When Latoya Wimberly got engaged earlier this year she assumed the moment would change her life forever, but little did she know days later another moment would do the same.
After the engagement party, Latoya’s father, Kenneth Wimberly, posted pictures of the February celebration, which included Latoya’s best friend since middle school, Ashley Thomas. After seeing the photos on Facebook, a friend of Ashley’s late mother contacted Ashley about the pictures.
“My mom’s close friend had called me a few days later and was like, ‘Oh wow I didn't know that you and Kenny's daughter Toya was best friends’” Ashley told Inside Edition Digital.
Less than two weeks after that, after connecting some dots and a DNA test, Ashley and Toya found out they weren’t just best friends, but biological sisters, and Kenneth was their father.
Ashley said anyone who is close to she and Latoya knows they are best friends, but that she hadn’t talked to her mom’s friend in some time. Ashley’s mother passed away ten years ago. She mentioned the conversation to Latoya a few days later, and Latoya decided to ask her father about it.
“I was like, ‘Do you know Ashley's mom?” Latoya said. “And he asked her name and I told [him], and he was like, ‘Yeah me and Michelle used to mess around a little bit back in the day. She had a baby by a guy named Mike, and that was Ashley's father.’”
But Ashley and the father that she grew up with had taken a DNA test when she was in high school and found he wasn’t her biological father. Ashley, 31, and Kenneth decided to go together to get a DNA test, but neither of them thought it would truly come back positive. When it did, the trio was left stunned.
“I thought it was just like a joke or something like that,” Ashley said. "I was ready to just black out.”
Ashley quickly realized she’d been around her biological father most of her life without knowing. She and Latoya, 29, had been friends since middle school. They were always over each other’s houses growing up. They were pregnant twice together, and have been a part of all of each other’s major milestones. Kenneth had also helped Ashley pick out her first car. Over the years, though, neither Ashley nor Latoya’s parents had met each other.
“I'm sitting next to them all these years, and you're really related to me," Ashley said of the realization. "I didn't have my mom here to talk to her about it. It was just crazy."
Now looking back, they say everyone had always told them they looked like twins. They had an unexplainable bond and had always felt like sisters, but never fathomed there was a chance they might actually be.
“We had the same big gap…Same complexion,” Latoya said.
“Most of the time we had the same hairstyles,” Ashley added.
Kenneth said he is glad they know the truth now, but part of him feels as though he missed out on Ashley’s life.
“It was very emotional for me as well,” Kenneth said. “To know that I have a child out here who I could have been a father to, and didn't have the opportunity to be her father growing up as a young child.”
Latoya said even months later, the revelation hasn’t really set in.
“Everybody says, ‘Hey, sisters,’ but it still don't seem real,” she said.
For the most part, they said not much has changed.
“We was like glue already,” Ashley said.
“The only thing that has changed is our title as sisters,” Latoya added.