They saw her inside an egg carton box, abandoned in the cold and frost. The temperature had dropped to -4ºF in the village of Sosnovka near Novosibirsk, Siberia. Five teenagers taking a walk on Orthodox Christmas Day became agents of Divine Providence for a barely 3-day-old newborn girl, who was in danger of freezing to death.
A newborn abandoned in the cold
It was the late afternoon of January 7, when Orthodox Christians were celebrating Christmas in Russia, when the five teenagers went for a walk. Almost like shepherds in a modern Nativity scene, they found themselves contemplating a tiny baby in the cold. They could hardly believe their eyes, but yes, they had found a cardboard box with a tiny baby girl inside. The boys’ parents were the first to help with the rescue and told reporters about the scene.
“It was already dark, [the kids] were shining their phones, looking at what was in the box,” said Mr. Litvinov, the father of one of the boys, to Russian news outlet NGS, as reported by the BBC. The British news outlet continues:
Inside was a baby girl left with a rag-like blanket and a bottle, he added.
He and his wife Anna were called to the scene by their son, Renat. They took the baby by car to a city hospital.
The fear was that the baby girl, who is believed to have been about three days old when she was found, might have suffered frostbite and would not survive.
Among the many striking details of this story is the darkness in which it took place. The risk of death was sky high; one can’t help seeing here the gentle yet powerful help of a guardian angel. In addition to the merciless cold that had reached -4ºF, there was also the onset of darkness. As night fell, the light from the cell phones of five teenagers became providential.
“A newborn abandoned in the cold of Siberia” — it seems like a script with a tragic ending as a foregone conclusion. But no. We can tell this story to our children to remind them that where they are and how they act makes a difference.
The missing piece of the story: the mother
There is, however, one piece of the story that remains in the dark: the police are investigating who the parents of the newborn baby girl are. How could a newborn baby, so fragile and exposed to the polar cold, be abandoned like that? It’s the question we’re all asking. We don’t know the answer, and we must refrain from making snap judgments.
The race to adopt
The BBC continues the story:
Upon arriving at the hospital, a doctor quickly examined the baby and warmed her by gently rubbing her arms and legs, a statement by the regional health ministry said.
The girl turned pink and was found to be healthy, and was later transferred to a children’s hospital where she is now being cared for.
To resist and recover from being exposed to almost polar cold temperatures is an incredible test of strength. However, newborns are accustomed to breaking our stereotypes about their fragility. Life is capable of surprises that fly in the face of the increasingly icy calculations made at the expense of the fragile and weak.
The last providential element of this story was the readiness with which the family that promptly intervened in the rescue was also ready to apply for the adoption of the little girl. Mr. and Mrs. Litvinov already have three boys, one of whom is among the teens who were the protagonists of the sensational discovery. They immediately expressed their desire to adopt the newborn.
For now, the initiation of the adoption process is pending because authorities are trying to trace the family of the child, in an attempt to find some biological relatives.
We can find inspiration in this story: In the middle of life’s journey, when everything speaks of darkness and death, each of us waits for an encounter that will reverse the course of our lives.