Bob Halstead has worn many hats in his native community of Bridgeport, Connecticut; he was once the city councilman, a city planner, and a housing director, to name just a few. But before all of these achievements, Bob was just another young boy more famously known for how often he missed the morning carpool to his Notre Dame high school.
The year was 1968 and it was another one of those mornings when 16-year old Bob was running a little behind. Having missed his ride, Bob took to his own two feet and started heading in the direction of the school from his home on Travis Drive in the North End of the city. When Bob passed a USPS drop-off box on his route, he noticed a small parcel lying outside that looked quite out of place.
Too curious to pass up on this blue hat box, Bob stopped to take a look at what was inside. At first glance, in his young mind, the contents looked no different than a mechanical toy doll with moving parts and blinking eyes. Bob soon realized however that it wasn’t a doll, but a small child left without anyone else around.
Bob, ran back home to get his mom Marie, hoping that she would know what to do. The unknown baby, later called “Baby Susan,” apparently had been abandoned just hours after being born with the umbilical cord still attached. Thanks to Bob missing his ride, Baby Susan ended up being rescued and eventually was adopted into a loving home.
For Bob, years eventually added distance to this amazing and unusual incident, until almost 50-years later, when the grown Susan decided to find out more about her childhood. Research and records eventually lead Susan, now Susan Akie-Mote, to Bob. Thanks to Facebook, all she had to do now was send him a Facebook message!
Bob was more than thrilled to hear from Susan who now was a nurse and a mother of three kids, living in Long Island, NY. The two eventually decided to meet up. Given the gravity of this story, several reporters were on sight to document the amazing reunion almost half a century later. CT Post shared Susan’s emotions right before the meeting:
“A thousand things are going through my head. I can’t believe I’m going to meet Bob, hear the whole story and get to fill in all the blanks in my life. I feel like I’m gaining a family.”
When Bob finally approached, the two gave a long embrace making up for all the years in between. Susan even got to see the original spot where Bob had found that blue hat box. Susan’s emotions spilled through her tears as she remarked:
“My life is right here. This is where it began. This is a lot to take in.”
Making the reunion even more epic was the fact that Bob’s mother Marie, who helped with the rescue is still alive in her early 90s. For Marie, there couldn’t have been a happier ending to the story that began many years ago on an autumn day. Greeting Susan with a “hello darling!” – According to CT Post, Marie had this to say:
“God was running the whole thing.”
The reunion followed with Susan, Bob, and Marie, sitting down on the couch to catch-up on life. Something tells us, there will be many more such meetings!