What started out as a typical bus ride became a thrilling moment of discovery for these two college students.
When Ally Cole, a sophomore at Liberty University, sat next to freshman Ruby Wierzbicki in April on a bus ride across campus, the former struck up some small talk with her seatmate. Soon after, they learned that they were no strangers to each other.
The girls’ conversation first revolved around their majors and home states. Ruby said she was from New Jersey but was adopted from China, and Ally said she grew up in Maryland and was also adopted from the same country.
Initially, the college students thought it was just a coincidence. But after Ruby pulled up a photo of her on a red and blue slide from the Jinan Social Welfare Institute, Ally said it looked familiar to her. The latter then pulled up an old picture of her on the same slide, and that’s when things started to make sense—they were from the same orphanage!
“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,” Ruby said.
They realized they were there at the same time and had actually been childhood friends.
When the bus dropped them off, the two college students continued their trip down memory lane. Turns out, they were adopted a week apart 15 years ago. At the time, Ruby was 4, and Ally was 6.
“We started scrolling through our photos on our phones, and I realized that Ruby had a lot of photos of me that I’d never seen before and photos where we were together,” Ally said. “We even had a mutual friend from the orphanage, Emma, that we each had photos with.”
“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,” she added.
Liberty wasn’t their first choice, but after attending the College for a Weekend event, they decided to study at Liberty.
Ruby said she fell in love with the school and the community there. She also believes that divine intervention was what led them both to the same school.
“It was definitely different than any of the other schools I looked into, and now we’ve realized these little details that God has orchestrated in all of this. God really does have our lives according to His plan and in His control,” she said.
Both also find it hard to believe that their meeting and newfound friendship were a mere coincidence, given that there are more than 15,000 students on campus.
“There are people I’ve talked to about this and they’ve said, ‘What a coincidence.’ But we think that this is 100% God,” Ruby 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.”
On the other hand, Ally is just glad that she gets to have a better idea of her life in China, which she’s had an interest in for a while. Now, she gets to enjoy digging through her past with Ruby.
“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,” she said.
Ruby and Ally have started to reach out to other friends they had at the orphanage. Recently, they learned that an old pal of theirs named Isaac Rivers lives in North Carolina, so the trio met up after 13 years apart.
It’s always great to reconnect with an old friend!
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