Thomas lays his head on his brand-new bed in 2010. He was 2½ years old when a bus driver found him wandering alone in the streets of Queens, New York. Shortly after that, full custody was given to his father, Glen Falk. The following photos were taken by Falk's partner, photographer Rocio De Alba, as she documented Thomas' life in his new surroundings. She calls her series "Miracle Baby."
At right is the underwear Thomas was said to be wearing on the night he was found on the streets. At left is the story from the New York Post.
"In the beginning, it seemed that Thomas was not accustomed to someone waking him up," De Alba recalled. "He refused to eat his cereal as I explained what day care meant."
At left are baby photos of Thomas along with some schoolwork. "Next to it is a school project asking him to create his family tree," De Alba said.
De Alba wanted to photograph Thomas just as he was: delighted, frustrated, confused and introspective. She wanted to understand what he was thinking, and this was the best way she knew how.
Thomas plays a game with his new sister and brother in 2012.
Thomas sits at a park in Queens in 2012.
Thomas laughs in 2012. He would giggle when De Alba allowed him to snap the shutter, rolling his eyes like the big kids and saying, "Oh, Mommy, not again."
"This is one of the few staged photos of the bunch," De Alba said of this shot from 2013. "I asked Thomas to cross a muddy road and stand on the small island. He was not happy but posed for the shot anyway."
"On this night, Thomas was up past his bedtime," De Alba said. "As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed Thomas sitting there, not eating at all but staring off into the distance. He looked so peaceful."