Lizzie Valverde, 35, graduated from Columbia University on May 18 with more than just her bachelor’s degree in creative writing; she had reconnected with her biological sister and mother.
In 2013, Valverde enrolled in Columbia University’s School of General Studies program. On the first day of class, Valverde introduced herself to her fellow classmates, explaining some of her background, which sounded eerily familiar to Katy Olson, 34.
Olson asked Valverde so many questions after class, Valverde thought Olson might know her long-lost younger sister.
"And, I'm like, 'Yeah, I don't know your sister; I think I am your sister,'" Olson told ABC News.
"When she said, 'I am your sister,' I just froze," Valverde said.
The sisters were put up for adoption by their teenage mother, Leslie Parker, when they were babies. The sisters were adopted by different families; Valverde was raised in New Jersey, while Olson grew up in Florida and Iowa.
"We went straight to the bar," Olson said. "And we just ordered pitchers of beer and just started going back and forth with our lives and biographical details ... Like, do you like chicken wings? I like chicken wings. Do you have a weird pinkie toe? I have a weird pinkie toe."
The sisters were planning to meet their mother face-to-face at Valverde’s graduation.
"I'm looking forward to seeing both of them," Parker told ABC News before the ceremony. "I've never seen Katy in person.”
"I'm so proud of them," Parker added. "They're both amazing, beautiful women."
"If I workshopped this in a fiction class, I'd be run out," Olson said of the reunion. "There's no way.”