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For most of us, childhood is a time of love and growth where we are guided by our parents and sculpted by caring hands.

Unfortunately, of course, this is not the case for everyone.

When I think back to my own childhood, the wisdom accumulated over the years allows me to understand how lucky I was, even though I couldn’t understand it at the time.

Stories like that of 7-year-old Ronnie of Tampa Bay, Fla. Undoubtedly reinforce this fact.

On March 18, 2018, a call made to 911 in which mom Kenyatta Barron called for help, begging for her life. Ronnie’s father, Ronnie Oneal III, had just stabbed and burned him at their home in Riverview, Hillsborough County. That same night, he murdered the boy’s mother and sister.

Detective Mike Blair of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office attended the scene, not really knowing what to expect.

“When I arrived that night, we were told that a child had been evacuated to Tampa General Hospital, but was not expected to live,” Blair said, according to WFLA.

As a criminal detective for many years, Mike thought he had seen and experienced it all. But it would appear that this is not the case.

Detective Blair’s involvement is not due to the case itself, but to the bond he forged with young Ronnie after a visit to the hospital.

He said, « The easiest way to sum it all up is – it’s been divine intervention for us. » « 

Detective Blair was able to bring Ronnie items from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while he was recovering in the hospital. The two became friends and one evening, as Mike was leaving, Ronnie held out his hand to him.

“He grabbed my hand as I was leaving and asked if I could watch a movie with him,” Blair said.

Detective Blair’s involvement is not due to the case itself, but to the bond he forged with young Ronnie after a visit to the hospital.

He said, « The easiest way to sum it all up is – it’s been divine intervention for us. » « 

Detective Blair was able to bring Ronnie items from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while he was recovering in the hospital. The two became friends and one evening, as Mike was leaving, Ronnie held out his hand to him.

“He grabbed my hand as I was leaving and asked if I could watch a movie with him,” Blair said.

Detective Blair was supposed to leave for work, but he had an idea.

We (he and his wife) were planning on dating that night and I said, « Instead of dating, do you mind if we watch a movie with this kid? » Blair said.

Mike and his partner Danyel Blair have five children of their own, but they put their appointments aside and went to the hospital together.

“I already knew that I would like to take Ronnie home with us that night,” Danyel said.

At the same time, an ad litem guardian supervised Ronnie’s care. The Blairs ran into this guardian at the hospital by chance.

I did the courtesy by saying, « If he needs anything, call me, » « Detective Blair said.

And it wasn’t long before he got a call.

When I got the call I was driving past our church and the guard was asking, “Do you know anyone who can help us? « 

For Danyel, she knew the time had come.

She says, “I had already started praying that God would soften Michael’s heart and say, ‘OK, yes, we have a place and Ronnie’s place is with us.’ « 

Not only that, but Detective Blair’s other children were very much into it.

My children came to see me at one point and said, “Daddy, you have to follow mum on this point; we have to start welcoming children, ”he said.

Today, 7-year-old Ronnie has found a new home forever.
“They are really nice people. They are great parents, and they really take care of me. There is no one better than them, ”said Ronnie.

As for the family mantra, Detective Blair said Ronnie repeats it when he is stressed. It is this: “He says, ‘I am safe, I am loved and I am part of this family. « 

I am wholeheartedly with little Ronnie. I can’t imagine the strength and courage it takes to endure what he went through.

Huge thanks to Detective Mike Blair and his family, who gave this young boy hope when he needed it most.

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