Two Sisters Accidentally Reunite More than Three Decades after Being Separated as Kids

When two sisters were separated as children, they never thought their paths would cross again. However, their story took an unexpected turn in 2013 when they attended the same university and realized something incredible. 

While studying at Columbia University, two adopted women discovered they were related. Both of them took a creative writing course, and in that class, the penny dropped—they were long-lost sisters!  

In one of the first classes, Lizzie Valverde and Katy Olson were asked to introduce themselves. As the women started sharing about themselves, Valverde revealed that she was adopted. 


The story affected Olson deeply. Valverde shared that it looked like she had a panic attack. Olson immediately realized they might be related, and after class, she stopped Valverde.

Olson explained the encounter and said: “And, I’m like yeah, I don’t know your sister, I think I am your sister.” Valverde was frozen after hearing the words. Eventually, they started chatting, and as they shared stories, they realized they were sisters. 

Both of them were put up for adoption in Tampa, Florida. Valverde was able to uncover her maiden surname and even met up with her biological mother. However, she never knew that somewhere out in the world was her biological sister. 

Biological mom Leslie Parker had the girls when she was a teen, so she decided to offer them a better life via adoption. She said: “I was not in a position to raise them. If I had raised them, they wouldn’t have had the privileges they had.”

The first conversation the sisters had was remarkable. They went to a local bar and started unpacking their lives. Olson stated:

“We just started going back and forth with our lives … Like, do you have a weird pinkie toe? I have a weird pinkie toe.”

Despite the 30 years that kept them apart, the women were more alike than different and felt a sibling connection. They bonded over the shared paths and could not believe how they met. 


Their mother, Parker, was present for Valverde’s university graduation, and it was the first time she met Olson. The mother was very proud of them and said: “They’re both amazing, beautiful women.”

A chance meeting in a university class changed the sisters’ lives forever and gave them the family they never even knew existed. Valverde calls their encounter a “real-life fairytale.”

Valverde was moved by her sibling reunion and expressed: “I always whimsically approach everything I do in life. But the way this happened, the only thing that comes to mind is something magic … like it was supposed to always be.

Both women are still pursuing careers in writing. Now, they have a personal story to help them share that the impossible is not always as far-fetched as assumed. 

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