Beyond coincidence: UC Davis veterinary students share amazing link to one another

February 12, 2021
dvm360 Staff

The first-year students have discovered that they were all adopted from the same Chinese orphanage.

Sharing common interests—from being left-handed to playing volleyball in high school to having the same passion for helping animals—is what initially drew first-year veterinary students Molly Mettler, Livvy Peterson, and Jennie Furth-Jacobus together. Little did they know when they first met that this thread of coincidences would stretch from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to the Chinese province of Guangdong.

“We just kind of started talking and introducing ourselves and we got around to talking about how we were all adopted from China. And then we got to, like, ‘Oh, where in China?’” says Peterson in a Fox40 interview. “And we were from the same province: Guangdong.”

The trio’s bond takes a heartfelt turn as they unveil the similarities in their adoption stories. They were all infants when their birth parents left them at the same orphanage, and they were all adopted through the same adoption agency by American families in California. In fact, Mettler and Furth-Jacobus grew up abut 10 minutes from one another in Los Angeles; Peterson grew up in nearby San Diego.

What makes this entire experience even more remarkable is that it was sheer coincidence that brought them all together. The freshman veterinary class was divided into 4 lab groups, and it just so happened that these 3 students were placed in the same one.

All 3 agree that they are grateful to the families that adopted them and extend understanding to the birth parents who surrendered them, as it led them to veterinary school—adding gratitude to the list of similarities.

“I mean, we’re here at UC Davis, the number one [veterinary] school in the world. So, I’m grateful for the sacrifices that they made so that I could have a better life,” says Furth-Jacobus.