Lynchburg, VA

Lynchburg College Students Uncover Startling Connection

Samantha Kemp-Jackson

Both Liberty University students believe their meeting was a divinely planned

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Liberty University students Ally Cole (L) and Ruby Wierzbicki UPI

Two Liberty University students have found out a surprising and incredible fact about each other. Both of them, though seemingly different, started the same journey to America, originating from the same place.

Ally Cole, a sophomore, sat next to freshman Ruby Wierzbicki on a bus recently, little did she know that her life would change. Cole spoke to Wierzbicki, and the two engaged in friendly banter and small talk as they made their way to the university.

The chit-chat began with mundane topics - the young women discussed what they were studying in school and their home states. Very quickly, they were surprised to learn that they were both originally from China before being adopted and coming to the United States. Wierzbicki told Cole that she was from New Jersey but was adopted from China, and Cole explained that she was also adopted from China, but had grown up in Maryland.

Upon further discussion, they realized that there were incredible similarities to each of their personal life stories.

It was at that point that they took out their phones to compare pictures when they discovered they were from the same city, Jinan. It became even more strange when they looked at each other's pictures and realized that their home before being adopted was one in the same: the girls had been in the same orphanage, the Jinan Social Welfare Institute. They then figured out that they had been there at the same time.

"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.

The young women figured out that they had been adopted just one week apart, at the ages of 6 and 4.

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Cole (left) and Wierzbicki at the orphanage in ChinaLiberty University

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Wierzbicki (left) and Cole were reunited 15 years after being adopted from the same orphanage in ChiLiberty University

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Mutual friends and even more connections were revealed

"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," Cole said. "We even had a mutual friend from the orphanage, Emma, that we each had photos with."

She continued to explain the incredible revelation: “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 explained.

"We were quiet for a little bit because I think we were both just in shock," Wierzbicki said.

Cole agreed.

"I think I was just in shock that I actually knew someone from my past," she said. "I think it didn't really hit me until after I went to class."

"I think I was just in shock that I actually knew someone from my past," she said. "I think it didn't really hit me until after I went to class."

The story continued to become increasingly unbelievable to them both, as they shared more photos from their past. Incredibly, some of the images included both of the young girls standing side by side. Each of them said it took some time for them to believe what they had just found out.

In Connecting Chinese Adoptees to Birth Families, Couple Makes Discovery About China's One-Child Policy

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From 1997-2006, over 90% of Chinese orphans adopted by Americans were female. Wikimedia

A divine intervention led to the meeting, say both women

Their journey to Liberty University and participation in the school's College for a Weekend (CFAW) solidified each of their individual decisions to attend.

“I came to CFAW and I just fell in love with the school and the community here,” Wierzbicki said. “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.”

Cole said that this experience has helped her develop a better idea of what her past in China was like, which is something that she has had an interest in for a while, and that she has enjoyed digging through it all with Wierzbicki.

“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.”

“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.”

"There are people I've talked to about this and they've said, 'What a coincidence.' But we think that this is 100% God," said Wierzbicki. "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."

International Adoption Information From DHS

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), American citizens who are considering international adoption should consider the following:

  • If you are a U.S. citizen adopting children internationally, you may use either the Hague or the Orphan (non Hague) process. Under these processes, a child may immigrate immediately after the adoption or may immigrate to the U.S. to be adopted here. The adoption process that may be available will depend in part on whether a child is from country that is party to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Depending on what country you choose to adopt from will determine which process you will adopt by.
  • The third process applies to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who may petition for their adoptive children through a Family-Based Petition.

VIDEO: International Adoptions By Country

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I write about Lifestyle content with a focus on Parenting, Society and Trends. I also talk about how things have changed on my podcast, "Parenting Then and Now."

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