A kind-hearted police officer has adopted the baby of a homeless woman, who he befriended while on patrol.
Officer Jesse Whitten, from the Santa Rosa Police Department in California, regularly saw the pregnant, drug-addicted woman during his rounds and would sometimes drive her to a homeless shelter or rehab clinic.
Originally, Mr Whitten had no plans to adopt the woman’s child. But when she gave birth, the officer and his wife, Ashley, received a phone call.
“Someone from the county called and said ‘Hi, do you know a woman named so and so’?” Mrs Whitten recalled to Fox11.
The new mother had requested through authorities that the couple adopt her baby girl.
Mr and Mrs Whitten, who already have three daughters of their own, arrived at the hospital shortly after and spoke to the mother about her surprising request.
“We wondered, ‘are you asking us to keep her forever?'” Mr Whitten said. “And she was saying ‘I want you to have her forever’.”
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“She said she wants her to grow up in a home that’s loving and kind, and she had met both of us.”
The Whittens took baby Harlow home at just four days old, initially as foster parents.
Now, six months later, the adoption has been made official with Harlow’s big sisters Reese, 7, Kendall 5, and Stella, 3, welcoming her into the home with open arms.
Mr and Mrs Whitten said that at first, Harlow was affected by her exposure to drugs but was now a happy baby who fits right into to their tight-knit family.