Police officer Jesse Whitten and his wife were asked to adopt a baby girl from a homeless woman battling addiction on the streets of Santa Rosa, California, and this week the adoption was finalized.
Whitten first encountered the baby's birth mother last year, when he was patrolling the streets, and decided to show her kindness and compassion, KPIX reported.
He often came across the unidentified woman, who was pregnant, homeless and addicted to drugs.
During one of the encounters his wife, Ashley Whitten, was by his side and got talking to the woman about the challenges of pregnancy.
The two women clicked instantly but it still came as a surprise when Jesse and Ashley Whitten received a call notifying them that the woman had given birth and was asking specifically for them to be the adoptive parents.
The couple gladly welcomed baby Harlow Masie Whitten into their family, which already included three daughters, but they knew the first few weeks would be tough.
Harlow Whitten had been exposed to drugs in the womb and there would inevitably be certain obstacles for her to overcome.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, any toxins in the mother's system may be delivered to the fetus and could cause the baby to become dependent on substances used by the mother.
Babies born to substance-abusing mothers may undergo periods of withdrawal and have to receive specialized treatment as they are weaned off the drugs.
However, several months later and Harlow Masie Whitten is happy, healthy and adjusting well with her new family, KPIX reported.
The Santa Rosa Police Department have welcomed Masie Whitten to their extended family in a post to Facebook.
Jesse and Ashley Whitten have kept in contact with Masie Whitten's birth mother and arranged an emotional meeting with her recently.
"We were talking and … I was saying, 'You made this choice for her and we are so grateful and just want to do what you'd like,'" Ashley Whitten said, according to KPIX. "And she said — 'You're her mother now.'"
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