A New York couple is sharing the amazing and heartwarming story of how they discovered a day-old baby in a New York subway station, according to a Feb. 28 New York Times report. Peter Mercurio and his husband Daniel Stewart take readers on a beautiful journey of love, hope and family, 12 years later, as they reunite with the judge who sealed the family union together for the second time, by presiding at their wedding.
Stewart was returning home from work in August 2000 when he saw what he thought was a doll on a stairway in the subway station; upon second glance, he realized he was looking at a very new baby; one so new that the umbilical cord was still attached.
The social worker inside of him kicked into full gear and he called the police, and then Mercurio. “Danny called me that day, frantic. ‘I found a baby!’ he shouted. ‘I called 911, but I don’t think they believed me. No one’s coming. I don’t want to leave the baby alone. Get down here and flag down a police car or something.’”
Mercurio said he knew something big was going on for Stewart to be so frantic, adding, “so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run.” He arrived to find a baby who was “light-brown skinned and quiet, probably about a day old, wrapped in an oversize black sweatshirt.”
The weeks that followed were a blur for the couple with media interviews for Stewart, who had become somewhat of a media sensation for saving a baby’s ACE’s life, as he was nicknamed. Three months later, Stewart testified in Family court of the events surrounding discovery of baby ACE, the judge suddenly asked, surprising Stewart and everyone in the courtroom, “Would you be interested in adopting this baby?” Stewart, without blinking or a thought of whether Mercurio would agree, said, simply, “Yes.”
It would a while, but Mercurio finally got on board the baby ACE train. “I had convinced myself I could not, and would not, become inextricably attached. I didn’t trust the system and was sure there would be obstacles. But with the baby’s eyes staring up at me, and all the innocence and hope he represented, I, like Danny, was completely hooked.”
The caseworker told the couple it could take up to nine months to finalize the adoption, but a week later, the judge surprised them again. “A week later, when Danny and I appeared in front of the judge to officially state our intention to adopt, she asked, 'Would you like him for the holiday?'” The stunned couple could not believe their luck.
“She couldn't have meant Christmas, which was only a few days away. And yet, once again, in unison this time, we said yes. The judge grinned and ordered the transition of the baby into our custody. Our nine-month window of thoughtful preparation was instantly compacted to a mere 36 hours. We were getting a baby for Christmas.”
11 years later they would meet again. New York State passed a bill allowing same sex couples to legally marry. ACE, now named Kevin, asked his parents to let the judge who confirmed his adoption marry them. She said yes. They said yes.
“We weren’t supposed to be there, two men, with a son we had never dreamed of by our side, getting married by a woman who changed and enriched our lives more than she would ever know. But there we were, thanks to a fateful discovery and a judicious hunch.”
For inquiries, please contact email@example.com.