“We just hugged and cried,” Ajay recalls.
“Then we had a girls’ weekend and we did facials and watched Grease. We kept saying to each other, ‘We should have done this when we were kids!’.”
It took some time, but Ajay was finally able to piece together the confusing jigsaw of her biological family. Ajay’s birth mum Kaylene, who died in 1993, fell pregnant to Janeene’s dad in 1968.
He refused to marry her, and as being pregnant and unwed in the ’60s was frowned on, Ajay was forcefully taken after birth and given to an adoptive family in NSW.
Ajay says her childhood was marred with suffering.
“[My adoptive mum] was horrible. She was violent and abusive,” she says. “I’m at peace with it, but as a mum, I think about that poor little girl now ...”
Ajay’s biological father went on to marry Janeene’s mother and had three children. Ajay’s birth mum, Kaylene, tragically died a year after she’d tracked her down. But in an incredible twist of fate, Ajay had already known her mum for some time – she had worked for her at a restaurant in Sydney.
“It’s like a Hallmark movie,” Ajay laughs.
She also believes there is another half-sibling her father kept from his wife and kids.
“I just wanted a real family who loved me for me,” Ajay says. “When you’re adopted, you spend your life feeling like a lost child. I had no idea who I was.”
“I’ve found someone who truly belongs to me … I had that with my son Kai, but it’s like I’ve put the final piece in the puzzle. I have real siblings!” L
ooking at the pair, it’s obvious Ajay and Janeene are sisters.
They share the same blonde hair and cheeky smile – and Ajay says they get on like a house on fire.
“We are so alike! She’s so funny and silly just like me,” Ajay gushes. “I love that I’ve got brothers but I’m not going to lie, my sister is so precious to me.”
Janeene agrees – she’s smitten with her famous sister. Amazingly, she even watched Ajay on I’m a Celebrity…
“I remember thinking to myself, this woman has been through so much in her life and endured so much pain and disappointment but here she is standing strong! I would never have dreamed in a million years that Ajay would turn out to be my actual sister,” Janeene tells New Idea.
“Once we met, it all just made sense. Instantly we shared a bond that two sisters should for one another.”
The ladies are certainly making up for lost time, even planning overseas trips together as Ajay currently lives in LA.
Ajay’s life now is a far cry from the heartache she suffered as a child and into adulthood.
“I’m so grateful, and never in my life did I think I’d say that,” she says.
“I’ve had a lot of years with a ‘poor me’ mentality and now I think, ‘lucky me’. I’ve been able to rewrite my own history.”
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