Loralie spent years being scared as she moved to different foster homes. Then one day she met her 2nd-grade teacher, who completely changed her life.
For little kids without a permanent family, having someone to care for you forever is the best thing that could happen in life. Loralie Henry is a 9-year-old girl who knows that journey more intimately than almost anyone, having been in the system longer than most kids because of delays associated with the pandemic.
Loralie went to foster care when she was 4, back to her biological mom when she was 5, and finally was returned to the system when she was 6.
“I was in foster care when I was 4. Then I went back to my biological mom when I was 5. Then back in foster care when I was 6. It was actually really scary, too. I didn’t know what to expect in other homes or what they would feed me,” she said. “I didn’t really know what to do. So I thought, ‘Well, what should I do? Is there anyone waiting for me?’ I was really scared. Until I met my mom. My second grade teacher.”
Zoe Henry is a teacher who happened to have Loralie in her second-grade class.
Zoe is a teacher living in La Verne, California, who also happens to be a single mom. For her, adoption was nowhere on her mind when she met Loralie. She was just trying to keep things in her life together. Still, as we all know, we never expect a miracle to enter our lives when it does!
But, when they first met, Zoe immediately knew that Loralie was special.
When Zoe saw her for the first time, she literally says that she knew she was going to be her daughter!
“She came into my class, and I just took one look at her – her little freckles, her little birthmark,” Zoe said. “I am going to adopt this little girl. She’s my daughter. The minute I set eyes on her.” – ABC7
She was worried that Loralie was going to be adopted by someone else first, but thankfully, that didn’t happen. She reached out to the adoption agency and learned that it was still possible for her to be adopted. That was all that Zoe needed.
Two days later and Loralie was home with Zoe!
It was like Loralie had just received a birthday present – she was going to finally have a permanent home! The process was just starting, but Loralie was going to have a mom and a place to live, never having to worry about where she would end up next.
“She’s been in a lot of places, had a lot of obstacles to find her way here. But we’re very thankful for that journey, and it’s made her a brave and strong and just an amazing little girl,” Zoe said. “She is probably the most compassionate person I know.”
Now, two years later, the adoption was made official.
Since covid, processes were slowed significantly. Nearly two years after Loralie went home with Zoe, they were finally able to celebrate the “official” adoption in front of everyone. Normally, the celebration would happen in a courthouse, but this time it was going to be a digital ceremony. Still, it was just as special!