A police officer in Santa Rosa, California, adopted a homeless woman's baby whom the officer had befriended while on patrol.
The homeless woman, who has asked not to be identified, became pregnant while living on the streets. She met Officer Jesse Whitten multiple times and they had many conversations. Officer Jesse said that he would occasionally have to bring the woman to a detox center. He also mentioned that they had developed a strange friendship. Ashley Whitten, Officer Jesse's wife, had met the homeless woman on a ride-along with her husband. The woman quickly grabbed Ashley's hand and put it on her stomach so she'd be able to feel the baby kick. Mrs. Whitten said it was very obvious that she was pregnant and asked about her pregnancy. They talked for a few minutes and she was able to convince the woman to get a prenatal exam.
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On February 14th, 2018, Ashley received a phone call from a county worker. The man on the other line announced that the woman had just given birth and that she wanted to know if Officer Whitten and his family would be willing to take her daughter. Jesse and Ashley immediately dropped off their three girls at their Pastor's home and headed to the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, they saw the homeless woman and her little daughter. The Whittens asked the woman if she really wanted them to take the little girl forever and she answered: "yes, forever." The woman wanted her daughter to grow up in a family where she would be nurtured and loved. She had been struggling with drug addiction for a while and even dealt with it during her pregnancy. The woman really was excited for the baby, "but she could not overcome the addiction aspect," said Ashley Whitten, "and she loved her daughter enough to give her a family, and we were so honored to be that family." Four days after Harlow Maisey was born, she was sent home with Jesse and Ashley as a foster child.
Harlow was officially adopted on August 30th, 2018. The family was so excited and their three other girls were thrilled to add another little lady to their household.
"We didn't do anything that special, we're not unique," insisted Ashley Whitten, urging other families to consider foster-parenting and adoption. "The foster care system needs people to show up, and when she called us we showed up." Ashley encouraged other couples to become foster parents. There are so many children that are needing amazing homes and Ashley is calling for others to become foster parents as well.