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 Twin Babies abandoned in Church vestibule

(I don't know why I felt compelled to post this.....I'm at a library computer so I cant post up the photo of these twin blessings....lets just pray they get adopted by a wonderful set of parents...please pray that with me....neil)


Church finds twin miracle in vestibule

By Dave Wischnowsky
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 22, 2005


Employees at North Austin Lutheran Church on the city's West Side found themselves celebrating a Christmas season birth besides Jesus' on Wednesday morning when a baby carrier containing twin newborns was discovered inside the church's vestibule.

The healthy babies--a 6-pound, 6-ounce boy and a 5-pound girl who doctors say are no more than 2 days old--were still attached to their umbilical cords.

The staff at Oak Park's West Suburban Medical Center, where the infants were taken, named them Baby Joseph and Baby Mary.

"That's terrific," said Rev. Thetis Cromie of North Austin Lutheran. "You can bet that I'll be saying something about Joseph and Mary during my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sermons."

A custodian at the church spotted a blue-and-white baby carrier with its lid shut about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. The carrier was sitting inside the unlocked front door of the church at 1500 N. Mason Ave.

After alerting a secretary to his discovery, the custodian took the unopened baby carrier to Doris Holden, director of North Austin Head Start School, which is attached to the church building.

"The custodian and the secretary brought the carrier to me and said, `We have a Christmas present for you,' " Holden said. "I thought they were joking. But I opened the carrier and uncovered [the babies'] faces and saw them. I was in shock, total shock. I just started crying."

Swaddled in a blanket and dressed in blue outfits, brother and sister were sound asleep, she said.

"And they were warm. They hadn't been there very long. Not long at all," Holden said. "One of them opened its eyes a little bit, and later the other one spit up. So they had been fed, too."

Holden called 911, and within 10 minutes emergency officials and police officers arrived. After church employees were questioned, the infants were taken in good condition to West Suburban Medical Center.

Joseph and Mary are the first set of twins abandoned and found together in Chicago since at least 2001, when the state's "safe haven" law went into effect, said Diane Jackson, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Under the law, parents can leave their unharmed baby, 3 days old or younger, at a hospital, emergency medical facility, staffed fire station or police station in Illinois and walk away with no questions asked, Jackson said. But because Joseph and Mary were not left at one of the designated locations, the law does not apply, she said.

"Perhaps, whoever left them thought it was a safe haven," Jackson said. "But it was illegal where they were dropped off."

Chicago police and DCFS are investigating the abandonment, but officials said Wednesday they had no immediate leads. The twins' parents could face criminal charges, police spokesman Pat Camden said.

But the parents' intent will also be taken into consideration.

Employees at North Austin Lutheran Church and Head Start School were at a loss as to who the parents might be, although Cromie suspects the mother and father are familiar with the church.

"I have a feeling that whoever took the babies there knows a little bit about the church and how things work there," Cromie said. She added that the door to the church's vestibule, where the children were found, is not usually open in the morning.

"It's not clear as to how it was unlocked," she said. "I don't know if an individual left it unlocked or what. But ordinarily it's not."

Joseph and Mary will remain at West Suburban until at least Thursday, said Jackson, at which point they will either be placed into a foster home or put up for adoption at a facility.

Cromie had mixed emotions about the abandoned infants, which she said was a first for her church.

"I'm upset, but at the same time I'm very happy that they were brought to our church," she said. " ... The whole thing does seem kind of in the season and Christmasy.

"I'm just glad that both Mary and Joseph are doing OK."

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[email protected] [url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0512220237dec22,1,5530017.story?coll=chi-news-hed]Twins abandoned[/url]

 2005/12/22 17:07









 Re: Twin Babies abandoned in Church vestibule

Quote:
I don't know why I felt compelled to post this.....

I think it speaks for itself. (You have a tender heart, really.)

Quote:
The healthy babies--a 6-pound, 6-ounce boy and a 5-pound girl who doctors say are no more than 2 days old--were still attached to their umbilical cords.

That's all to the good, if it's not for too long. That's one reason they are in good condition, praise the Lord!

I've got to say though, calling the babies Mary and Joseph is really quite 'original' for today.

 2005/12/23 6:37









 Re: Calls pour in!!

( as we know....Jesus answers the prayers of the saints.)

Abandoned, but not alone
Offers of aid pour in for newborn twins

By Dave Wischnowsky
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 23, 2005


The phones were ringing constantly Thursday at an Oak Park hospital and two state agencies with calls from people offering to help Baby Joseph and Baby Mary, the twin newborns found abandoned early Wednesday morning at a church on Chicago's West Side.

"They're our own little celebrities," said Molly Gaus, a spokeswoman with West Suburban Medical Center, where the infants remained in good condition Thursday night. "We've received at least 40 phone calls and e-mails today from people interested in adopting them or wanting to donate money, toys and blankets."

Joseph and Mary, named by the staff at West Suburban, were found about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday when a custodian at North Austin Lutheran Church, 1500 N. Mason Ave., spotted a baby carrier containing them inside the church's vestibule.

Twenty-four hours later, phone calls from as far away as California also started pouring in to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services office in Chicago as people expressed interest in adopting the twins, spokeswoman Kimberly Broome said.

"We're not keeping a running tally, but we've had numerous calls," Broome said.

DCFS officials told the callers that prospective adoptive parents must first become a licensed foster parent--a process that on average takes 3 to 6 months--and then directed those still interested to the Adoption Information Center of Illinois.

About 20 people on Thursday called the Adoption Information Center about the twins, spokeswoman DeAudrey Davis said. Half of them requested the paperwork needed to become a licensed foster parent, she said.

Joseph and Mary will remain at the hospital as DCFS officials search for family members, Davis said. If no one is found, the twins will then be placed in a foster home or put up for adoption, she said.

Officials reported no new developments in the search for the twins' parents, who could face criminal charges after violating Illinois' safe haven law. But the parents' intent would also be taken into consideration, police spokesman Pat Camden said.

"They weren't left in an alley, they were left inside a church," he said. "There are a whole lot of issues that come into play."

Under the law, parents can leave their unharmed baby, 3 days old or younger, at a hospital, emergency medical facility, staffed fire station or police station in Illinois and walk away with no questions asked, DCFS officials said.

Churches are not designated safe havens, and that fact sparked debate.

"I know there are rules and laws about where children can be dropped off, but I hope they don't find anything [criminal] against the parents," said Rev. Thetis Cromie, of North Austin Lutheran.

Dawn Geras, president of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation of Illinois, said the safe haven law needs to be enforced, no matter the circumstances.

"If we say it's OK this time, then what about the next time that babies are abandoned at a church where they don't get found?" Geras said. "We need to emphasize that infants can be legally left at a designated safe haven and that parents can remain anonymous."

Cromie argued that some parents unwilling or unable to keep an infant may feel more comfortable approaching a church rather than a fire or police station to drop them off.

"My suspicion would be that some people don't see the fire department and police department as neutral grounds," Cromie said.

Geras, however, doesn't believe that fear is the reason some parents abandon babies in locations not designated as safe havens. Rather, it's ignorance.

"It's hard to know, but on the basis of what I've been able to ask people, 90-plus percent just don't know about the safe haven law," Geras said. "... Everyone needs to continue to talk about this. I encourage people to step forward and make sure people know about the law."


 2005/12/23 20:34





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