This Selfie Proved She Was Stolen As A Baby

Published on 11/06/2019
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Miché Solomon wasn’t expecting to have her world turned upside down during what seemed to be a normal day of high school, but what she ended up finding out on this day would change how she saw her last 17 years of life and how she would view the world for the rest of it.

A Normal Day

It was the beginning of a normal day at Zwaanswyk High School in Cape Town, South Africa. It was the first day of the new school year, which is an exciting time for all students.

A Normal Day

A Normal Day

Upside Down

Especially when it is your last year of high school, you just want to live it up and have a fun year. Miché Solomon did not realize that her life would be turned upside down on the first day of school, though.

Upside Down

Upside Down

The New Girl

Miché Solomon was in her last year of school at Zwaanswyk High School, so she was not so observant of all of the new students that just started studying there. At least, not until the entire school pointed out something bizarre to her.

The New Girl

The New Girl

Cassidy Nurse

Cassidy Nurse was starting the first day of her high school career on the same day that Miché Solomon was starting her first last day. If it weren’t for Miché’s friends pointing out this detail about Cassidy, the two likely never would have crossed paths, given their age difference.

Cassidy Nurse

Cassidy Nurse

Brushed It Off

Despite all of Miché’s friends urging her to meet up with Cassidy for one specific reason, Miché brushed it off and did not think much of what everyone was saying. It wasn’t until the two ran into each other that she understood what everyone was saying.

Brushed It Off

Brushed It Off

Instant Connection

When Miché met up in the hallway at their high school, Miché finally understood why everyone was urging them to get together. They had some sort of instant connection, but neither of them understood how or why.

Instant Connection

Instant Connection

Had They Met?

Despite the fact that Miché and Cassidy had three years of age between them and there was no way they had ever crossed paths before this, they both had this unexplainable bond to one another.

Had They Met

Had They Met?

Fast Friends

Neither Miché nor Cassidy could put into real words the connection they felt between one another, but they knew it was something that could not be ignored. They started spending more and more time together and became close friends almost immediately.

Fast Friends

Fast Friends

Close Like Siblings

Despite their three year age gap, the girls became so close that it was as if they were long-lost sisters. “I would say, ‘Hey, baby girl!’ And she would say, ‘Hey, big sis!'” Miché remembered.

Close Like Siblings

Close Like Siblings

Big Sis Little Sis

“Sometimes I would go to the bathroom with her and say, ‘Let me brush your hair, let me fix you up with some lip gloss.'” She treated her like the sister she didn’t have, and they both loved it.

Big Sis Little Sis

Big Sis Little Sis

School Jokes

Everyone at school started making jokes to Miché and Cassidy about how close the pair had gotten, and even started saying to them, “Are you related?” Of course, the two just laughed and replied, “We don’t know- maybe in another life!”

School Jokes

School Jokes

Their Parents Had Questions

The two new best friends took a selfie together, as best friends do. When the girls got back to their respective homes that evening and showed the photo to their parents, they had quite different reactions from one another.

Their Parents Had Questions

Their Parents Had Questions

One Versus The Other

Miché’s parents were pretty nonchalant about the striking similarity of the two girls; Lavona, Miché’s mother, didn’t say much, but her dad said that he recognized Cassidy, as her father owns an electrical store that he shops at.

One Versus The Other

One Versus The Other

The Nurse Family

Cassidy’s parents, Celeste and Morne, had opposite reactions to the crazy selfie. The two parents stared at the photo for a moment and couldn’t take their eyes off of it, but Cassidy couldn’t figure out why.

The Nurse Family

The Nurse Family

Curiosity

Finally, they were able to clearly articulate their thoughts, but they weren’t so specific. They said that they needed to ask Miché a question next time the two girls were together. What could they be asking her?

Curiosity

Curiosity

When’s Your Birthday?

Cassidy’s parents knew that Miché looked familiar, but they needed concrete confirmation before they assumed anything in particular. They told their daughter to ask her new friend when her birthday was, so she did just that.

When's Your Birthday?

When’s Your Birthday?

April 30

Instead of beating around the bush and being afraid of the answer she was going to get, she jumped straight to the point and said, a bit shyly, “Miché, were you born on April 30, 1997?”

April 30

April 30

She Thought It Was A Joke

Miché was not sure why Cassidy was randomly asking about her birth date, so she responded with a sarcastic comment: “Why? Are you stalking me on Facebook?” Cassidy’s face didn’t become more cheerful after this joke, though.

She Thought It Was A Joke

She Thought It Was A Joke

Confirmation

Miché realized she was being completely serious and didn’t have much of a joking intention behind this random question, so she straightened out her face and said yes, she was born on April 30, 1997.

Confirmation

Confirmation

Can We Speak With You?

A few weeks passed since Cassidy asked Miché about her birth date out of the blue, so Miché had forgotten about it at that point. That was, at least, until Miché got pulled from her math lesson.

Can We Speak With You

Can We Speak With You?

She Was Confused

When she got pulled out of class, she was brought into the headmaster’s office, where she was greeted by two social workers. Miché was a good student, she didn’t get into trouble or anything like that. What could this be about?

She Was Confused

She Was Confused

17 Years Ago

The two social workers explained to Miché that there was a reason Cassidy asked when her birthday was a few weeks ago. They said that there had been a kidnapping of a three-day-old baby named Zephany Nurse.

17 Years Ago

17 Years Ago

They Found A Lead

This kidnapping of a three-day-old baby took place exactly three days after Miché was born 17 years ago. The case was never solved, but the police finally thought they had found a lead as to what happened.

They Found A Lead

They Found A Lead

Happened Right In Cape Town

This kidnapping happened right in Cape Town at Groote Schuur Hospital, and the baby had yet to be found, even 17 years later. Miché had no idea what this had to do with her, though.

Happened Right In Cape Town

Happened Right In Cape Town

Not Possible

as she replied with, “I wasn’t born at Groote Shuur Hospital, I was born at the Retreat Hospital 20 minutes away,” everyone in the room knew exactly what to say next. What Miché would find out would change her life.

Not Possible

Not Possible

It’s Not True

The social workers let Miché process this idea for a minute before taking a deep breath and telling her gently that there was actually no record on file of her being born at the Retreat Hospital.

It's Not True

It’s Not True

Mindblown

Despite what her birth certificate said, Miché was definitely not born where she thought she was. She sat there speechless and emotionless. Though she believed they had to be wrong, she agreed to a DNA test.

Mindblown

Mindblown

Positive

After just one day, the DNA test results came back. Much to Miché’s surprise, her birth name was, in fact, Zephany Nurse, and she was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital when she was just three days old.

Positive

Positive

Didn’t Know Where To Turn

Miché wasn’t a baby anymore, she was a young adult about to finish high school and start her own life. Her entire life was a lie and she had no idea what to think of anything anymore. How could this be real?

Didn't Know Where To Turn

Didn’t Know Where To Turn

Can’t Go Home

After they received the positive DNA results, the police informed Miché that she was not allowed to return to her home. She still had a few months before she turned 18 and could live wherever she pleased.

Can't Go Home

Can’t Go Home

Arrested

For now, until she turned 18, she had to live in a safe home. On top of all of this horrible news, she found out that Lavona, the woman she had been calling mom for the past 17 years, was arrested.

Arrested

Arrested

Innocent Father

Miché was allowed to be present while Michael- the man Miché knew to be her father- was questioned by the police. He was not another suspect at this point, but they wanted to be sure he had nothing to do with the kidnapping.

Innocent Father

Innocent Father

Had Nothing To Do With It

They questioned him for a long time but never found any evidence that he even knew about this kidnapping, let alone that he was a part of it. Because of his innocence, he was released shortly after.

Had Nothing To Do With It

Had Nothing To Do With It

What Really Happened?

Michael explained to the police that Lavona was, in fact, pregnant, and the timeline of the pregnancy lined up perfectly with when she brought Miché home. It is now thought that she hid a miscarriage from her husband.

What Really Happened

What Really Happened?

Chain Of Events

After hiding a miscarriage, she faked through the rest of her pregnancy, then stole Zephany from the hospital three days after she was born. She brought the newborn home and acted as though she had just delivered her.

Chain Of Events

Chain Of Events

Custody

Because of these awful actions that she decided to take 17 years ago, Lavona was now in custody awaiting her trial on charges of kidnapping and fraudulently claiming to be the mother of a child.

Custody

Custody

She Was Right Under Their Nose

Despite the fact that Celeste and Morne Nurse had three more children since Zephany went missing from the hospital, for the past 17 years they never gave up the search for their irreplaceable firstborn child.

She Was Right Under Their Nose

She Was Right Under Their Nose

Maybe They’ve Met

Little did they know, though, that their precious baby girl was growing up happily and healthily just five kilometers down the road from them this whole time. Thinking about the fact that they had likely crossed paths before was unimaginable.

Maybe They've Met

Maybe They’ve Met

Empty Emotions

Even though Celeste and Morne were Miché’s biological mother and father, she did not grow up even knowing they existed, so while they were hugging her and feeling every emotion in the world for the fact that their child was alive and healthy, she felt uncomfortable and empty inside.

Empty Emotions

Empty Emotions

Yearning For Lavona

Missing the woman that she grew up calling mom, she tried to have sympathy for this couple and put on a face for them, but at the end of the day, she was just sad for Lavona and Michael.

Yearning For Lavona

Yearning For Lavona

Lavona’s Trial

Lavona’s trial began in August 2015. She told the court a story about how she struggled to conceive and experienced several emotionally draining miscarriages. She explained that she had been approached by a woman named Sylvia…

Lavona's Trial

Lavona’s Trial

No Evidence

She explained that Sylvia offered her a baby because the birth mother was not interested, so Lavona adopted her. There was no found evidence that this Sylvia woman existed. On top of this, there was a witness who was at the hospital on the night of the kidnapping.

No Evidence

No Evidence

All Signs Point To Lavona

The witness was able to successfully pick Lavona out of a lineup and recognized her as the woman who was dressed as a nurse at the hospital that night. All signs pointed to Lavona being guilty.

All Signs Point To Lavona

All Signs Point To Lavona

Sentencing

Lavona was handed a sentence of 10 years in prison due to kidnapping, fraud, and her violation of the Children’s Act. Later in the year, Miché decided to visit Lavona in prison and try to get some answers from her. Miché said, “I saw my mother in the clothing that female prisoners wear and it broke my heart. I cried and cried.”

Sentencing

Sentencing

Where Should She Live?

Miché considered moving in with her biological mom or dad, but on top of the fact that they were divorced and she’d have to pick one or the other, she felt it was just simply too weird for her.

Where Should She Live

Where Should She Live?

Mixed Emotions

They weren’t her parents in her heart, even if they were her parents by blood. Part of her even hated them for taking away the woman she thought was her mother for the first 17 years of her life.

Mixed Emotions

Mixed Emotions

With Michael

Miché eventually stayed with a safe and comfortable choice of moving back in with Michael. She knew that this was where she felt the safest and where she felt truly at home, so moving in with the Nurse family wasn’t an option for her.

With Michael

With Michael

An Identity Crisis

Not surprisingly, Miché was unsure which name she should go by now, her birth name Zephany Nurse, or the name she’d been going by forever Miché Solomon. After some healing and processing, she decided that she will answer to either name.

An Identity Crisis

An Identity Crisis

Will Answer To Either

She allows others to choose which they are comfortable with. She says, “I think I hated Zephany in the beginning. She came with such force, such an uninvited invitation, so much suffering, and so much pain.

Will Answer To Either

Will Answer To Either

Starting Fresh

At the end of the day, Zephany is the truth and Miché, the 17-year-old girl that I was, she was a lie. So I’ve managed to balance both names. You can call me Zephany or Miché, it’s fine.”

Starting Fresh

Starting Fresh

Accomplished

At 22, Miché has overcome and accomplished more than the average 22-year-old has. She had her world turned upside down, dropped out of school and re-enrolled, watched her mother go to prison, and now is raising two children on her own as a single mother.

Accomplished

Accomplished

Regaining Trust

It’s not surprising that Miché has developed some deep trust issues since finding out that she was kidnapped as a newborn and then raised by said kidnappers, but lucky for her, she has found a strong support system in her life to help her through everything.

Regaining Trust

Regaining Trust

Biography

Miché had a biography written about her life, which is described as: “For the first time in her own words. Told with astonishing maturity, honesty and compassion, it is also a story of what it means to love and be loved, and of claiming your identity.”

Biography

Biography

Opening Up

This book was truly the first time Miché, or Zephany, was able to put this whole situation into her own words, with her own emotions, for the whole world to see. It is everything you want to hear about her story, straight from her mouth.

Opening Up

Opening Up

Waiting For Lavona

Miché and Michael are still living together in the home that Miché was raised in, waiting patiently for Lavona to come home and return their family back to normal. Miché says that she goes to visit Lavona in jail, which is 120 kilometers from their home, twice or three times each month.

Waiting For Lavona

Waiting For Lavona

Biological Parents

Miché has said that she does not have much of any kind of relationship with her actual biological parents, as she feels they exploited her and, whether intentionally or not, ruined her life. She considers Lavona and Michael her family.

Biological Parents

Biological Parents

Open Book Festival

Physically writing the book about her life wasn’t enough for Miché Solomon to get the word out about her story. She is going to be presenting and reading the book in front of a huge audience at the open book festival!

Open Book Festival

Open Book Festival

Life Today

While Miché’s life will need to adapt to a new kind of normal, she has the help and support from everyone in her life, and she is figuring out how to combat everything life throws at her.

Life Today

Life Today

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