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Secret sisters meet at last

Two sisters who had never met in their lives are reunited at last.

In an emotional homecoming that warmed hearts, a doting father who wanted to bring his two daughters face-to-face had his wish fulfilled.

Jorge Mercado, of Soundview, decided that it was time for his 16-year-old daughter Amanda to find out that she had a half-sister named Georgina who had moved with her mother to Puerto Rico before she was born.

Mercado said he was touched by something his brother Jose said while speaking at their father’s wake in September 2009 about how his missed the family togetherness that seemed to have disappeared after their mother passed away several years ago.

Jose Mercado urged all of his family members to exchange phone numbers and keep in touch,

This sparked an idea in Jorge’s mind. He thought about bringing his daughter Amanda to Puerto Rico to meet his older daughter Gina, now 29, who is a bank manager and has two young children of her own.

“After hearing Jose speak, I really wanted them to meet each other,” Mercado said. “Last year at Thanksgiving, I told Amanda that she had an older sister and that she was going to get to talk to her on the phone.”

After several phone calls, Jorge asked Gina if she would like to meet with Amanda in Puerto Rico.

Gina responded by saying that she would instead come along with her two children to the Bronx to meet her little sister.

After meeting in front of the family’s home for the first time, Gina and Amanda went to the Bronx Zoo and got to know each other.

Amanda’s mother, Virgina, suggested the Bronx Zoo because Amanda is an animal lover, having twice won a prize in the Macy’s Petacular, held every year in Mahattan, for dressing up in hamster costumes.

The two sisters foun that they both loved a particular animal best.

“We went into Jungle World at the zoo, and saw these little butterflies,” Amanda said. “I realized that she liked butterflies the same way that I really like them, so we both have that in common.”

Amanda said she plans on keeping in contact with her half-sister, and is still trying to get over the shock of learning she even had one and never knew.

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