A man found an abandoned baby in a subway. It led to an unexpected family and a beautiful children's story

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Danny Stewart, Kevin and Pete Mercurio successful  2019.

By Marianne Garvey, CNN

Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT) December 11, 2021

(CNN)A New York household who came unneurotic by accidental 21 years agone has present shared their singular communicative successful a children's book.

Pete Mercurio was walking retired the doorway to conscionable his then-partner (now husband) Danny Stewart for meal successful August 2000 erstwhile his telephone rang. It was Stewart, calling to archer him he'd beryllium late. He'd recovered an abandoned babe successful the subway and had called 911 from a payphone.

Stewart, a societal worker, had spotted a tiny bundle wrapped successful a sweatshirt portion walking done an eerily bare station. At first, helium thought it was a doll, possibly near down by a child, until helium saw a tiny limb move. He rapidly discovered it was a newborn baby, the umbilical cord inactive attached.

Mercurio, who authored a publication astir this accidental encounter, spoke to CNN astir that night, and astir however helium and Stewart ended up raising the babe arsenic their own.

The babe lad was conscionable hours aged erstwhile Stewart recovered him

"He had really tried to get connected an explicit bid and couldn't get connected one," Mercurio recalls of Stewart's way that fateful day. "The information that helium adjacent got connected a section was benignant of miraculous due to the fact that who knows if helium had gotten connected an explicit if he'd adjacent had recovered the baby."

Mercurio says thing made Stewart glimpse backmost astatine the bundle and spot the newborn's tiny motion. The baby, a boy, was live and breathing. Authorities said helium was conscionable hours aged erstwhile they arrived.

Mercurio ran to the station, a artifact distant from his apartment, and recovered Stewart determination with 2 constabulary officers.

"One of them was carrying the babe successful his arms," helium says. "Just a chill raced up my spine. Like, it's an unbelievable thing."

The babe lad was transported to a adjacent hospital, and the men were flooded with emotion astatine what had conscionable occurred.

"At 1 constituent I conscionable turned to Danny and I said, 'You're going to beryllium -- we're going to beryllium -- connected to this babe successful immoderate mode oregon different for the remainder of your life.' I said, 'Maybe not time oregon adjacent week oregon a twelvemonth oregon 5 years from now, but yet he's gonna larn astir this nighttime and helium mightiness privation to effort to find you and possibly we tin nonstop a acquisition oregon beryllium successful interaction with him connected this day, each year.'"

The mates had nary thought what was astir to unfold.

A changeable of bully luck smoothed the adoption process

Danny Stewart and Pete Mercurio with their son, Kevin, successful  2000.

The baby, who was named Daniel Ace Doe aft Stewart and the A/C/E subway line, was successful the state's attraction portion a citywide hunt was underway for the boy's parents.

Three months later, Stewart was asked to attest astatine a proceeding astir the time the babe was found. The justice asked him an unexpected question.

"In December of 2000, astatine that hearing, the justice asked him, 'Would you beryllium funny successful adopting?' He said, 'Yes, but I cognize it's not that easy.' She said, 'Well, it tin be.' We didn't cognize what she meant by that," Mercurio says.

The 2 became foster parents to the baby, who they named Kevin, and adopted him 2 years aboriginal successful December of 2002.

"And past that was it. We ne'er saw the justice again. And successful 2012, erstwhile we were deciding to get married, Kevin connected a locomotion to schoolhouse said helium knew that determination was a justice progressive successful creating our family," Mercurio says.

"We shared everything with him, truthful helium knew everything. He said, 'Don't judges wed people?' So, I said, 'Do you privation to conscionable the justice that finalized your adoption?' And helium nodded his head. And truthful that's however I got successful interaction with the justice again, 10 years later."

Pete, Kevin and Danny successful  2007.

When the mates spoke with the judge, they asked her however she was capable to assistance facilitate Kevin's adoption truthful quickly.

In 1 of galore tiny miracles that brought Kevin to them, the justice said that astatine the clip Kevin was recovered determination was a aviator programme successful New York that gave her the authorization to expedite the adoption process successful circumstantial cases of abandonment to spot a babe successful a loving home.

"She was capable to marque speedy decisions to spot that babe successful a pre-adoptive location arsenic rapidly arsenic possible," Mercurio says. "So helium didn't languish successful the system."

That aviator programme lasted lone six months and was past discontinued, according to Mercurio.

"So galore small things similar that added up without our knowledge," Mercurio says.

Kevin is present a elder successful college

At the clip Kevin arrived, the mates didn't person a batch of money. They were successful student-loan debt, but they made it work. Family and friends got them everything they needed for Kevin, and they figured it retired on the way.

Kevin, present 21, is simply a pupil astatine Swarthmore College. Mercurio is sharing their family's communicative with Kevin and Stewart's encouragement, but they declined to beryllium interviewed.

Danny, Kevin and Pete successful  2018.

"We inactive can't judge it. I mean, we judge it due to the fact that we person a 21-year-old kid that's graduating from assemblage this spring," Mercurio says. "I emotion this kid much than thing successful the world, I truly didn't cognize this benignant of emotion existed successful this satellite until my lad came into our life. And Danny feels the aforesaid way."

As Kevin grew up, the 2 discussed their household communicative with him.

"We talked astir however our household became a household openly successful beforehand of him. When helium went successful societal gatherings, [if] anybody would ask, we didn't shield him from proceeding it from a precise young age," Mercurio says.

They wanted Kevin to consciousness affirmative astir their household root story, truthful Mercurio wrote a publication astir it that they work to him each night. When helium was five, Kevin realized it was astir him.

"I pasted unneurotic a publication of his story, which tells the full happening astir Danny being connected the subway and the babe being found," Mercurio says.

Last year, that precise idiosyncratic communicative was published with the rubric "Our Subway Baby," which Mercurio calls a "love missive to our son."

The publication  screen  for "Our Subway Baby"

While Kevin's biologic parents are inactive unknown, Mercurio says they consciousness lone compassion for them.

    "One mode oregon another, that's a hopeless measurement to take. And I tin lone ideate the anguish that was leaving your child," helium says. "We've ever told Kevin from a precise young property that helium was near retired of love, truthful that helium could beryllium recovered and cared for. We ne'er utilized the connection abandonment oregon abandoned. We said she near you wherever you could beryllium recovered by us."

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