Friday, April 25, 2008

Good news Friday

If you watch the news at all, you know that every segment brings the chance that you'll hear something horrible: Children murdered. Women raped. Babies abused.

We've all heard a story or two about a baby who's been abandoned. Nearly every state has a form of the so-called "Safe Haven" law, allowing birth parents to drop off their newborns in designated locations like fire stations and hospitals with no questions asked. The laws exist to protect babies who might otherwise be left in dangerous locations -- or, inconceivably, simply discarded like trash.

But there were no Safe Haven laws 18 years ago, when Baby Girl Doe, just hours old, was abandoned in a car in Texas. As Providence would have it, Bill Kotch was passing by that day. He discovered the baby and called authorities, who her into state custody. Kotch never knew what became of the little one he rescued from certain death on the morning of April 5, 1990.

But all that changed recently, when Baby Girl Doe -- who was adopted and became Bethany Laroche -- turned 18. She tracked down Kotch, contacted him and asked for a meeting. Kotch agreed and attended her birthday party. He had no way of knowing that he would be the one to end up with a gift.

What happened next will warm your hearts, if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes. See the story here.

This is an example of how certain tragedies can turn into blessings, if only people are determined not to look away. It speaks to the need for us to look out for each other -- and especially for the youngest ones among us.

Florida's safe haven foundation is representative of others around the country. It exists to ensure that no baby will be left to fate, as Bethany Laroche was 18 years ago.

The lives of 98 little ones saved in Florida alone -- so far -- are their enduring legacies.

To find out whether your state has a safe haven law, click here.