Newborns are entirely helpless; the adults around them define their existence. In 1989, one tiny baby could have died because of one adult's desperate choice, but luckily another came to the rescue.
When the retired Santa Ana police officer Michael Buelna was a child, he and his four siblings were abandoned by their mother, who he has never been able to find.
This is why when, on November 21, 1989, he found an infant in a dumpster covered in mucus with trash clinging to him, his heartstrings were deeply tugged.
Michael Buelna holding Robin Barton when he was an infant [left]; Robin Barton as an infant [right]. │Source: youtube.com/CBS Los Angeles
AN UNFORGETTABLE FINDING
The officer was on duty when he discovered the baby, just hours old. Buelna heard strange noises emanating from a garbage dumpster. He pulled out a newborn, recalling:
"I was kind of shocked at first because it’s kind of hard to grasp what I was seeing.”
After breathing into its lungs to ensure that he survived, the law enforcement officer took the child to a paramedic. Miraculously, the tiny child survived, and Buelna named the baby Adam.
Robin Barton when he was a baby. │Source: ABC News
FINDING THE PERFECT PARENTS
However, two other individuals, Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez, took in "Adam" and renamed him, Robin Barton. Barton claimed he had a wonderful childhood, expressing:
"I was blessed with a great family."
His mom also stated that it had been a privilege to be his mother and bring him up. That being said, neither Barton nor his parents forgot about the cop who made this wonderful life possible.
Robin Barton as an adult and Michael Buelna. │Source: youtube.com/CBS Los Angeles
THE LONG-AWAITED REUNION
In 2015, the then-all-grown-up 25-year-old, along with his mom and dad, met up with the man who saved Barton. Upon seeing one another, the two hugged, with the father, Fernandez, saying:
"I had the opportunity to shake his hand and look in his eyes and say, 'Thank you for saving his life.'"
The retired officer stated that he was happy to have seen the tiny newborn he once saved now as a fully grown adult.
GOING BACKWARDS TO GO FORWARD
Beyond saving his life, Buelna also chose to help his "Adam" find his biological mother so the adoptee could find some closure. Unfortunately, it was last reported that they could never locate her.
His mother, Sabrina Fabiola Diaz, was found guilty of child endangerment and attempted murder after abandoning her baby. Eventually, she left prison and was deported, making her difficult to find.
With a heart of gold, the young man expressed that he had forgiven her. Barton's understanding is that she was in a highly challenging situation.
TunDe Hector having an emotional breakdown after discovering what the Wright family did for her. | Photo: youtube.com/Carmen Wright
With a bond no one or nothing can destroy, this officer and the young man will always be connected. Chris Wright and an unnamed woman he met on the road share a similar relationship.
In 2014, Wright was driving in the rain when he came across a woman walking with a gas can to a gas station -- her car on the roadside. She only had $5.00 left, so Wright gave her a lift, refueled her can, and gave her some money.
A few years following this, Wright's mother fell sick with Parkinson's disease, and he decided to employ nursing aides to look after her.
TunDe receiving a comforting hug from Chris Wright's father. | Photo: youtube.com/Carmen Wright
One aide, TunDe Hector, was exceptionally dedicated to her job, so Wright scheduled a meeting with her. This is when he found out that she was the woman he had assisted years back, immediately tearing up when he realized who she was.
Buelna and Wright will forever hold a special place in Barton and Hector's hearts as the individuals who helped them in a desperate time of need -- a gift no one can take away.