CHICAGO — It is a full circle moment three decades in the making.
This story is called this one lost and found. A young mother, lost after delivering a tiny baby, found a way to give that child a bright future. And the baby found her purpose in life back at the very spot where she was left in 1992.
Nestor Hermogino started each shift at Ascension Saint Mary in Chicago at the hospital chapel.
“I pray for everyone,” he said. “My kids, my family.”
He worked at the hospital at the West Side hospital as a secretary in the ICU.
On March 20, 1992, he was in the chapel when he discovered an infant, wrapped in a blanket.
“And I say ‘Wow, it’s a baby! It’s a baby!’” he said.
The infant left in the hospital chapel made the news.
Enter Ivorye and Donald Riesterer.
“I fell in love with that baby I didn’t even know her,” Ivorye Riesterer said.
The former teacher and her husband, a retired police officer, did know they wanted to add to their family. With two grown sons, Donald Riesterer said they were considering adoption.
“And I always wanted a daughter,” Ivorye Riesterer said.
They named their newly adopted daughter Logan Nicole and brought her to their home on Chicago’s South Side 31 years ago.
“Even though we didn’t know who my birth family was I’ve always had an amazing, amazing family and amazing parents,” Logan Riesterer said.
“And we did everything we were supposed to,” Donald Riesterer said. ”The family embraced us. The neighborhood embraced us.”
“I had a happy childhood,” Logan Riesterer said. “They’ve always supported me in making sure I knew where I came from. I knew my story.”
But that’s not where her story ends.
“We said we need a good education,” Donald Riesterer said. “She was going through school (we would ask her) ‘What would you like to be when you grow up?’”
“I always wanted to be in the medical field,” Logan Riesterer said. “This was actually my very first nursing job. (I) actually came my first day of orientation into the chapel and I walked in and felt like I had always been here, like I’d seen it before this wave of familiarity came over me. It felt like home in a way.”
In fact, it was her first home. She started two years ago working Ascension Saint Mary, just four floors up from Hermogino.
“I felt good that I found her, that I was part of it,” Hermogino said.
“When I first met Nestor I couldn’t believe it,” Logan Riesterer said. “This is where I’m starting out my nursing career, something I’ve wanted to do for years and years and years. And it’s all kind of coming full circle and now I’m here. … How amazing is that, that somebody who comes here (to the chapel) every day, the nicest man in the world, he is the one that found me here.”
Her blanket and the tiny dress she was wearing when found have been carefully kept over the years.
“I was healthy, I was warm, I was dressed up. I was loved,” she said. “They could have left me anywhere.”
She hopes her birth parents are proud of her, too.
“There’s always that question of where are they now? Are they ok? Are they still around? Are they still with us?” she said. “If I met them today, (I would say) ‘Hi, this is how I turned out. I hope it’s what you dreamed of.’ … I’m just so grateful, just so grateful for all of this.”
When Logan Riesterer started working at the hospital, it was her fellow nurses who connected the dots and helped reunite her with Hermogino who is now retired. A beautiful connection indeed.