Ally Cole and Ruby Wierzbicki had no idea they were already connected when the strangers sat next to each other on a bus ride across Liberty University’s campus. After chatting about the usual topics two teenage girls would engage in, both girls discovered they were adopted from China.
Further conversation revealed the incredible similarities in their childhood experiences, and then discovered the amazing coincidence that both girls grew up in the same city of Jinan. At this point, the girls began to suspect their connection was seriously significant, which was confirmed when both pulled out a picture of the orphanage in China the grew up in.
Sure enough, the same orphanage–Jinan Social Welfare Institute–was portrayed in both girls’ pictures. After the girls were dropped off, they continued to talk and compare their memories of their lives before they were adopted.
“We were quiet for a little bit because I think we were both just in shock,” Wierzbicki told CNN. She was adopted at age 4 by her family in New Jersey and is currently a freshman at the Christian university studying exercise science.
“I think I was just in shock that I actually knew someone from my past,” Cole said. “I think it didn’t really hit me until after I went to class.” She is a sophomore studying graphic design, and was adopted by her family in Maryland when she was 6 years old.
Both girls agree that their miraculous reunion was just that–a miracle.
“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 in a press release by Liberty University. “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 echoed her new-old friend’s sentiments, saying the connection has given her a glimpse into her past that has been covered by shadows due to her young age at the time of her adoption.
“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, but (we) got to do that by sharing our photos and talking about it.”