December 1, 2018

A police officer in California befriended a homeless and pregnant woman after having to deal with her a few times while on patrol. Little did he know that she would later ask him and his wife to adopt her newborn.

Santa Rosa Police Officer Jesse Whitten is already a dad to three young daughters aged 7, 5, and 3. But on Aug. 30, he officially became a dad again to a 6-month-old baby girl named Harlow Maisey Whitten.

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Jesse and his wife, Ashley, had agreed to adopt Harlow after her birth mother, a homeless woman with drug addiction, asked them to.

While on patrol, Jesse had met Harlow’s birth mother a few times and later befriended her.

Not long ago, while Ofc. Whitten was working he met a pregnant woman needing help. She didn't ask for assistance the way…

Posted by Santa Rosa Police on Friday, August 31, 2018

“We developed sort of a friendship in a strange sort of way,” Jesse told KTVU.

“Whenever I saw her on patrol and dealt with her, we’d have a conversation.”

Posted by Ashley Noelle on Thursday, September 6, 2018

One day, Ashley met the woman when she rode along with Jesse and noticed that the woman was pregnant.

“I mentioned—‘Oh, you are pregnant’—and she said—‘Oh yea’—and placed my hand on her womb,” Ashley told CBS SF.

Announcing my new granddaughter Harlow ! Adoption finalized !!!!

Posted by Gwen Glaze Whitten on Friday, August 31, 2018

At that time, the couple didn’t know they would become the unborn baby’s parents.

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Posted by Gwen Glaze Whitten on Sunday, July 8, 2018

On Feb. 9, when the couple and their daughters were at a Valentine’s Day party, the woman gave birth and asked the county to contact Jesse.

She wanted the couple to adopt Harlow, who was born with heroin in her system but has since overcome it.

“She said, ‘I knew you had daughters. I knew you were firm, but you were fair,’” Jesse recalled the conversation he had with the woman at the hospital to ABC News.

“She had this vision of her daughters playing in tutus with her sisters. That’s what she said she wanted.”

“It’s weird to live in the tension of joy and heartbreak like this story is,” Ashley said. “It’s wonderful at the same time.”

Just like what the woman wanted, Harlow is now surrounded by loving parents and three big sisters who eagerly welcomed her into the family.

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So a thing happened. The story is long and complicated and beautiful and God is obviously present every single step of the way. I wish you could all hear everything, and maybe someday you will. But for now, a baby was born to a woman @thejessedubs has met on the job and whom I randomly met on a ride along once when she was newly pregnant. When asked who her support system was who could care for the baby she basically mentioned the only person who she could think of was a compassionate police officer she knew. So they called us. And we showed up. And our community rallied behind us. _____ So, absolutely unexpectedly and without warning we are excitedly bringing home another child today! We are literally just showing up and loving and caring for a baby who has no one else in the world to love and care for it. _____ We believe that though foster care and adoption are not God’s first choice for families, that He is the great redeemer. And He can take our most broken moments and pull them together for beauty and good. With that being said we would LOVE your prayers, for us, for our daughters, for this baby, and for the birth parents.

A post shared by Ashley Noelle (@heyashleynoelle) on

Since adopting Harlow, the couple hopes other families will follow their footsteps in opening up their hearts and homes to adopting.

“The foster care system needs people to show up and when she called us, we showed up,” Ashley said.

“This is something anybody can do and my hope is people might see this and realize they can do this too,” Jesse said.

Watch the video below: