SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — It was November 1989, when premature baby was found behind a trash bin in a Santa Ana alley after neighbors heard crying.
Newspaper headlines talked about the discovery as the Southland embraced the infant named “Baby Adam” by Michael Buelna, the police officer who found him.
“And I moved some of the trash, and I saw the little baby,” Buelna said. “And I was kind of shocked at first because it’s kind of hard to grasp what I was seeing.”
Buelna picked up the baby, breathed into its little lungs and ran to a nearby paramedic for help, who had a question. “You just had a baby; what are you doing to name him?”
“Adam,” Buelna said. “Because Adam was always one of my favorite names.”
Buelna went on to have a long career in law enforcement, but he always wondered what happened to that baby in the dumpster.
This week, 25 years later, a call came in to a dispatcher in Santa Ana.
This week, two reunited for the first time, the officer and the now young man now named Robin Barton, and they spoke exclusively with CBS2/KCAL9.
“Nice. Wonderful to finally have met you, to see the man who found me first,” Barton said.
That story alone is enough, but there’s more to this tale, a special bond shared by these two that no one could really understand.
Coincidentally, Buelna and four siblings also were abandoned as children by his mother in a twist of fate that led to a lifechanging discovery in that Santa Ana alley.
“I spent over 20 years looking for my mother,” Buelna said. Now, he’s going to help Barton find his. And as a former officer, he has resources to help in the search.
And Barton knows exactly what he want to say to his mother if and when he finds her.
“I don’t blame her, and I’m not angry or upset with her. And that I do forgive her,” Barton said.
Police did find and arrest Barton’s birth mother, who spent several years in prison before being deported.
He does have one clue in his search: Her name was Sabrina Fabiola Diaz, and she would be 45 now.