MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio - An Ohio mom was reunited with her biological family after finding out she had been switched at birth and raised by another family.
Tatiyana Muradyan, who goes by Tania, tells WJW she always thought something was different growing up in the Republic of Moldova, a small country between Romania and Ukraine.
She says people in her village would say things like, “You don’t look like your family.”
Her parents, Vera and Nikolay Lashtur, told her to ignore the rumors and in 1999, when Tania was 21 years old, the family immigrated to the United States.
Eventually, Tania fell in love, got married and started a family of her own. But in 2004, the rumors resurfaced.
Her mother-in-law, who immigrated from Russia and knew people in Moldova, called Tania and said, “Tania, you know what I hear about ...you got switched at birth.”
After that phone call, Tania’s father began searching for the truth and eventually tracked down the names of another family who gave birth to a baby girl on the same day at the same hospital in Moldova.
In August 2017, Tania finally located a woman on Facebook who fit the profile and was also born on March 27, 1978.
Her name is Valentina Suman.
“She said, 'Oh no, you’re playing me,' and I said, 'No, it’s true,'" said Tania.
The women wanted to meet in person, but Tania couldn’t afford it. Tania’s family was rebuilding their home after a devastating house fire and her husband was out of work for months after emergency heart surgery.
That’s when Valentina got an idea. She’s living in Russia, where there is a TV show that focuses on reuniting lost families.
The show, called Primoi efir with Andrey Malahov, picked up their case, provided DNA testing, and flew the families to Moscow for the results in September.
The DNA confirmed that Alexandra and George Sumans are Tania's actual parents.
She was flown to meet them, but tragically her biological father died before she arrived.
“That’s the saddest part,” said Tania, with tears streaming. “I was on the flight when he passed away. I couldn’t see him.”
Tania was able to be at the funeral and felt an instant connection to her mother, who is also in poor health after being hit by a drunk driver, with no health care and meager means.
Alexandra lives in a very small structure in Moldova with no indoor plumbing or heat.
“She doesn’t have anything,” said Tania. “Right now, she doesn’t even have wood for the stove. That’s how they get heat.”
So Tania, her husband, and 4 children, are trying everything they can to help her.
She says they have stopped rebuilding from the fire damage, are picking up extra jobs and skipping presents in an effort to bring Alexandra to America for Christmas and hopefully get her some medical care.
“That’s my wish for Christmas. At least to visit me, to see me; this is my wish,” said Tania.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with medical expenses and house repair costs. You can click here to see it.