Gafford-Topacio said. “And as soon as I saw her teeth of all things, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ because we have the same teeth.”
“I came to Vegas to go to UNLV and haven’t left,” she said.
Mikos grew up an only child. Her mom Sherry died in 2005. That’s when a family secret surfaced. Sherry had another daughter, but gave her up for adoption 13 years before Mikos was born.
“So I knew that she was somewhere out there,” Mikos said.
Somewhere out there, didn’t turn out to be very far away.
It started with an email. Lainey sent the first message, then the two decided to meet.
“We both lived in the Northwest part of the valley literally two intersections from each other,” Gafford-Topacio said.
That’s not the only way their lives intersect.
“I think our smiles,” Mikos said. “I will say she’s got my mom’s eyes. My mom’s eyes are distinctly blue.”
“Our husbands have a lot of similarities too. I guess our taste in men is similar!” Gafford-Topacio said.
The sisters and their husbands all work for government entities. And at one point, Mikos and Gafford-Topacio almost worked side-by-side.
The two said they’re not worried about putting the pieces together. They want to focus on their future from strangers and sisters.
“I have a little sister! I was never able to say that growing up!” Gafford-Topacio said.
“We had a lot of years to catch up on,” Mikos said. “Obviously it wasn’t an influence of anything. It was rooted in DNA.”
Mikos just celebrated her 40th birthday. She invited Gafford-Topacio to meet her entire family.