Elizabeth Goracke and Joshua Colbert spent the first moments of their lives in the very same nursery. Now 35 years later, they're husband and wife.
He was born first on Sept. 13, 1988 at Mercy Hospital in the Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids. Six hours later, she followed.
Elizabeth and Joshua also went to kindergarten together, appearing in the same class photos. Elizabeth's mother even accidentally zoomed in on Joshua during their kindergarten graduation ceremony.
But it wasn’t until 2023 that the pair reconnected, this time on Hinge, the dating app. Both were looking for love and along the way, realized their lives had been intertwined since the day they were born.
“They actually went to kindergarten together at a small Christian school,” said Elizabeth's father, Alan Goracke. “Elizabeth just went there for one year. It's wild because they shared their first night on the Earth in the nursery.”
An 'amazing' discovery
Back in April, Joshua was done with dating and had been planning on deleting Hinge when he saw he had matched with a woman named Elizabeth.
“She is an absolute smokeshow,” he said to himself.
The pair started chatting and only then did they realize they went to the same school for kindergarten and had the same teacher.
“I went to my keepsake trunk and found the actual class photo,” Elizabeth told USA TODAY on Friday.
A mother of two and a human resources director, she thought things seemed too good to be true, so she ran a background check on Joshua. His background looked good but she noticed something strange: they have the same birthday.
From there, they learned they both made their world debut on the same night at the very same hospital.
“It was pretty amazing,” Elizabeth said.
Once the pair realized just how much they had in common, they met up almost immediately and have been together ever since.
Joshua knew pretty quickly that he wanted to marry Elizabeth, asking her father for his permission to propose the next month. Once he got the OK, Joshua and Elizabeth went to Cancún, Mexico, where he asked her to be his wife.
They tied the knot on Wednesday, their birthday.
Even their kindergarten teacher, Tammy Korynta, was there. She gave them a photo from field days when they were younger.
The pair have no recollection of each other from back then.
“It’s only kindergarten and of course you really don't, especially when you're a boy and a girl, stay in touch with those classmates,” Elizabeth said.
Lovebirds say they were meant to be
The couple feels blessed to have reunited, they said.
“We weren't ready for one another until now, in this place of life,” Elizabeth said. “We're just really grateful.”
The pair said relationships require work and communication, especially when you’re undergoing as much as they are, including a recent move, wedding planning and raising children. They are juggling a lot as newlyweds but they trust that it was meant to be.
Joshua loves that Elizabeth is so compassionate. He also digs her “fiery” personality. She stands her ground and she loves God, her children and her family, he said.
“She's drop-dead gorgeous,” he said. “Absolutely beautiful. I'm a lucky guy.”
As for Elizabeth, she loves that Joshua is a veteran who served his country and also loves God. He’s driven, always on top of things and is a great stepfather to her children, 8-year-old Chloe and 6-year-old Knox.
She also likes that he respects her co-parenting relationship with her childrens' father, she said.
They used to hate the phrase, “When you know, you know,” but now they understand.
From the moment they met, they knew they were going to be together. And although they may have disagreements, they work through them just fine, they said.
“I would just really point to divine intervention,” Joshua said. “It's like a storybook and so we're very blessed. We're very fortunate to have met each other. We're excited. We're super in love.”
And there’s another coincidence between the two. Joshua’s middle name is Alan. Who else shares that name? Elizabeth’s dad, her son and her brother.
“The four of us are the ‘Alan’ barbershop quartet,” he laughed. “I think for Christmas, I’m going to get us all bow ties.”
Couple says they are a 'perfect match'
Elizabeth’s father, Goracke, is an ordained minister and the lead pastor at Hope Church in Minnesota.
When his daughter got engaged, she knew she wanted him to marry them. She had her son, Knox, walk her down the aisle.
Like most parents in similar situations, Goracke said he thought things were developing pretty quickly. He gave Joshua his blessing, anyway, though he asked him to take things slow.
He has married hundreds of couples in the past and always has them complete premarital classes. Elizabeth and Joshua did incredibly well, he said.
“As we've gotten to know Joshua … he's really the kind of man that I always believed that Elizabeth would marry,” he said. “I do believe this is a divine moment.”
Joshua said the couple have covered a lot of ground in the five months they’ve known each other. They’re a “perfect match,” he said.
Elizabeth said Joshua makes her a better person.
“When you find someone, you should be better together,” she said. “I certainly believe we are better together.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Minnesota couple marry 35 years after birth in same hospital