Kristopher © Images Courtesy of A Safe Haven for Newborns
By Nick E. Silverio, Founder, A Safe Haven for Newborns
At the time of this writing, our program has already managed to save close to 400 newborns. That is, lives that would have been tragically lost if not for the existence of A Safe Haven for Newborns and its commitment and dedication to saving lives. I believe every life is precious, and it is heartwarming to see these special children being given a chance to grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
These infants, who would have otherwise been abandoned, are now happy, growing up in loving families, developing and learning as they should, and reaching for the stars. Who knows what these Safe Haven babies will make of their lives? Maybe one day, one of them will discover a cure for a dreadful disease or become a Supreme Court Justice! Perhaps there are great artists and scholars among them. Or most importantly, they will grow up to be wonderful mothers and fathers to their future children.
The Story of Gloria Hope
It began as an uneventful morning at a Florida Fire Station, but that all changed when the doorbell rang. There stood a young woman looking frightened and exhausted. Her face was streaked with tears, and she was holding something very tightly, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket.
“I want to leave her in a Safe Haven,” she told the firefighter. “It is the only way. Please take good care of her.” She kissed the baby, placed her in his arms, and left.
Before surrendering her baby, the young mother called our 24/7 confidential helpline requesting assistance. Two days later, she called again and informed us that she had two letters that she would like us to give to the adoptive parents. She addressed one to the parents, and the other was to be read to the baby, now called Gloria Hope, at an appropriate time.
I met the birth mother at a church, and it was a very emotional meeting. The message to Gloria Hope was: “…you may think I didn’t love you because I gave you up, but that’s exactly why I did it. I didn’t have a future, and I wanted you to have one.” Gloria Hope is now 19 years old and a beautiful child inside and out.
Meet Gloria Hope:
“Hi, I am Gloria Hope Lewis, and I love my family. We live on a campground with our three dogs. I love school, singing, and learning to play the guitar, and I’m an avid reader. We go to church, and I love all of my friends there. I even help my mom teach Sunday school. The little ones are so much fun. My middle name came from the firemen when my tummy mommy courageously took me to the fire station on Father’s Day, and my family is forever grateful to A Safe Haven for Newborns and to my Uncle Nick.”
The Story of Kristopher
One day, I was contacted by an intermediary for a mother who was inquiring about the Safe Haven program. I came to take the baby and arrange for him to be placed immediately with an adoption attorney. Kristopher was placed in a loving family and is truly a blessing to all that know him.
“My name is Kristopher Michael. I am so very thankful for A Safe Haven for Newborns. My birthmother decided to leave me in a safe place instead of leaving me in a dangerous place. I want my tummy mom to know that I pray for her. I love my mom and dad very much, and my life is super cool. I have many friends, I love playing soccer and baseball, and I take Tae Kwon Do and guitar lessons.
When I grow up, there are many things I want to do. Some of my top things are to travel the entire world, be an astronaut, be a professional soccer player, or possibly be the President of the United States. Because of A Safe Haven for Newborns, my world is limitless. To my Uncle Nick, I want you to know that you are my hero, and I love you for all you do to help babies that would not have a life if you didn’t care as much as you do. I will thank God for you all my life.”
Ali Dolan, Abandoned at birth and now A Safe Haven for Newborns Spokesperson
Meet Ali Dolan
“On February 2, 1987, in the early morning hours, two kids on their way to school stumbled across a six-pack Budweiser box in a trash-strewn alley. After kicking the box around for a while and letting it come to rest, they noticed that it started moving. Shortly after, they heard little cries coming from within. Upon opening the tiny box, they saw an infant girl wrapped in a white towel with pieces of umbilical cord still attached. The baby was just hours old and in a state of hypothermia.
These brave young boys brought the infant to their apartment, and with adult assistance, they took the baby to the nearest hospital. The baby received medical attention, and after it was declared stable, it was soon placed in a foster home. That baby had a chance at life due to sheer luck. That baby was me.
I have known since the age of five that I was adopted, but it wasn’t until I was 12 that I learned I was an abandoned baby. I have struggled with questions of heritage and an overall thirst for knowledge about my birth parents. Although many questions are unanswered, I know I have been loved unconditionally by my adoptive parents, who gave me a wonderful life and helped shape me into who I am today. Coming to terms with the fact that I may never find answers to many of my questions was hard, but I also began to understand I didn’t need the answers to live a positive life.
A desperate mother back in the 1980s hid their pregnancy until birth, then disposed of the child wherever they could, burying their secret. A Safe Haven for Newborns did not exist to offer help or protect the mother’s privacy; both baby and mother were in danger because they had nowhere to turn.
Today, completely innocent and helpless babies will have a chance to be loved and grow up in caring families. And maybe one tiny life saved through A Safe Haven for Newborns finds a cure for cancer and impacts the lives of millions, possibly billions of people.
As Nick often says: ‘If we saved only one innocent baby from abandonment, all of our efforts would be worthwhile.’ Just imagine, A Safe Haven for Newborns has saved almost 400 babies from abandonment. Now each one of them has a future! But it doesn’t stop here. Thousands of calls come in every year from desperate mothers-to-be asking for help, and we are there to answer every call with compassion and care every day, 24/7. But it’s not over. There is still work to be done. We aim to eliminate infant abandonment and never see one single baby left behind.
I think of how badly my parents wanted to have a child and how they loved me. There are people all over the world waiting to adopt a baby because they are unable to conceive. So you see, it’s not just about saving a life; A Safe Haven for Newborns is also about creating families.
This life-saving program ensures the newborns’ safety and the parents’ confidentiality. I want to work tirelessly to ensure what happened to me does not happen to another baby—ever.”
We do not charge for any of our services so please consider supporting our mission to save the lives of the most innocent and helpless among us, newborns.
Lives are being saved due to the strong Safe Haven alliance and partnerships with hospitals and Fire and EMS stations working to receive a Safe Haven Baby, coupled with protecting the anonymity of the parent(s) as the law allows.