There are simple coincidences, and then there's the story of Lizzie Valverde and Katy Olson. The New York Times describes them as "strangers" who, in their early 30s, found themselves in the same writing class at Columbia University on a January day in 2013. That was the day they discovered they were sisters. The two are, for the first time, telling their story, and the Times winds along the chance-ridden path that brought them together. One such detail: Valverde registered for the literary-reporting class just minutes before it started.
In introducing herself, Valverde revealed information that synced with what Olson had only recently discovered about her own biological origins. After class, Olson told Valverde she thought they were sisters; Valverde had no idea such a sister existed. That was indeed the case, the two born to a teenage mother named Leslie Parker in Tampa (a bizarre side note: Parker's tough life included having been attacked by serial killer Gary Ray Bowles). Read the full story, which will culminate in a special meeting on Monday, at the Times. (Read more adoption stories.)