A 19-year-old Michigan man celebrated his birthday for the first time late last year after spending the first 18 years of his life not knowing when he was born, reports MLive.com.
"It was pretty awesome to have a birthday," said Noah Boyce of his special day—Dec. 10, 1993. His father, David Boyce, had repudiated his citizenship in 1996 and believes government should follow God’s law.
Noah Boyce told MLive, "I didn't know what to expect, but people started giving me presents and birthday cards."
In 2011, when Noah was 17, the Boyce family was evicted from their home because his dad refused to pay property taxes.
“Nobody should pay to live on their own land,” David Boyce said at the time. “I’ve never been a danger to the community. I’m not a drinker or a smoker or a carouser. I’ve never attacked anyone. I’m very nonviolent. I haven’t harmed anyone, and yet they call me a threat.”
The eviction left Noah—who had no known birth certificate, no Social Security number, and who never attended public school—to fend for himself.
He said he slept on friends’ couches and stayed for a short periods with families from Heart O’ The Lakes United Brethren Church in Columbia Township, which he began attending with his family in 2006. A Good Samaritan named Chuck Chapman took Noah in for a year. He and others from the church spent about four months helping Noah establish the documents he needed to prove who he was.
Church members located the midwife who helped deliver Noah to figure out his birthday.
With the help of Chapman, Noah began to receive tutoring at a nonprofit educational group, got his driver's license and recently started a job at the YMCA, where his older sisters also work.
“I’ve taken control of my own life now, and things are starting to look up,” Noah said. “I wish I had been able to go to school when I was younger. I’d be in a better place now. It’s hard to catch up, but I’m still young. Like they say, you’re never too old to learn.”
- David Boyce