There are few feelings in life quite like welcoming a child into the world. For mothers especially, giving life to a new human being is an amazing experience. However, there are times when even the best experiences in life can be accompanied by a sneaking suspicion that something isn’t quite right. Such was the case for Vera Lashtur.
A Happy Newborn Baby
In March of 1978, Vera Lashtur was very pregnant and definitely felt ready to finally give birth after a long pregnancy. Before she knew it, she was being rushed to the hospital and not long after, she had given birth to a healthy baby girl, who she named Tatyana. However, those around her suspected that something wasn’t quite right as the baby grew into a child.
A Rocky Start
All babies cry, as anyone who has ever been in a room with one certainly can understand. However, with Tatyana, things were challenging during her early months. She cried non-stop at times and could not be consoled. She had a difficult time when feeding, as well. At the time, Vera just figured that Tatyana was a fussy, though perfectly healthy, baby.
Before long, the “fussy baby” stage was over, but that trouble simply gave way to whispers and speculation by those around Vera and her daughter, Tatyana. At first, Vera didn’t notice the strange glances and hearsay, and after that, she simply ignored it. However, eventually, the talk started to give way to some real suspicions in Vera’s heart.
The talk centered around a very nasty rumor: that perhaps there had been a terrible mistake by one of the nurses at the hospital. Some people thought that there had been an accident and Vera had somehow taken home the wrong baby. People thought that, due to the mistake, Tatyana was actually someone else’s child and Vera’s child was somewhere out there.
They Couldn’t Believe It
Rumors tend to take on a life of their own as they spread, and soon people just take them as fact. This was particularly true in this case because most of the talk was coming from neighbors and others that were close to the family. However, Vera and her husband, Nikolay, simply would not accept the possibility that their beloved Tatyana was actually someone else’s child.
Coming To America
In 1999, the Lashtur family had made a big decision. They were going to leave their home country of Moldova, opting to move to the US, become citizens, and start a new life there. Perhaps because of this reality, those near the family found a sense of urgency and felt that they needed to voice their concerns regarding Tatyana’s background.
A Very Similar Baby
The person in question was a neighbor that had known the Lashtur family for years. The neighbor’s concerns seemed strange at first. She said that another girl in the community was the same age as Tatyana and was very similar as a baby. She cried non-stop, had trouble feeding, and seemed a lot like Tatyana had been. Then there was the matter of their appearances.
More Than A Passing Resemblance
Tatyana’s brother Anatoliy would later explain the neighbor’s concerns in an interview with Inside Edition. The neighbor knew both families well, and her initial suspicions became more serious later on. “I guess she could tell that the other kid looked a lot like our family, and the kid that we had looked like their family,” Anatoliy said.
Clearing It Up For Good
The Lashturs wanted to figure out the whole issue before they made the final move to the United States to begin their new lives. They didn’t want to go to the U.S. with the possibility that Tatyana had been switched with their baby at birth over their heads. They tried to get together with the other family before they departed but were unable to do so.
By August 2017, the Lashturs had been researching the case for almost two decades when someone in Moldova gave them the name of the other baby: Valentina Suman. Tatyana, now in her 30s, got on Facebook to see if she could find someone with that name. Their results were more helpful than they could have even hoped for.
The Same Birthday
Tatyana located Valentina Suman on Facebook. To make sure that she had the right Valentina, she asked the woman her age and where she was born. Unsurprisingly, her birthdate and place of birth matched Tatyana’s, and after exchanging photos, Tatyana found that Valentina had a striking resemblance to her family members.
They Looked Like Twins
Understandably, Vera Lashtur was very distraught by the same situation. She asked her son, Anatoliy to come over at one point, and he said he could tell that she hadn’t been sleeping well. She pointed to a pair of baby photos and asked Anatoliy who they were of, and he guessed his younger sister, Victoria. However, the photo was one of Valentina’s baby pictures.
They Knew In Their Hearts
During his interview with Inside Edition, Anatoliy explained that the resemblance between Valentina and his family was so strong that they knew deep down she was biologically part of the family. The same was true of Tatyana and her resemblance to Valentina’s family. However, both families needed to have real confirmation of their suspicions.
A Dramatic Meeting
A Russian television show found out about the compelling story and wanted to feature both families on their program. In October 2017, Tatyana and Valentina met for the first time, along with both of their families. As part of the meeting, all parties agreed that a DNA test would be administered to settle the matter for once and for all.
A Definite Match
The results of the test were definitive. The testing discovered that there was a 99.999% chance that Valentina was Vera’s daughter and Anatoliy’s sister. It was a very emotional discovery for everyone involved. Valentina hugged the biological family she had never known, and Tatyana did the same, according to Anatoliy.
One Simple Mistake
So how did it all happen? Well, back on March 27, 1978, Valentina and Tatyana’s mothers had shared a hospital room. When the baby girls were taken for baths, the nurses mixed them up. Vera went home with Tatyana instead of Valentina, who went home with Tatyana’s biological mother. The mistake would go undiscovered for decades.
In the years since Vera and baby Valentina were accidentally separated, she has had quite a life. She has become a mom to 16-year-old Andrea and is now raising her as a single parent. She also cares for a five-year-old nephew, Nikita. On a GoFundMe page, Anatoliy alluded to some family issues with Valentina and said that he hoped to raise funds to help bring her and her family to the United States for good.
Glad To Know The Truth
Although it was understandably a trying time for both families, each family was happy to finally know what really happened with Tatyana and Valentina all of those years ago. Anatoliy said that he does not hold the mistake against any of the hospital personnel. Furthermore, he has a great relationship with Valentina, who he calls at least twice per day.
An Expensive Goal
Since October 2017, Anatoliy Lashtur has been working to help Valentina, her daughter and the nephew that she cares for come to the United States for good. Relocating to the U.S. is very expensive, and Anatoliy hopes to help Valentina cover the costs. Anatoliy hopes that Valentina can join her biological family and be a part of everything.
Still Part Of The Family
Don’t worry that Tatyana has been left behind in all of this. Although there are a lot of complex feelings at play, Anatoliy has made it quite clear that Tatyana is still his sister and always will be. He has said that he didn’t lose a sister when he found out the truth; he simply gained a new one in Valentina.