LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University students Ally Cole and Ruby Wierzbicki started out a regular Wednesday bus ride to campus as complete strangers, but after sparking conversation, they found out they have more in common than they once thought.
This story is a little bit like “The Parent Trap,” but instead of a summer camp, it’s a bus ride. And instead of reunited long-lost twin sisters, we have two girls who crossed paths in a Chinese orphanage more than 7,000 miles away from Lynchburg, where they now attend school.
Liberty University shared the pair’s unique story in a news release.
By chance, sophomore student Cole sat in the open seat next to freshman student Wierzbicki on a bus, and the duo got to talking.
Wierzbicki shared that she’s from New Jersey but was adopted in China, and Cole shared she was also adopted in China but grew up in Maryland.
But the biggest coincidence? They discovered that they both came from the same city, Jinan. The two pulled up photos on their phones of the orphanage they were adopted from as young girls, the Jinan Social Welfare Insitute.
Photos Wierzbicki shared of a specific red and blue slide were enough for Cole to realize that, yes, they definitely crossed paths as children.
“We held the photos side by side on our phones and we realized that everything matched, and we knew that it had to be the same place,” Wierzbicki said.
Funny enough, they were adopted one week apart, when Cole was 6 and Wierzbicki was 4. They even had photos on their phones of each other when they were younger.
“One of the photos was one that we both had, with us standing next to each other, and I hadn’t known who the girl next to me was, but now I know,” Cole said.
“There are people I’ve talked to about this and they’ve said, ‘What a coincidence.’ But we think that this is 100% God,” Wierzbicki said. “There’s no way that two people who were in the same orphanage in a different country can somehow end up at the same school at the same time and have it not be God.”
Cole also said this experience helped her uncover more about her life in China.
“I don’t know much about my past, which is something I’ve always been OK with, but at the same time, a part of me has always wondered about it,” Cole said. “I think God is so amazing for doing all of this. I think of it as a blessing, because not a lot of people who are adopted get to know a whole lot about their past.”