Santa Ana officer Michael Buelna could never have anticipated how a freezing night in 1989 would alter the course of his life. But 25 years later, the story of that life-altering evening has only just begun!
Every cop goes through some wild, heartbreaking, and overwhelming experiences while on the job. Many have a few events which stick with them over the extent of their lives. For Michael Buelna, a Santa Ana officer, his life was altered by an odd complaint: noises coming from a dumpster. At the time, he had no idea just how transformative his find would be!
On a freezing night in 1989, Buelna was reviewing a crime scene in Santa Ana. As he rounded the corner in his cruiser, he was alarmed to find a crowd of terrified locals. They desperately captured the officers' attention and directed him to a horrifying squealing sound in an alley across the street. When Buelna went to investigate, he couldn't believe what he found.
When concerned citizens told Buelna that the noise sounded like a crying baby, he was reluctant to believe them. He hoped the ruckus was nothing more than an agitated cat. Still, he asked the locals to help him pinpoint the noise's source. When Buelna began to search through the dumpsters, he couldn't comprehend what he uncovered.
A horrified Buelna found a baby stuffed beneath several pieces of trash. The child was itty-bitty, incredibly dirty, and terrified. Even more shocking: it still had its umbilical cord attached. It was a newborn! Buelna immediately scooped the infant out of the garbage, but he knew he had to act fast if the baby had a shot at surviving.
Although Buelna called an ambulance, the poor infant's breath was growing weaker by the minute. In an effort to keep the child alive, Buelna performed mouth-to-mouth on them. When medical help arrived, Buelna continued to cradle the infant in the ambulance all the way to the hospital. The paramedics allowed him to name the child: Adam. Thankfully, the little boy survived. Still, Buelna wasn't ready to say goodbye.
Buelna constantly visited Adam in the hospital to monitor his progress. Their bond grew strong, and Buelna began to look into the idea of adopting the child he saved. However, the process would be lengthy, and another prospective family had their eyes on the infant. When a sweet couple beat him to the adoption, Buelna was both happy and heartbroken. Little did he know that his life-saving actions would lead Adam back to him!
Adam was adopted by a nurturing, loving couple: Elizabeth Barton and Daniel Fernandez. In order to give the baby boy a fresh start, they decided to rename him: Robin. As Robin grew up, his parents made sure he thrived in the present moment and stayed unaware of his rocky past. However, as he grew older, Robin began to question his childhood.
In his twenties, Robin's parents finally decided to reveal their adoptive son's past of abandonment to him. Though he was surprised, he was grateful to Elizabeth and Daniel for providing him with such a happy home. However, when he learned of the cop who saved him, he knew he couldn't reserve all of his gratitude for them. He set out on a mission to find and thank the cop who rescued him!
After dozens of visits and phone calls to the Santa Ana Police Department, Robin finally got ahold of Buelna's number. They arranged to meet in person at Buelna's home. His adoptive parents recorded the remarkably emotional moment that Buelna and Robin were reunited. "Thank you for saving my life," Robin told him. Buelna cried into Robin's arms and admitted that he wouldn't have changed a thing about the rescue.
After their initial reunion, the two have continued to keep in touch. Buelna even helped Robin track down his birth father, who has since formed a bond with the incredible young man! Since his tumultuous birth, Robin's life had been filled with miracles. Buelna couldn't be more grateful for who the baby he saved has grown up to be!