The time was around eight on 28 August 2000: Danny Stewart, 34 years old, was late for dinner with his partner, Pete Mercurio, 32 years old.
He was rushing to his partner in the New York subway station.
When he is passing the subway, he saw something lying on the floor. An Infant was wrap in a sweatshirt, nestled into a corner of the subway station exit.
He was shocked at first and thought it was a doll — until he noticed it moving.
He thought maybe there was someone nearby who knew what was going on and search the area for information. But he was unable to find anything.
He was in a state of disbelief, thinking how it is possible to happen something like this. A baby boy is lying on the floor of the subway, but no one is around him.
As soon as he came to reality, he ran to a phone booth and called 911 to inform about the baby. Before ringing, he makes sure the boy was breathing and moving. He rang his boyfriend and told him the situation.
Cops came and took the infant to St. Vincents Hospital in stable condition. His umbilical cord still partially intact. Just before the cops went, Mercurio arrived at the spot. When he saw the baby, he told Stewart, You know, you may be related to that baby in some way for the rest of your life.
Eventually, this child may learn of the night he has found, and he may want to look at the person who found him. Maybe there is a way we can find out where he ends up and send a birthday gift every year on this date.
Stewart did not think it would happen like that. Once, he searched for the baby at St. Vincents but could not find a sign.
So the couple continued their regular lives, Danny to his position as a social worker and Pete as a screenwriter and web designer.
After few months, in December, he got an invitation from the Administration for Children Services to attend a family court hearing, to testify how he had found the baby.
After his testimony, the judge asked him to stay for the entire hearing. At the end of the hearing, the judge turned to him and asked, Mr. Danny, Would you be interested in adopting this baby?
For a moment, he has freeze without thoughts. He said yes to the judge.
But before discovering the child in the subway, Danny and his boyfriend have never thought to start a family. Mercurio initially opposed the idea. But Stewart managed to convince him otherwise.
I felt like this was not even an opportunity; it was a present, and how can you say no to this award, Stewart told the BBC.
The adoption process took six to nine months and included background investigations and parenting preparation.
At a December court trial, the judge asked if they would like to spend Christmas with the child. Two days after the hearing, they went to pick up the baby. The baby was wrapped in a blistering rash and remained scrunched in a fetal position.
They treated him and sheltered him with their whole heart. The baby boy was named Kevin. Adopted parents never get a chance to talk with boy Kevin birth mom.
Today, Kevin is 20, in college, studying mathematics and computing.
In September, Mercurio published a children’s book about Kevin’s story as “Our Subway Baby.”
He gifted it to Kevin while dropping him off at the college. A week after boy texted his father and said,
I am so proud of this book. Now, the boy doesn’t want to explain his story to others. He just kept this book corner of the desk in his dorm.
When his dorm mates come to talk, they see the book and understand Kevin’s story without verbalizing it by the boy.
The couple moved from Harlem to Chelsea, and still, they get emotional while passing the subway where they found Kevin. They named it ‘Kevin’s corner.” Since then, the couple is in touch with the judge who gave them the boy. When in 2011, New York legalized gay marriage, she was the one who officiated their wedding.
She attended Kevin’s’ graduation ceremony and even exchange holiday cards every December.
Now Kevin is a grown man. And the adopted parents, whenever remind the day, say they cannot believe the destiny of finding him all alone.