Almost every woman has had a best friend that was more like a sister. You know, that one friend who you have so much in common with that you just call each other sister and raise your kids as cousins? Yeah, like that.
Well, for Ashley Thomas and Latoya Wimberly their similarities went far beyond their high cheekbones, gapped teeth and love of fashion and same size clothes. Farther than either of them really knew and the truth was in front of them the entire time.
The two met at a party in 2004 and "immediately clicked". They began hanging out regularly, dated brothers and were inseparable! Fast forward to 2020 and the two haven't missed a day of catching up on the phone even though they don't live as close as they used to.
Things started to get a little TOO coincidental back in January when Wimberly got engaged and shared photos of her engagement party online. Thomas was looking at the pictures with a friend of her mother's who thought Wimberly's father looked familiar.
*"Ashley's mom's best friend told her she had no idea my dad was Kenny," Wimberly said. "She said she and Ashley's mom used to hang around him back when they were young. When Ashley told me, I knew something didn't click. So I asked her to send me a picture of her mom's best friend and showed it to my dad and asked him if he recognized her."
Kenneth immediately recognized Ashley's mother and said that they'd had a brief romantic relationship. That's when Thomas revealed that she had no idea who her real father was. Her mother, who passed away 11 years ago, had raised her believing her step-father was her real father until she was 15.
Here's where things get REALLY interesting. During Ashley and Latoya's friendship, Kenneth was active in both of their lives.
"Ashley was the only one of my friends who didn't miss a single family event," Wimberly said.
"She was extremely close to my entire family on both sides. If my father is taking me out, Ashley's coming with me. If someone asks who are those girls, he says 'Those are my girls.' If she has a car problem or any kind of issue, she always goes to my dad. But somehow our families never met."
Thomas described the discovery as "beautiful," but also "extremely emotional."
"I have so many questions for my mom and I will never have any of those answers," Thomas said. "Did she know he was my father?"
"Big Kenny was like my dad," she added. "He was there for me the whole time and I had no idea."
On February 21, 2020 the results of their DNA test came back and, just as everyone guessed, Kenneth IS THE FATHER of Ashley Thomas.
The trio have done some adjusting since discovering they're actually blood relatives.
"It's just a weird feeling," said Thomas, who has two children. "It's definitely going to take some time. I'm still in disbelief. But I want him to be a part of his grandchildren's lives."
Wimberly said she's happy to for their sisterhood to be official, but also feels guilty that Kenneth was more involved in her life than Thomas'.
"I watched Ashley go through so many things growing up and now all I can think about is that her father was here and he could have been there for her just like he was for me," said Wimberly. "So that's very emotional."
As for Kenneth, he said he's looking forward to building a stronger relationship with Thomas and "loving her as his daughter." He also wants to spend more time with his newfound grandchildren.
"I've always seen the little ones around and this entire time they were my grandchildren and I didn't even know," he said.
We wish nothing but the best of luck and love for this family.