Instead of sadness, they feel nothing but gladness
It’s like something that you would see in a movie, but it has happened throughout history. Despite the technological advancements of the 20th century, some families still take home the wrong children from the hospital. While this can be a devastating event in someone’s life, two families whose children were switched feel that it brought them all together into one huge, happy family.
Valentina Suman and Tatyana Muradyan were born on March 27, 1978 in the same room at a hospital in the eastern European country of Moldova. When they were just a few days old, nurses took them to be bathed in another room. At some point while they were away from their mothers, the nurses mistakenly switched them. Valentina and Tatyana went home with the wrong parents.
The families lived close to each other in the city of Hirtop for some years, but never suspected that anything was amiss. As infants, both girls refused to feed from their mothers for three months and cried incessantly. They were often sick possibly because the children weren’t getting exactly what they needed from their mistaken mother’s milk.
A neighbor of the families who knew that they had given birth to girls at the same time noticed that the girls didn’t seem like a fit for their respective families as they grew older. He commented that maybe they were switched at birth because of their features, but no one took his observation seriously.
Vera and Nikolay Lashtur, who raised Tatyana Muradyan, eventually moved their family to West Forest, North Carolina in 1999. They always had the thought in the back of their head that their old neighbor might have been right about their daughter, though.
Finding Our Daughter
The Lashturs tried in vain to find the other family for years to tell them about the rumors. It seemed that they moved around a lot and were impossible to find. The family tried to move on, but they desperately wanted to know the truth.
Recently, Vera and Nikolay Lashtur went back to their old neighborhood and met up with the neighbor who believed that the children had been switched. He led them to the woman who raised Valentina, their real daughter, but the woman explained that she was living in another country.
Valentina’s mother gave them some information about her whereabouts, and Tatyana found her on Facebook. Anatoliy Lashtur, Valentina’s real brother, told Daily Mail, “Valentina wondered how we knew so much information, then we asked for pictures of her when she was younger and she looked like our other sister.”
Tatyana and Valentina talked about the possibility that they might have been switched, and spread the word to the media that they wanted answers about their parentage. A Russian TV show flew both families to their set and organized a DNA test on Oct. 4 which proved that the women had been living with the wrong families for the past 39 years.
Anatoliy explained that Valentina had a hard life. She was a single mom raising a 16-year-old daughter and her 5-year-old nephew. He has created a fundraiser to bring Valentina and her child to the U.S. for Christmas in hopes that she’ll move closer to him and their parents permanently. Anatoliy knows that her nephew can’t travel with her, and he wants to set up a care fund for him.
Tatyana wants to spend more time with her birth mother as well. Both she and Valentina traveled to Moldova to meet with Tatyana’s biological father to tell him the news, but he passed away on October 18 just before they could get there.
Anatoliy has assured Tatyana that he still considers her to be his sister. He said, “Later I spoke to my sister who I grew up with and told her that I love her and nothing changes, to us she will always be our sister, we’ve just gained more family.”
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