“All in a day’s work” is something you regularly hear from the police officers who patrol our city’s streets. But, once in a while, there is a case that just sticks with you and on the night of November 21st in 1989, that case happened to police officer Michael Buelna. An officer in Santa Ana, California, he was doing his regular patrol and investigating a stabbing that had happened just a few days prior, when he heard the distinctive sound of a newborn baby crying. Neighbors living in the area heard the sounds too and asked him to investigate.
The sounds was coming from a nearby dumpster and when Buelna opened the lid, there underneath of some trash, was a beautiful and tiny newborn baby boy. The child was very weak, but thankfully, his soft cries were something that saved its life. The baby was covered in mucus and still had its umbilical cord attached. It was painfully obvious that the baby had been dumped there right after being born.
Buelna cradled the baby in his arms and proceeded to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation in order to get its little lungs working. From there he was transported by paramedics to the hospital. At only four pounds, the baby is tiny and will have a lot of work to do growing in the next few years of his life.
Buelna can’t stop thinking about the little baby boy he just rescued and starts to feel some attachment to him. He comes up with a name for him – Adam – and considers adopting him himself. Baby Adam is placed in a foster home with foster parents Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez, who were also looking for a baby of their own to love. They changed Adam’s name to Robin.
He ended up being raised by the Barton and Fernandez family and had a happy and healthy childhood. But, finally, at the age of 24, his parents believed it was time that he found out about his awful beginning – that he had been left in a dumpster by his mother to die. But, that he had been rescued by a heroic police officer from the Orange County Police Department.
Of course, Robin wanted to meet the man who had saved his life. And of course, Buelna thought regularly about the little baby in the dumpster and wondered how he was doing. He spent many years serving the police force and had retired in his late fifties.
Robin did his research and was able to track down Buelna and 25 years after his dramatic rescue, the two crossed paths. In an emotional reunion, Robin and Buelna hugged and began a long and beautiful conversation – one at which a devastating truth came out – that Buelna had also been abandoned as a young child. Along with his four siblings, Buelna was dumped into foster care by his mother.
Robin also decided to find his birth mother and he did. Nineteen-year-old Serena Fabiola Diaz had given birth to him and then had been in and out of jail until she was deported to Mexico. His also found his birth father after his story was on the news, where the father admitted to having searched for the child for years. Robin found out he had five sisters!
Thankfully, both Buelna and Robin were at peace with what happened to them and have forgiven their parents for their not-too-great start at life.