One day in the summer of 2017, Ashley Whitten hopped into her police officer husband Jesse’s car for a ride in Santa Rosa, California. On their drive, they came across a pregnant homeless woman, who Jesse often encountered while on duty. She then reached out for Ashley’s hand and placed it on her growing belly. Little did the officer’s wife know that the baby she’d just felt in the womb would end up being her adoptive daughter.
Father-of-three Jesse’s patrol through Santa Rosa often took him near the Coddingtown Mall, a shopping center that has served the area since 1962. There, he regularly saw a homeless person who caught his attention for a specific reason.
“It’s not every day you see someone who’s homeless and pregnant,” Jesse told TV station KTVU. The woman, in her 30s, also struggled with drug addiction. She sometimes reached out to the officer to see if he could help her.