Dacina Crasnanic and Traian Alexandru had never met before independently conducting 23andMe DNA tests in recent years in hopes of learning more about their family’s health history.
Instead, they got the surprise of their lives: the results revealed they are long-lost siblings.
The couple, both in their mid-50s, happen to live less than 30 minutes’ drive apart, despite both being from Eastern Europe.
Alexandru, who lives in Toronto, said the fact that they both live in the same country made the unexpected revelation that he has a sister even more surprising.
“That’s crazy. I mean why Canada? I could be in England. I could be in Germany. I could be in Spain. I am a European citizen. I could be anywhere, but I’m here,” he told CBC metro in the morning Ismaila Alfa in an interview that will be broadcast on Family Day.
Alexandru messaged Crasnanic, who lives in Markham, north of Toronto, on Christmas Eve 2021 shortly after receiving his results on social media.
They first met a few days later and have since tried to make up for the decades they spent apart, unaware of each other’s existence.
“It seemed very unreal at first,” said Crasnanic. “I knew it was real, but I still couldn’t believe it.”
The more they talked about their past, the more similar their life stories sounded.
A story of 2 siblings
Crasnanic told CBC she was adopted shortly after the director of a Romanian orphanage found her abandoned in the bushes outside the building as a baby. But she didn’t find out she was adopted until she was in her early 20s after discovering a discrepancy on her birth certificate.
She moved to Canada with her husband in the 1990s to raise their children.
Alexandru was also an adult when his mother first told him that he was adopted after someone abandoned him when he was an infant.
“Someone from the army was on his way to work and saw something,” Alexandru said. “I was… near the garbage chute, outside.”
The soldier who spotted Alexandru took him to the police station and his mother, whose brother was a captain in the local police force, took him in, he said.
Alexandru’s ex-wife and son moved to Toronto to be closer to family members, and Alexandru spent several years between Canada and Romania before settling in Toronto around 2008, he said.
The two winners
The similarities don’t end here.
Crasnanic and Alexandru both have adult sons named Victor. Victor Crasnanic attends Toronto Metropolitan University, Victor Alexandru’s alma mater.
The two sons have become close over the past year since their parents linked.
“Victor and I clicked straight away,” said Victor Crasnanic, 19. “There was never any awkwardness, you know, it just felt good. It felt right.”
Victor Alexandru, who is 30, said the two share a love of the same TV shows, math games and war of stars
“We’re still discovering things that we have in common,” he said.
Traian Alexandru said that moving to Canada after turning 40 was a challenge because he didn’t have many friends, but finding a new family means the world to him.
“Find your sister… [it] covers everything,” he said.
Crasnanic said while she wishes she and her brother could have met as children, it’s never too late.
“I’m planning to live to be 100 years old, so we have 50 years left to even out the time.”