Woman abandoned in Fairfax as a baby finds her rescuers

Twenty years ago, two teenagers found an abandoned baby on a doorstep in Fairfax County. Earlier this month, they received a message on Facebook from a college student Mia Fleming, looking to say thanks.
By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christopher Astle and Emily Yanich were teenage pals strolling back from a 7-Eleven that afternoon in late summer -- two ordinary kids on an ordinary Wednesday after school -- when they found the abandoned baby.

It was Sept. 6, 1989. They discovered the newborn wrapped in towels at the front door of a townhouse in their Fairfax County complex and took the infant to Emily's, where her stepfather called police.

The whole thing was over pretty quickly. The authorities took the baby girl, who was later adopted. Chris and Emily, both 15, went on with their lives, although Emily often cried when she told people the story, and the two called each other every Sept. 6.

Twenty years passed.

Then, on Dec. 2, a college student named Mia Fleming sent them both a message via Facebook: Might they be the same Chris and Emily who had once found a baby left at a stranger's door?

If so, she just wanted to say thanks.

After all these years, the little girl they had found had found them.

The story of Mia, Chris and Emily, recounted by the three over the past few days, is a nativity narrative for modern times. There were no heavenly hosts that warm afternoon in 1989, just the distant ambulance sirens after the call to 911. But the event seemed blessed all the same.

Chris and Emily, both now 35, stayed close friends as they grew up, moved and married, bound by their rescue of the baby.

Mia, once she learned her story, never forgot them, and after numerous tries over several years managed at last, through the power of the Internet, to track them down. "I didn't know how they would feel," she said.

Emily said: "It's like a miracle. . . . My heart is filled now. There was always a little spot missing. "

Chris said, "It's the best Christmas present I have ever gotten."

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