WINTER PARK - Whether you believe in coincidence or fate, the reunion of two childhood friends seems as unlikely as it gets.
"When he came up to me, I don't know him," Melody Kadzis said.
Kadzis is a blind athlete from Florida attending a program called Extreme Mobility Camp, which is designed to help the blind or sight impaired experience things like winter activities in the mountains.
"These valuable experiences, whether they're with trainers or other athletes, are things that they will take with them for the rest of their lives," said Alvin Chea, board member of Extreme Mobility.
Part of their week in the mountains included ski lessons with the National Sports Center for the Disabled at Winter Park.
"It teaches people life skills. It gives them confidence and it gives them a sport, particularly skiing, that they can actually do with their friends," said Becky Zimmermann, president of the NCSD.
One of the guides for the blind skiers is an Americorps volunteer named Tim Estes. When Estes first saw Kadzis, he thought there was something about her.
"I just thought she was really familiar," Estes said.
Estes found out they both were adopted from China. That's when he realized, they had far more in common than that.
"She's from my orphanage," Estes said.
Estes and Kadzis, which are their adopted American names, were childhood friends at an orphanage in the Henan Luoyang province in central China.
"We kinda hung out all the time," Estes said.
They were separated eight years ago when Kadzis and Estes were adopted to American families within a six month timeframe.
"I'm from Washington state. She's from Florida and we meet in the middle of this country," Estes said. "This is really a coincidence."
Kadzis attends the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind near Jacksonville. She had no idea what was in store for her on this trip to Colorado.
"I'm with the Extreme Mobility Camp and I was with them," Kadzis said. "Thanks to them, I actually met him."
Organizers cannot believe the reunion.
"The odds of that probably you can't even calculate," Zimmermann said. "So, I think it's amazing that this particular place at this particular time brought them together. It's really mind-boggling."
Chea says this chance reunion has made the camp special for everyone.
"When they were telling the story, we were like ooh, ah, ooh, wow," Chea said.
Kadzis returns to Florida on Sunday, but the two reunited friends exchanged phone numbers and promise to remain in touch.
"That's a small world," Estes said.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)