A pair of Virginia college students thought they were strangers when they found themselves sitting beside each other on a campus bus.
But after striking up a casual conversation, they found they had some incredible things in common: they were both adopted, and both came from the same orphanage—in China.
The two students say their meeting was nothing short of God’s will.
It was Ally Cole, 21, who filled the empty seat beside Ruby Wierzbicki, 19, back in April. They swapped profiles of their hometowns—Ally is from Maryland and Ruby, New Jersey.
Then they learned they’d both been adopted from China to the United States. In a country of 1.44 billion people, the chances of them coming from the same place are practically nil.
But they had. Both had been born in the city of Jinan.
Moreover, the chances of them meeting on a swarming college campus—Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia—were even slimmer. Yet, scrolling for photos, the pair held their devices side by side and found proof.
“We realized that everything matched, and we knew that it had to be the same place,” Ruby told Liberty’s news outlet. It turns out, they’d been adopted just a week apart, from the Jinan Social Welfare Institute 15 years ago. Ally was 6 at the time, while Ruby was 4.
They stepped off the campus bus and delved deeper into the incredible coincidence; the students even found photos of themselves standing next to each other, neither knowing who the other girl was at the time.
“Ruby had a lot of photos of me that I’d never seen before and photos where we were together,” said Ally. “We even had a mutual friend from the orphanage, Emma, that we each had photos with.”
Ruby said the pair were in shock.
Ally concurred, “I think I was just in shock that I actually knew someone from my past. I think it didn’t really hit me until after I went to class.”
The 21-year-old had already made peace with the blank space of her past, but embraced filling in some of the missing pieces with her new friend Ruby, calling the opportunity a blessing.
Both students had also chosen other colleges initially before falling in love with Liberty, a private evangelical Christian university, during a College For A Weekend tour. Ruby studies exercise science; meanwhile, Ally studies graphic design.
“God really does have our lives according to His plan and in His control,” Ruby reflected.
“There are people I’ve talked to about this and they’ve said, ‘What a coincidence,’” she continued. “But we think that this is 100 percent God.
“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.”