MERCED, Calif. — A couple in California is seeking to adopt a baby that they have named “Milagro,” Spanish for “Miracle,” after they helped save her life when she was discovered in a dumpster by their apartment.
Jimmy and Annette Alvarez told reporters this week that at approximately 5:45 a.m. last Thursday, a man who was looking for recyclables in the trash spotted a newborn baby in the dumpster outside of their apartment building in Merced. He began to call out for help, and the couple rushed to the scene upon hearing his cry. They discovered the newborn baby girl with her umbilical cord still attached. She was barely alive.
“There were flies, gnats, all kinds of trash, and I said, ‘She can’t be like that,'” Jimmy Alvarez told local television station KCRA.
He took off his shirt and used it to lift the baby out of the dumpster. Annette then began to stimulate the child.
“She was cold and she wasn’t really moving, but as soon as I was rubbing her and getting her warmed up, she gasped for air and cried,” she stated. “I think she was going to die if we had not found her.”
Jimmy then called 911.
Police state that the baby had likely been in the dumpster for just under an hour. Her mother is a 13-year-old girl who lives in the same apartment building as the couple who saved her, but is not being identified because of her age. Authorities, who have placed the girl into the care of Child Protective Services, are investigating to see whether or not she was being sexually abused. She has allegedly admitted to disposing of her newborn daughter in the dumpster.
“We don’t know if the mother at this point in time could have been a victim of child molestation, so we have to determine whether that’s the case or not yet, so we have to look at all the factors,” Capt. Tom Trindad of the Merced Police Department told ABC News.
Jimmy and Annette Alvarez state that it is unthinkable that anyone would place their child in the trash.
“Nobody having a child—-[if] you don’t want it, take it somewhere, knock on somebody’s door, ‘Here, I don’t want it,’” Jimmy said.
California has a “Safely Surrendered” law, which allows mothers to drop off their newborn babies at locations such as hospitals and police departments with no questions asked.
The couple, which has cared for foster children before, and has 37 grandchildren and great grandchildren, state that they would like to adopt little Milagro as their own.
“All weekend we’ve been trying to figure out how we’re going to go about adopting her,” Annette told reporters.
“I still have that picture of her little face in my mind,” Jimmy said.
While the Alvarez’ aren’t the only couple interested in adopting the baby, they are attending local meetings to learn more about the next steps for those wishing to make Milagro a part of their family. They have already bought a bag of baby clothes as a gift for the little girl who is in temporary foster custody.
“If you would have held her, you wouldn’t want to let her go,” Annette stated. “You’d be fighting for her, too.”