BATAVIA – In many ways, it only makes sense that Geneva High School senior Claire Scatterday and Batavia High School senior Lia Kruse are best friends.
Scatterday and Kruse were born in Fuzhou in Jiangxi Province, China, just three weeks apart and were both adopted Sept. 15, 1997, when they were 1 1/2 years old. They also shared a crib while they were living in an orphanage in China and have grown up only a few miles from each other.
"It is kind of a miracle," Scatterday said. "We were meant to always be together and be best friends. We knew each other before we knew our parents."
But for the first time in their lives, Scatterday and Kruse will soon be going their separate ways. Scatterday will be going to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., after graduating from Geneva High School this month, and Kruse will be going to Greenville College in Illinois after graduating from Batavia High School.
Even though they will be going to different colleges, they said they intend to keep in touch with each other.
"We will probably see each other on break," Kruse said. "We won't let our friendship fade."
"I'll probably visit her, and she will visit me," Scatterday said. "We grew up being best friends. Why would we let that go?"
They both attend First Baptist Church of Geneva and last year went on a mission trip together to Ecuador, where they built bridges and hosted a Vacation Bible School for the children of nearby towns.
"It's really cool," Kruse said. "We go to the same church and always see each other."
Because they look somewhat alike, they say they are often mistaken for being related.
"People always ask us if we are sisters," Scatterday said. "Some people think we are twins."
They also share a love for sports, with Scatterday being a Viking gymnast and Kruse a Bulldog runner. But in some ways, they are totally different from each other. For example, Scatterday is quick to point out that Kruse enjoys shopping for clothes, but Scatterday doesn't.
"We're mirror opposites," Scatterday said.
Scatterday said she knows the two of them will remain close even after they go away to college. She is studying to be a physical therapist assistant. Kruse wants to become a teacher.
"We thought we would be separated for life when we were adopted," Scatterday said.
Their adoption also brought together the Scatterday and Kruse families. The two families got to know each other through the adoption process, and they traveled to China together to the orphanage where Claire and Lia lived.
"We met each other through a moms group that our adoption agency encouraged us to be a part of," said Martha Scatterday, Claire's mother.
Diana Kruse, Lia's mother, said that Claire and Lia's special bond was "divinely ordained."
"There is no other explanation," she said.
Martha Scatterday and Diana Kruse also maintain a strong friendship.
"We're BFF," Diana Kruse said. "We just went on spring break together in Florida."