When a new baby arrives in a family, it’s normal to expect a little bit of a learning curve. Even experienced parents know that an infant brings a whole new set of particular needs and wants.
Some people have more needs than others, even from birth. There are newborns who are quiet and content, and then there are those who seem to always be crying unless they are being held.
When one woman in Moldova brought her new daughter home, the baby seemed miserable—and the mother suspected this was more than a simple case of colic. What followed was a story that took almost 40 years to unfold—and when it did, everyone involved was shocked beyond belief.
In March of 1978, Vera Lashtur and her husband, Nikolay, welcomed a new baby into the world: a daughter whom they named Tatyana. It should have been the happiest time of their lives, but for Vera, something just felt off. It was something she couldn’t explain.
All babies have their growing pains, but Tatyana seemed absolutely miserable as an infant. She cried nonstop, and when Vera fed her daughter, the child would struggle and fight against her. Vera hoped this was something that would pass…
But it didn’t pass. As Tatyana grew up, she continued being difficult, moody, and hard to control. However, what Vera didn’t know was that Tatyana actually had a pretty disturbing reason for behaving this way in the first place…
Vera’s family and neighbors had always whispered about the little girl, and now Tatyana was getting old enough that she could start to piece together some of the rumors. What her family believed was something Vera refused to accept.
Here are Vera; her husband, Nikolay, and their children, including baby Tatyana.
The rumor was that Tatyana wasn’t actually Vera’s daughter. Instead, whispers swirled that Tatyana and another baby had been switched at birth. It was so far-fetched that Vera and Nikolay initially refused to believe such a major blunder could have been made.
In 1999, Vera and her family were preparing to leave their native Moldova to start new lives in the United States. That’s when a neighbor with very important information finally decided that she had to speak up and say something…
The neighbor told a story about another infant born the same time as Tatyana who always cried as infant and who suffered from the same problems when it came to eating. The uncanny similarity was enough to make Vera and Nikolay’s ears perk up…
“She knew us,” Nikolay said of the neighbor in a November 2017 interview with Inside Edition. “She knew the other family, and she knew that both kids were having problems after the hospital.”
Tatyana, pictured in the center of this image, didn’t quite resemble her other family members. Nikolay added, “As they grew up, 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.”
Vera and Nikolay weren’t able to find the other family prior to their move from Moldova to the United States. However, whenever they visited their home country, they made it a point to search everywhere for potential answers.
Here are Vera and Nikolay (rear) and their four children on a visit back to Moldova. Tatyana is the second from the right.
In August 2017, there was a major breakthrough. Using social media, Tatyana—now in her thirties—and her sister, Victoria, learned that the name of the other child from their neighbors’ story was Valentina Suman. Tatyana even found Valentina online!
Tatyana and Valentina connected and they confirmed what they already suspected: they were born on the same day in the same hospital. They also exchanged photographs, and Tatyana couldn’t believe what she were seeing: Valentina looked just like her parents.
Below is a picture of Valentina. The resemblance to Tatyana’s family members is striking!
Vera’s son Anatoliy still vividly remembered the moment the discovery was made. “My mom asked me to come over. She opened a laptop with two baby photos and pointed at one, asking me to tell her who it was.” He added, “I told her it was Victoria, my younger sister. It looked just like her.”
The picture, however, was one of Valentina as a baby. Here, Anatoliy poses with his biological sister, Victoria. See how much she looked like Valentina?
“We knew in our hearts that [Valentina] was our sister based on the pictures. She looked exactly like my younger sister,” added Anatoliy. But there was only one way for the family to confirm what they all believed to be true…
Another photo of sister Victoria (left) really made it clear just how much Valentina looked like the family.
In October of 2017, both families were invited to appear on a Russian TV show to share their story. While there, they would also undergo a DNA test to confirm what they all already suspected to be the truth.
Tatyana and Valentina, kneeling from left, meet for the first time in the photo below.
The results surprised no one. “It was the first time we had the opportunity to see our birth sister Valentina and hug each other, cry together,” Anatoliy said. “Also, that day was the first time my sister Tatyana had the opportunity to hug and cry with her birth family.”
So, what happened the day the girls were born? On March 27, 1978, their mothers were sharing a hospital room. The two little girls were taken away to be bathed, and when they were returned, they were accidentally swapped—and no one noticed.
Left to right are Tatyana, Victoria, Valentina, and Anatoliy.
Since reuniting with her birth parents, Vera and Nikolay, Valentina has become an integral part of the family. Her 16-year-old daughter would see her grandparents often, and Valentina even became a surrogate mother to one of her new nephews.
Here, Valentina sits between her birth parents.
Amazingly, neither of the families had any plans to sue the hospital for this colossal blunder. In fact, they were simply overjoyed that everything was corrected and that the girls had not one, but two families!
Here, Victoria, Anatoliy, Valentina, their older brother, and Vera pose for a picture.
In fact, Anatoliy and his newly discovered sister had grown so close that he currently put plans in motion to help move her from Moldova to the United States so that she could be closer to her biological family.
Anatoliy’s relationship with Tatyana hadn’t changed at all, either. She was still his sister as far as he was concerned. “I talked to her, and I told her [that] nothing changes between us. The only difference is [that] I gain a sister. We are brother and sister.”
He added, touchingly, “We love her, and nothing is ever going to change that.”
This is such an amazing story! It definitely sends chills down the spine of anyone who has ever wondered if, maybe, something like this could ever happen to them.
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