– Daddy’s here. Daddy’s here! – When I was told we were moving to Trinidad, I was like, What is Trinidad? Where is Trinidad? What is Trinidad and Tobago? Is that like, two countries or something? Are we moving to one or two? And I’ve been living here for the past two and a half years. It’s probably one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever lived. The best thing about living in Trinidad would be the diversity. And that’s the people, the culture, how they act. They love the party, truly living an island life. The food is so broad; it has a hint of Indian culture, it has a hint of Chinese culture, it has a hint of the British. It has so many, so many countries put into one and I find that Trinidad is so unique because of that. As I grew up, I kind of realized I looked different from my family, ’cause I grew up with a full-on Canadian, white complexion family. What I noticed when I was little, that I looked Chinese in a mirror and I was like, Why am I Chinese, and why is my parents white? Why is my hair brown and theirs is blonde? Me and my twin brother Thomas, we have always been together. We were never separated at a time. We came as a package. When we went into foster care due to unfortunate events with our biological parents, we were only six months old. My adoptive parents, Dave and Lori, they were so– they were such giving people, loving people, so caring and still are. I feel so fortunate that they took in me and my twin brother. Thomas, definitely, doesn’t show his emotion as much as I do. He never used to have the curiosity of finding my birth mom or birth dad. It was usually me. I asked Thomas how he feels about this whole entire situation. He’s excited, but he’s a boy. He doesn’t really want to express his feelings, but I know deep down, that he’s excited and very nervous. Seleena’s my older sister. She’s older than me by just one year, basically. She lives outside of Toronto. She’s very kind-hearted, she’s very wise, she’s very talented. She sings, she writes music. I find she’s going to be a star someday. She’ll shine in someone’s eyes. She definitely shines in my eyes. I definitely look up to her. My adopted mother Lori, she helped me find Seleena. We friend-requested her on Facebook, and she wasn’t really replying as soon as we thought, so I took the chance and I guessed her username on Snapchat. Let me just try and add her and if it’s not her, I’ll just block her, you know? Like I don’t know this person. So, I was like, okay, I’ll add her and I’ll just wait. I was like “Hey, Seleena, question mark.” She’s like “Yeah, hi, who is this?” “Hi, I’m Shayla.” She’s like, “Oh my goodness.” And I’m like, “Yeah.” We kind of just kept on, throwing texts at each other, not really listening to each other. We’re like so excited. She’s like, “You’re my sister!” I’m like, “Yeah, hi.” “Nice to meet you. I’m Shayla.” She’s like “Oh my goodness! I’ve been waiting for this day for my entire life.” Hypothetically, like, “Oh my goodness! If we were together, we would do this together,” fantasizing things. I was like, maybe I could actually make this happen. We flew her out for my birthday in April. And as we first met, I wanted to feel that she’s been there for my whole entire life. I wanted to feel that she grew up with me. I wanted to feel that she understood me. So, three months later it’s July, and she comes back to visit me for the second time, and I can definitely see that we both are so much closer than we were before. In a few hours, Seleena, Thomas, my adopted mom Lori, and myself, are going to be flying to Toronto. And we’re going to meet my whole entire family. And the first person we’re going to be meeting is Samantha, and I’m so excited. Samantha is my older sister. She’s the oldest out of all of us. She and Seleena were adopted together. We don’t talk as much, but I’m excited to meet her. In the next few days, get to know her, get to know what she’s like. I’ve been told that she looks like me. – She used to come into my bed because she would have nightmares. And I’m a good sister, right? So of course, I’ll sleep with you, hold her hand, tickle her back until she falls asleep. But, she– she used to pee the bed, and then go crawl into the bed with my mom in the basement. And then she would tell me to not move, and I’ve woken up a few times in her piss. But she would put a towel there thinking it would be fine.
– Okay, is that good? – Yeah. – Here, do you need the –
– I need bronzer. Where’s your bronzer?
– Right here. – What’s so nervous? I get anxiety and I’m like, ah, I’m shaking. – Are you going to cry?
– Oh, I’m going to cry. I think I’m most scared about, though, is them not liking me. ‘Cause like, our whole life, it’s been a competition between each other. And I just, I finally came to a realization this is who I am, and I’ve accepted who I am, and I’m going past like, you know, my mental health, my addiction and whatnot, and I just hope they love and accept every single part of me. Because it’s like, it’s been a struggle, and I just never wanted them to see that side. So, now that I’m like, okay, and better. Can you just stand by me, like please? – Oh my gosh, I’m going to start crying.
– Oh, don’t cry ’cause I’m going to cry. Seleena and I used to sit in bed and dream about this and talk about it. We used to think we were going to be princesses.
– Yeah. – Because we didn’t know our Vietnamese side of the family. We’re still princesses. – Oh my gosh.
– No, stop! You’re going to make me cry. You can’t cry. Our family’s together. We’ve waited for this our whole lives. Aww, don’t. You’re going to ruin your makeup.
– I don’t care. – Oh, I care. – Oh my gosh. – Stop crying, I will cry!
– I can’t! It makes me sad. – Why does it make you sad? – I don’t know. – It should make you happy that our family’s finally together. We’re all family, together. – I know. I just think about like, how we used to talk about this when we were kids. [Kyle] You ready? – I don’t know, am I? Are they coming? No. Oh my god, my family! – Come here, short one. – This doesn’t feel real, you’re actually here! Oh my god! My family! Oh my god! No! Hello!
– Hi. – Why is your hair like that? – Aw, thanks. I told you! – Yeah, I don’t like that. Oh my god, we do look like twins. We’re literally twins. Oh my god! Like you have Seleena’s face. And like, you just look like – – Seleena. – You just look like Seleena.
– I’m just Thomas. – You’re just Thomas. Oh my god, my family! This doesn’t feel real. – It doesn’t feel real. – My family’s all together. I don’t think I felt this happy before other than like, when you first messaged me.
– When I first messaged you, yeah. – Thomas never messaged me.
– Because she never gave me your Snapchat. – ‘Kay no, she messaged me on Facebook. You never added me back until, I think, two months ago. – Three. – Three months.
– Gotta be exact. – Man, I’m getting – Stop! I love my monkeys. – I’m not a monkey, I’m a human.
– You look like one. – I searched up my biological mother’s full name on Facebook and obviously, there were a lot of names that were the same. But on Facebook, it states their location. And so, I saw Ontario, Canada. I was like, okay well, I see that, I know that she’s in that area. But when I showed my adoptive mom, Lori, she was like, “That is your biological mother.” At the time, we didn’t friend request her ’cause we didn’t know if it was allowed to do that. My adoptive mother, she would just, check up on my biological mother and see how she’s doing, what she’s posting up, you know? Just checking up. One day, she saw that she said happy birthday to my sister Seleena. But when she saw Seleena’s Facebook profile picture, she’s like, “This girl looks exactly like Shayla.” – We’re going to pick up Shelly. I’ve already met her, but my siblings haven’t. So I’m nervous for them. Because like, It’s Shelly. It’s our mom and I’ve already grown to love her, but they haven’t experienced anything about her. So it’s like, scary. – Okay so currently, we’re relocating because we decided to meet our birth mother in a beautiful park, but Mother Nature decided to interfere, and decided to cry. So we are relocating to a lighthouse, I think? – Okay, ready?
– Yeah, I’m ready. – Mom, open your eyes. Look behind.
– Oh, my boy! Hi! – Hi. – This is so– Oh my god. Get out of the rain. Oh, you guys are so beautiful. – Come sit, come sit, come sit!
– You guys got it. – Is it actually you?
– It is me. – Oh, wow.
– We did it. – We did it!
– Yes, we did it. You look so much like me–
oh my god, but you look like daddy. Oh my god! You look so much like– – Hi papi.
– What? – You are so much like me. – I look exactly like you.
– Yeah. You look like me too, but you got your dad’s structure. And you– you’re so petite and loveable. Oh my god!
– I’m tiny! – Are you okay?
– I’m great, I’m nervous. – I know, so am I. I’m shaking.
– I can’t take in that this is actually happening. – I know, look at the weather we’re getting. Thank you so much for doing this for me. I’ve been waiting so long for this. For my life, the way it was for the last 20 years, I’ve come a long ways and, I believe that anybody can accomplish anything if you put your heart into it. – Why did you keep having kids if you kept losing them?
– Because I wanted a family, I wanted to live a family–
with a big family with your dad like, I loved your dad so much and I still love him today. But I’m not in love with him, you know?
[Seleena] No, he said the same thing. [Samantha] He’s a part of you–
[Selena] He said he loves you– [Shelly] Yeah.
[Seleena] but it’s not–
[Samantha] Different. [Shelly] No, we’re not deeply in love. No, we’re not in love. We’re–
we love each other for the fact of what we put ourselves through. I had nobody; I lost my dad at eighteen years old, dying on Christmas Day. Life was just an up–
up and down, rocky road. And I just it–
I couldn’t find that solidness to get settled. As at the age of twelve, I had to raise my brother and sister because my parents were not strong enough to be parents. So I would take over the cooking, or the cleaning, or the laundry and– Once I hit twelve, thirteen years old, I hit the street life and I just become a bad person. I had a lot of depression for a lot of years and, I’m not so much depressed now because I’ve been learning control my in–
accept what my actions and what my emotions can do, right? I needed a change to the right direction, and I made it myself, by myself. – Don’t cry, don’t cry.
– I’m gonna cry. – No, don’t cry, don’t cry. [Seleena] Did you do it or did you?
[Shelly] Both. [Thomas] Not me! – I want to thank you Diane, and Lori, and Dave, for having me to have this day with my precious children. And I hope to have many more days with them, and thank you for growing them up to be quite the genuine children they are. Thank you. – Yeah, we’re not that great. I mean, I am! I am. I don’t know though, them? Like–
I mean, I am [inexplicable]’s daughter so. – Tommy was my favorite. – Why!? – Well, because the girls were always daddy’s girls. – Daddy’s girls.
– Daddy’s girls. – I had to take this boy, at 6 months, every little spot in the house that I had to go, to do dishes, or dusting, or sweep the floors. Shayla, you leave her in her chair – in her rocker chair – and she’d watch T.V. with ba. – I’m an independent person ever since day one.
– Him? Waah! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! [Thomas] You are a hog! [Seleena] You are the hog!
[Thomas] We share a bed in my– in Trinidad–
– Yo, when I can get the chance to spread out,
– She stole the blanket! I started sleeping with a — towel.
– I’ve been like, sleeping beside someone like, the past five years. – She had a whole, king-sized blanket, and I had a towel. That was damp from her shower.
– You’re just a big sister. [Seleena] I’m just like dad.
[Shelly] Yeah. – I had–
I had a damp towel from your shower. – When I was a kid, I had imagine her as this gentle woman. How I knew that she kind of cared is that she would post every single birthday of me and my twin brother. She would say, “Happy birthday to my twins, I love you guys so much. I miss you everyday.” I knew it was him. I just knew because, I’m connecting — okay if he’s friends with Seleena, if he’s friends with my birth mom, if he’s friends with my other sib– sister, Samantha, it has to make some type of connection. And obviously, he looks like the picture I’ve always looked at for the past however years that that I’ve known. – Daddy– Daddy’s here. Daddy’s here! Come here, boy. [Samantha] No! You’re okay! No! Family, all together.
– Daddy’s here. Daddy’s here.
– Yeah, you’re here. – Daddy’s here. Okay. Okay, boy. You’re a big boy now. – He’s bigger than you!
– Yeah, I know. – Oh my god! Aw, we’ve been waiting for this for so long.
– See me now? – You’re here.
– See me now? – Yes. – Daddy’s skinny, daddy’s old. – Daddy’s skinny and old–
but you’re still a– you’re still a thug.
– Daddy’s old. – You’re so old. Yeah, you’re wrinkly. We gotta get you some wrinkle cream. – Don’t cry, baby.
– You’re okay. – Don’t cry. You’re okay. You’re okay. You’re okay. You’re okay.
– Aw, honey. Yo, come hug.
[Thomas] Who, me? – Yeah. Who, you? Who, you?
[Thomas] Who, me? Who, me? – Yeah, you! [inexplicable] – Aw, your makeup’s all runny. – You are a stranger to me. – Stranger. – Yes.
– You’re the best friend! – You are my best friend. You are my best friend, you are my baby. Okay? Baby, I love you. I talk to you everyday. You wish to see me everyday. – Does it feel real?
– It doesn’t feel real at all. – It doesn’t feel real at all?
– No! But you know what we’re so excited? To pop your pimples. – Oh my god. – I’m excited to pop his pimples! – But anyways, okay. Daddy is so [inexplicable].
– Oh, it doesn’t feel real! – I feel like I’m dreaming again! – I don’t believe it. – All my finger! See? Yeah, look at it! We have the same! – ♪ One-way ticket, one-way ticket, one-way ticket to Toronto! ♪ [Thomas] His glasses are upside down.
– Yes! – Block out the hater! – It’s so delicious! [Singing in Vietnamese]
– I got two. That singing! [Singing in Vietnamese] – What’s that?
– I’m singing. – I meant this! – As a kid, I saw him as a– not gonna lie, I saw him as a superhero. Even though I didn’t know who he saved, what good cause he did. I just saw him as… a superhero. Someone being great. – What do you want me to do?
– Stay here! – Stay here? – Stay for me!
– Stay here for all of you? – Oh! Love you, ba. [Kyle] Do you resent any of your parents? – None of them. I don’t resent them at all. They’re people, people make mistakes. And they can build from it, or they can just stay in the same place. – It’s their past, it can’t be changed. Knowing their past never really made me love them less for who they are. – You put those back in, you ugly crier! – Yeah, you tell us to keep our tears in our eyes and you’re the one that’s crying now! [Thomas] People going through the same thing my twin sister, Shayla, Samantha, Seleena; all my sisters and I. Don’t be afraid to meet your biological parents because I was afraid and then, you know, I kinda was like, well, it doesn’t hurt to meet them. It doesn’t hurt to reach out when you’re able to, and say hi. Connect to them and say hi. [Shayla] I definitely do appreciate my life more now that I’ve met them. It’s because I just– understand that I have so much love going around, I have so many siblings that love me. Adopted or biological, I have parents that love me, I have so many friends that are supportive. And after this experience, it just really taught me that I have a lot of great things going on in my life. After this experience I– I appreciate my adoptive parents even more than I did before. Way more. Now that I’ve met my biological parents, I just have more people to love and to care for and I’m okay with that. [Kyle] So, who is Shayla? – Shayla is… a very fortunate girl. She has been given the chance to experience so many things in life. And there’s more to come. She is a caring girl that has recently found out that she has so much family that loves her and supports her. She’s… very lucky to be living this type of lifestyle. Before this whole entire experience, Shayla used to have this really big hole in her heart. And… now that she has come to the last day, that hole is completely full. – I’ve always dreamt about it but like, for it to actually happen – and it’s actually happening soon – like I don’t– I don’t believe it. – I can’t believe it until he– like they’re there physically in front of us.
– Yeah. – We can touch them, we can hug them, share our tears together.
– It feels like a dream. – I’m so happy. I never believed this is true. [Samantha] Family, we’re all together. One more. One more. We’re missing one more and then we’ll all be together. I need one more. I need one more.
[Samantha] One more. Soon! Soon. [Hung] I need one more.
[Samantha] I know, soon. [Hung] Daddy need one more. [Samantha] Yes! Soon. [Hung] Daddy need one more.
[Shayla] Soon. She’ll come around.
[Hung] I can’t believe.
[Samantha] She’ll come.