On a cold February day in 1996 in San Antonio, neighborhood dogs started barking furiously at something in an alley. After neighbors realized something was wrong, Elmo Albert discovered a newborn baby in the alley, wrapped in a bloody towel and covered in afterbirth, dirt, and leaves. The dogs had been standing over the baby barking at it.
According to newspaper articles, Mr. Albert saved the baby from the dogs and the baby was transported to a San Antonio hospital. The baby had a dangerously low body temperature and weighed only 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Hospital medical staff determined the baby was three to five weeks premature. His mother never came forward.
A Jewish nurse at the hospital nicknamed the baby “Daniel.” It appeared he would face many challenges.
Liz and Daniel Wright were foster parents. They had been unable to have children of their own but they knew if they had a son, they would call him Daniel.
A caseworker called to schedule a home visit about them continuing to be foster parents in their new home. One month later, shortly after baby Daniel’s discovery, the phone rang.
“You’ll never believe what I’m calling you about,” the caseworker told Liz.
“I already know,” Liz responded. “The Lord told me that you are calling me about the baby I’ve been seeing on the TV.”
The Wrights were granted guardianship when Daniel was 4 days old and started visiting the hospital every day to see baby Daniel, who was in the hospital for a month after his discovery in the alley.
A photo taken at the time shows Mr. Wright holding tiny Daniel during one of their first hospital visits. It seemed ordained by God that the nurse nicknamed him Daniel.
Doctors told the Wrights that baby Daniel was going to be autistic, that he would have trouble with his eyes and speech.
“We did not claim that,” Liz said.
She knew he was going to be a special child, and she was right.
With much love and encouragement, Daniel became passionate about several things. He had a gift for music at an early age and started tinkering on the piano. He took lessons and has won first place in regional competitions three times.
Daniel, now 18 and about to graduate from high school, also is quite an authority about trees and can identify many species and knows their individual characteristics. He can identify a vehicle going down the road just by how it sounds, and can tell you the make and model and how much it weighs.
Daniel loves Camaros, too, as many guys do.
Instead of spending hours on a computer playing games, Daniel looks up facts and statistics. He does not own a cell phone yet, but will shortly, as he will embark on a youth ministry
trip with his church to Tennessee and Georgia.
He is graduating from with a solid B average from Agape Christian Academy -- despite the early prognosis from doctors who thought this child would be affected by his abandonment as a preemie.
With much love and nurturing, Daniel has more than survived the “lion’s den” of abandonment at birth.
He found a home and love, and has flourished and blessed all who come in contact with him. He is a very special young man, indeed.