After 25 Years, Rescued Baby Reunites with Police Officer and Discovers The Truth
Police officer Michael Buelna was just minding his own business while on patrol one cold November night in 1989 in Santa Ana, California, when suddenly he was thrust into a unexpected and life-changing situation. Buelna saved an abandoned baby after people alerted him to strange sounds coming from a nearby dumpster, but he had no idea how this one act of kindness and courage would create a whole world of love. He also wasn’t aware that it would take 25 years to tell the baby the reason why he couldn’t leave his side after saving him. What’s more, the plot just continues to thicken after this rescued baby and police officer reunite all those years later. Read here for a thrilling and heartwarming story of love and reunion.
1. Police Officer on Duty
It was an unusually cold night in Santa Ana, California on November 21, 1989. That night, the hardworking and dedicated police officer Michael Buelna from the Santa Ana police department was scanning the area because of a stabbing incident that took place there the week before.
Buelna didn’t encounter anything out of the ordinary at first; not until he rounded the corner to investigate another road in the vicinity. Then suddenly, a group of people looking quite distressed flagged him down with a sense of urgency. He wondered what the commotion was about…
2. A Strange Crying Noise
The group of people from the area seemed very panicked and immediately grabbed the police officer’s attention, pleading for assistance. After Buelna calmed them down, they alerted him to a strange sound they heard coming from the alleyway across the street.
The neighbors in the area believed it was the sound of a baby’s cries and screams, but they couldn’t be sure. Nevertheless, they wanted officer Buelna to investigate the scene immediately. Being the dedicated police officer he was, Buelna agreed he would attend to this suspicious incident right away.
3. Investigating the Source
Buelna had already perused the area from top to bottom earlier, so he didn’t hesitate to approach the source of the peculiar sound with the group of people. Together, they approached the dumpsters in the alleyway. Buelna was confident at first, but then something changed that.
At first, Buelna was sure the sounds they were hearing were coming from a cat, as it sounded like a very tempered meow, but he promised them he’d take a closer look to be sure. Nothing could have prepared Buelna for what he was about to discover.
4. A Newborn Child
When Buelna opened the dumpsters in the alleyway to check for a cat, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he found a baby buried under some trash. At first, all Buelna could do was look in shock at what he had just found and collect his thoughts, but then his instincts kicked in.
The tiny baby was crying and wiggling about among the trash and dirt, looking extremely weak and vulnerable. While Buelna cleaned the garbage and debris off the baby, he was totally taken aback when he discovered that the umbilical cord was still attached to him. The baby had just been born.
5. No Time To Waste
Buelna didn’t hesitate to call for an ambulance and more police backup right there and then. This innocent baby needed immediate medical attention, and there was no time to lose. Besides the bits of trash stuck to the little infant’s skin, he was also covered in a thin white substance, another indication that he was just born.
Buelna picked up this tiny miracle in his arms and breathed into the baby’s lungs because his breathing was growing fainter. Just then, Buelna heard the ambulance approaching the alleyway and breathed his own sigh of relief. This was just the beginning of a whirlwind of events; events that would take 25 years to unfold.
6. The Moment of Truth
It was clear to Buelna that the baby needed to be washed and fed as soon as possible, and the unusually cold weather also meant the infant needed to get into the ambulance straight away. Luckily, the ambulance arrived very quickly.
Buelna didn’t have the heart to part from the infant at this critical moment, so he decided to ride in the ambulance to the hospital with the baby cradled in his arms. He didn’t have to go with, but something told him not to leave this precious baby alone just yet.
When the paramedics looked at Buelna holding the newborn baby in the ambulance, one of them said, “You just had a baby. What are you going to name him?” Buelna thought for a moment and then replied, “Adam. Because Adam was always one of my favorite names.”
After Adam was named, the EMTs took him and attended to him until they reached the hospital. They assured Buelna that he had done a great job and that Adam was going to be okay after some proper medical attention.
8. Things Looking Up
After baby Adam received all the care he needed in hospital, the doctors were happy to inform his savior, police officer Buelna, that he was going to be just fine. They were also told him that Adam was only four hours old and weighed in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces (1.9 kg), which was incredible given the circumstances.
Buelna was both relieved and thrilled to hear the news, but he was still worried about what lay ahead for baby Adam. Who was going to care for him after he regained his health and was ready to leave the hospital?
9. A Strong Bond
Buelna ensured that Adam’s birth information was documented correctly and registered in the Orange County Register with his birth date and a note that he had been abandoned. It was clear that his birth parents were unable to care for him, which is why Buelna wanted everything to be in order.
In the meantime, the police officer and baby Adam formed an incredible bond. After all, they had gone through quite a traumatic experience together, and Buelna saved his life. Baby Adam was growing from strength to strength and was ready to find a family.
10. Adopting Baby Adam
After spending a lot of time with little baby Adam, police officer Buelna really wanted to adopt the precious baby he had saved. There was no doubt about the bond they shared, but adoption was a lengthy and difficult process. Not to mention expensive.
Buelna wanted to bring Adam home just in time for Christmas season, but the question was, would he be able to get all the paperwork done in time before another family rose to the occasion to adopt Adam? Only time would tell.
11. A No-Go
Despite Buelna’s heroic efforts of rescuing and then wanting to adopt baby Adam, another family had already shown interest in adopting this rescue child. In fact, this family had been waiting a very long time to adopt, and were praying for a miracle baby to become part of the family.
Before Buelna could get all the adoption paperwork in order to start the adoption process, another family stepped in and applied for the adoption. On the one hand, Buelna was heartbroken, but on the other, he knew he had done all he could. All that really mattered to him was for Adam to find a loving family, and when that happened he couldn’t protest.
12. Time to Say Goodbye
Just before Buelna was about to adopt baby Adam, a childless couple applied for the adoption. Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez heard of Adam’s heartbreaking story from the authorities and decided they wanted him as their own. Much to the dismay of Buelna himself.
Elizabeth and Daniel checked all the boxes in terms of being able to provide Adam with a safe and loving environment, so the time came for Buelna to say his final goodbye to the child he had fallen in love with so deeply. Little did he know that it wasn’t goodbye. Their paths would cross once again.
13. Robin Barton
Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez were elated to welcome Adam into their little family. They decided they wanted to start completely anew with their miracle baby, so they renamed baby Adam. His new found parents decided to call him Robin.
The new blissful parents promised to love and protect baby Robin for the rest of his life. They made it their mission to ensure that he would never be abandoned ever again or feel so alone or scared in the world.
14. A Happy Childhood
Robin Barton’s new parents gave him a wonderful and stable home and raised him like any other healthy child. He grew up with a happy childhood in a loving environment, not knowing a thing about his tumultuous start to life. His parents believed it would unsettle Robin and his emotional health if he were to learn what led up to his adoption.
Robin’s parents didn’t really plan on revealing the truth to Robin, at least until he was old enough. However, as Robin grew older and reached his mid-twenties, he started asking questions. Would Elizabeth and Daniel tell Robin the whole truth about his abandonment and adoption?
15. Learning the Truth
When Robin started asking questions, his adoptive parents knew they had to tell him everything. They loved him unconditionally, and they were sure their son knew that and would find comfort in all the support they gave him over the years.
Before Elizabeth told Robin that he was abandoned and then rescued from dumpster, and that they were his adopted parents she said, “It’s been an honor and privilege to be your mom.” Robin was quite shocked to learn that he went through his childhood and teenage years without knowing the truth. However, instead of feeling angry and rejected, Robin reaction was the opposite of what his parents expected.
16. Robin’s Reaction
Robin was definitely quite shocked that he only discovered the truth about his past at 25-years-old. He was also understandably sad to learn that his birth parents allegedly abandoned him, but he was also grateful for his adopted parents who gave him a second chance at life. They also made it clear to Robin that they didn’t want to come between their son and his birth parents.
However, the first thing Robin was interested in when he heard the tale of his birth was the man who breathed life into him after he found him in the dumpster. Robin was determined right there and then to meet his rescuer who saved him from an untimely death!
17. Finding Police Officer Buelna
Decades had passed since Robin was saved by police officer Michael Buelna, but that didn’t stop him from trying to track down his rescuer. Robin called the Santa Ana police station, and through the station, he was able to draw some leads.
The station provided Robin with Buelna’s phone number and address after he told them the story of how one of their officers saved an abandoned a baby 25 years ago. Robin was so touched that a complete stranger had stood by his side until the moment his parents adopted him. He felt blessed that Buelna went beyond the call of duty, and he was determined to thank this incredible man in person.
18. What Happened to Officer Buelna?
After all those years, Robin learned that police officer Buelna had continued to work with the force until he retired in his late 50s. When he called, the officer on duty also told Robin that Buelna went on to live a quiet life in his sunny Orange County home, but that Buelna never forgot about Robin.
In fact, Buelna always wondered what became of “baby Adam” and thought about tracking him down a few times. He never actually tracked Robin down because he didn’t want to unsettle the child, and he wasn’t sure if he even knew the truth.
19. Trepidation and Reservations
Robin made contact with police officer Michael Buelna and they decided to meet. Robin was extremely nervous and excited to meet his rescuer. He wasn’t sure what he could possibly say to the person who saved his life after all these years.
Robin wasn’t the only one who was nervous. Buelna was also very nervous to meet the man he rescued as a newborn infant over two decades earlier. Robin was no longer a baby, and it was difficult for Buelna to imagine him as a fully-grown young man. There was also something unexpected and important Buelna wanted to tell Robin after all these years.
20. The Reunion
So, after 25 years, Robin made his way with his adopted parents to finally reunite with officer Buelna at his home in Orange County. They greeted each other with a long and heartfelt embrace for what felt like hours. They were both smiling from ear to ear when Robin said, “Nice. Wonderful to finally meet you, to see the man who found me first. Thank you for saving my life.” Buelna became teary-eyed and assured Robin he wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Robin and Buelna then spoke for a long time about how their lives had panned out. They exchanged stories and experiences during their emotional reunion and constantly reiterated how grateful they felt to meet one another. However, things were about to get even more emotional, as Buelna had another surprising confession to divulge to Robin.
21. An Uncommon Link
Just as they were all talking, Buelna said he had another secret to reveal. It turns out that Buelna was also abandoned as a child along with his four siblings, which completely stunned Robin and his parents. Now they understood why Buelna had gone the extra mile to save Robin.
Indeed, Buelna went on to talk about his difficult childhood jumping between foster homes, which is why he couldn’t leave Robin alone that night. But soon, with Michael Buelna’s help, Robin would soon be on a path to learn about his biological family.
22. More Unanswered Questions
Once Buelna told Robin about their strange connection, police officer Buelna exclaimed, “I spent over 20 years looking for my mother!” It was these very words that brought Robin to his next question about his own biological parents. Robin wanted to know if it was possible for him to learn anything about his biological mother.
Even though she abandoned him in a dumpster, Robin believed she must have been really desperate to do such a thing. Robin loved his adopted parents with his whole being, but his heart was still open to his birth mother.
23. Ask the Professionals
Seeing that police officer Buelna spent 20 years looking for his own mother, he told Robin that he would help Robin find his. He said he could use his police connections to help find his mother, and moreover, he had become somewhat of an expert with these kinds of things given his own experiences.
Buelna knew all the ins and outs about tracking down a person with absolutely no leads, and he made it his mission to help find Robin’s mother. The least he could do was grant Robin’s wish after all these years.
24. Sabrina Diaz
After a few months of searching, Buelna discovered Robin’s birth mother’s name: Sabrina Fabiola Diaz. He also figured that she would be around 45 years old by now. However, there was more interesting information waiting to be revealed. Robin learned that his mother had been charged with attempted murder for abandoning him and served time in prison for it.
Still, this didn’t stop him from wanting to contact her. When Buelna told Robin that his mother was just 19-years-old when she abandoned him, he said he could forgive her for doing it because she was a young, poor woman. It also came to light that Sabrina had been deported to Mexico, making it even harder to locate her.
25. Some Closure
Robin really wanted some closure, and he was determined to find his mother no matter what. He told Buelna: “I’m not angry or upset with her, and I forgive her because she was a young woman in a very compromising position.”
With all his resources and connections, Officer Buelna managed to find Sabrina’s phone number. Although he didn’t meet his mother in person, Robin spoke to Sabrina on the phone and both sides received the closure they needed. Robin couldn’t really maintain a relationship with Sabrina, but another shocking discovery was about to unfold.
26. Robin’s Long-Lost Father
Robin was satisfied with the closure that came from finding his birth mother, so the idea of finding his biological father was placed on the backburner. After all, the man he really wanted to meet was Buelna, and now that he reunited with him, he felt at peace.
That was until ABC7 Eyewitness News ran a story on Robin’s incredible and heartwarming reunion with his rescuer Officer Michael Buelna. Marcos Meza, Robin’s biological father, saw the story and contacted the news station right away, knowing that he had to act immediately.
27. The Truth about Marcos Meza
Meza told ABC7 that he had been searching for his son for years after he found out that Sabrina had abandoned their baby. The problem was that he was not initially aware Sabrina was pregnant, or about what she had done. He told the station that he was only informed about his son after the police interrogated him about an abandoned baby.
By the time Meza realized he had a son, it was too late. Robin had already been rescued and put up for adoption. Meza searched for his child for years, but the adoption records were sealed, which meant he wasn’t given a name or location. In spite of all this, Meza wanted Robin to know his side of the story; he also wanted closure!
28. Another Heartwarming Reunion
The station contacted Robin immediately and the two decided to meet right away in what turned out to be another emotional reunion filmed by ABC7. “Many people told me: he looks like you, the nose, the ears, everything,” Meza exclaimed.
Meza couldn’t wrap his mind around meeting his long-lost son. “It’s like a dream!” he said. The reunion was very overwhelming for Robin, as to be expected of such an occasion, and he was about to find out something even more incredible from his biological father.
29. The Whole “Familia”
Meza told Robin that he had five sisters, and his father brought two of them along to the reunion. Robin was excited to take pictures with his new family members, but it felt strange. “I was raised an only child, so this is more of a shock,” Robin said.
Robin also took photos with his adopted father and biological father at either side, something he never thought would happen in his wildest dreams. They all exchanged their life stories and agreed to spend time as a family together whenever they can. “I want to try and talk like father and son if he says it’s okay,” Meza told ABC7. Robin, grateful for his adopted parents, Buelna, and his biological parents, said he would be happy to do that.
30. Still in Touch
Robin and Officer Buelna have remained in contact and speak very often. Buelna said the most important thing for him out of this whole experience is that Robin grew up to be a fine young man. He was also thrilled to see that Robin got to meet his biological father as well, even though he wasn’t there for the reunion.
The best part of it all is that Robin and Buelna talk on the phone and continue to keep in touch, planning the next time they’ll meet in person again. After Buelna and Robin spoke for some time after that first meeting, Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez also expressed their gratitude to Buelna, because without him, their happy family wouldn’t have existed. “I had the opportunity to shake his hand and look in his eyes and say, ‘Thank you for saving his life,'” said Daniel.
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