Azita Milanian was jogging in the foothills of Altadena in Los Angeles County when her dogs started acting strange. When she went to discover what the source of their behavior was, she found something she’d never expected. Now 20 years later, that discovery has changed her life.
13. A Night Jog
Image: Altadena Blog
It was Saturday night in 1998 when Azita Milanian decided to go running in a Los Angeles park. She had been invited to go out dancing but decided to try a new hiking route instead. Good thing too, because if she hadn’t been out there, she wouldn’t have made this amazing discovery.
12. The Discovery
Image: On Air with Ryan
Milanian was jogging with her three Laborador Retrievers when one of her dogs, Tango, was reacting to something on the trial. She was curious and went over to see what Tango had found when he refused to come. The other two dogs joined her. She thought it was an animal but it was something no one would’ve expected: a baby. This discovery shocked her, and she dug on.
11. The Baby
Tango had spotted an infant. He was wrapped in a blue towel. Milanianlifted him up and started to clean the dirt from his face. Where had he come from? She had to get answers.
10. Getting Help
“Please don’t die,” she said to the infant. “I will never leave you. I love you.” Milanian tried to call for emergency help immediately and dialed 911. The call was disconnected several times until finally, she just flagged down a passing motorist. The motorist contacted the local sheriff’s department.
While waiting for the police to arrive, Milanian held the baby. He was a fighter despite his condition, and she was very emotional, but the little one just grabbed her wrist. The infant still had his umbilical cord attached and needed medical attention. The deputies, Darren Harris and Joel Nebel, arrived and took the child’s vital signs. The baby needed paramedics and they requested them immediately. He was rushed to the hospital so doctors could evaluate his condition.
8. At the Hospital
At Huntington Memorial Hospital doctors discovered the baby had hypothermia. Luckily his size helped him survive until Milanian found him, because his body temperature was already 80 degrees. The nurses named the baby “Baby Christian” and soon his story was everywhere. People reading the story across the country were moved by the infant’s heroic rescue and sent money, toys, and other gifts. But what about his rescuer?
7. The Baby Recovers
Milanian visited Baby Christian in the hospital and watched him sleeping soundly. She felt for this helpless infant but she was scared to adopt him as she had appeared on the news. What if someone came to take him away from her? She decided to remain in contact with the infant, if possible.
Milanian tried for a year to see the baby after her initial visit, but was denied. Children’s Services told her a year later that the baby was adopted and she wouldn’t have any contact with him. Now she was left to wonder….what happened to little Baby Christian?
5. Making a Difference
Milanian was inspired to help other children just like Baby Christian so she founded a nonprofit, Children of One Planet. She went on to help many children but one in particular was always on her mind. Meanwhile the police tried to find the mother.
4. No Break in the Case
The police efforts proved unsuccessful but they did get a call. The caller identified herself as the baby’s mother and asked if she was facing charges. She called again to inquire about how the baby was. A reward of $5,000 was offered to no avail.
3. Where Was Christian?
As for Baby Christian, he was named Matthew, and given the middle name Christian by his adoptive parents. He grew up in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, the child of an educator and a police officer. Matthew had a great childhood with fiercely-devoted parents. Then he learned the truth.
2. Sharing His Story
At age 17, a family member told Matthew he was adopted and in 2017, he finally learned he was Baby Christian. Matthew then had his story shared on On Air with Ryan Seacrest and was given a 23andME DNA kit by the producers of the show.Tthey wanted him to reveal the results on-air. He agreed but the producers had another reveal in the wings — just in time for Matthew’s 20th birthday!
1.Meeting His Angel
Producer Patty Rodriguez read the story of Matthew’s rescue and decided to reunite him with his angel, the woman who was jogging that night in 1998. The reunion happened on-air and many tears were shed. Matthew is happy to have been connected with his rescuer. Now he hopes to help Milanian with her nonprofit and even invited her to attend his college graduation. Milanian still can’t believe how she found him all those years ago, and said she even felt sick before she spotted the infant. For all who participated in the reunion, it was a good reminder that there may be forces and higher powers out there.[/caption]