Luck of the draw: Two Arizona families adopt two best friends from Africa

Apr 4, 2016, 3:16 PM | Updated: 3:54 pm
Afono Slater (left) and his best friend, Kelvin Lewis, are shown. (LaCinda Lewis Photo via People)...
Afono Slater (left) and his best friend, Kelvin Lewis, are shown. (LaCinda Lewis Photo via People)
(LaCinda Lewis Photo via People)

PHOENIX — In what may be the sweetest piece of luck we’ve ever heard, two best friends have been adopted and raised by two families in Arizona who live just one mile apart.

People reports Kelvin Lewis and Afonso Slater, both 18, first met in an orphanage in Mozambique. Both men had lost their mothers to HIV/AIDS and leaned on each other for support.

Both left Mozambique for the United States in 2008 after they were adopted as boys. By sheer luck — although they attribute it to fate — they were adopted by two Gilbert families who did not know each other, but lived only one mile apart.

“The only way this makes sense to me is that there was a higher plan for our friendship to last,” Afonso tells People. “I needed Kelvin back in Mozambique, because we relied on each other for comfort. And I can’t explain it, but it just made sense that he would end up in Arizona too.”

Greg and Sharon Slater first met Afonso in 2002 on an AIDS-prevention trip attached to Family Watch International, a group Sharon founded.

Sharon told People that she and Greg knew right away they had to adopt Afonso and his brother and sister.

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis and his wife, LaCinda, also met their adopted son, Kelvin, on a trip to Africa, though it was in 2003.

Though both families faced a long road to adoption, they were both successful.

Upon realizing they had adopted the pair, the Slater and Lewis families hosted a surprise reunion for the men after they arrived in Arizona.

Since their adoption, Afonso and Kelvin have remained best friends. They played soccer together, became Eagle Scouts together and spent time talking about the future.

And that future is bright. Both men will attend Brigham Young University, though there is one small difference: Afonso plans to get a degree in international studies while Kelvin will study medicine.

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Luck of the draw: Two Arizona families adopt two best friends from Africa