In the weeks before Valentine's Day, CBS News is featuringthat blossomed despite unimaginable odds. We call this series Love, Against All Odds.
Millions of people turn to dating apps to look for love. But what one Minnesota couple found was more like an against-all-odds match.
Elizabeth Christensen, a mom of two young kids who was recently divorced, matched with a man named Joshua Colbert on the Hinge dating app in April 2023 and they immediately started talking, she told CBS News.
The first day they matched on the app, Elizabeth started asking the typical get-to-know questions — like where he grew up – but as Joshua gave her answers, she became more and more shocked.
"She asked where I had grown up and I said I grew up in Andover and went to Northside Christian School," Joshua told CBS News. "And she's like, 'No kidding, I went there too in kindergarten.' And then we put it together we graduated  so we're like, 'Maybe we were in the same kindergarten class.'"
Elizabeth found their class photo — and sure enough, Joshua was in the photo. But that's not where their similarities ended.
Elizabeth was born on September 13, 1988. So was Joshua. Elizabeth was born at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. So was Joshua. The pair were born at the same place on the same day — just six hours apart.
The coincidence seemed too good to be true – but outside of kindergarten they had never crossed paths, nor did their families.
They had planned on meeting in person for a date the following week, but Joshua was excited and asked Elizabeth to lunch the next day.
Elizabeth told her parents and they dug up old home videos that they had digitized. "We did actually find our old kindergarten graduation video, so we're both in there," she said.
"And the crazy part is, her mom zoomed in on me in the video," Joshua added. "And then panned out and zoomed back on Elizabeth. So it was like, we saw that and were like, no way."
"A mother's intuition, I guess," Joshua added. Joshua's mom died when he was seven. He said his dad told him to take things "slow and steady" with Elizabeth. "But after meeting Elizabeth and meeting her parents, he was totally sold and totally supportive."
The couple believes they were brought together again divinely.
"We believe it was God," Joshua said. "In spite of the fact we could have had all these similarities but been complete polar opposites. And that's not the case at all. So, I feel like it was just the perfect match. And yeah, I think it was divine for sure."
Elizabeth, who was previously married for nine years, said both she and Joshua, who was previously married for five years, were in a dark place after going through divorces, but "that's usually when we've seen God really work in our lives."
"It is when you are down and you are in that vulnerable state and something happens and the course of your life has changed forever," she said.
When the couple tells their unique love story – and the coincidences that brought them together. "people's eyes light up," Joshua said. "A lot of people are searching for hope. And it's like, wow, there is someone out there."
Just a month into dating, Joshua popped the question. "I'm old school, so I had asked her dad for her hand in marriage," he said. "Her family's very tight-knit. We meet for dinner every other weekend after church."
Elizabeth's dad is a pastor. "I thought it was great that he was like, go to pre-marriage counseling. That was one of his stipulations," Joshua said. "It was very helpful because it forced us to have conversations that come up in relationships."
"That maybe you don't feel comfortable bringing up right out of the gate," Elizabeth added.
About five months after they were reacquainted on the dating app, they tied the knot – on Sept. 13, 2023, their 35th birthday – at Pinewood Weddings and Events in Cambridge, Minnesota. Elizabeth's dad officiated the nuptials and her 6-year-old son, Knox walked her down the aisle.
"Our kindergarten teacher, we actually were able to hunt her down and we mailed her an invite and she showed up," Elizabeth said. "And not only did she show up, she found a photo of us on track and field day together."
They don't even remember each other from Ms. Korynta's kindergarten class – "I'm shocked though, how could you forget a redhead," Elizabeth joked – but against the dating app odds, they were brought together again.
"This whole divine intervention, as we call it, has just really reaffirmed to me to continue to try and spread our story of hope and second chances," Elizabeth said.
"So, I'm just really grateful to Him for bringing Joshua back into my life and it's really fun to try and share that little bit of light to others," she said.
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