Teacher Adopts Student That Has Spent Half Her Life in Foster Care: 'Completes Our Family'

In a real-life tale reminiscent of Matilda and Miss Honey, a 9-year-old Californian was adopted by her former second grade teacher over the weekend, after spending 1,445 days in the foster care system.

Loralie entered the foster care system at the age of 4, but as of Saturday, is now a welcomed member of the Henry family.

Around 36 percent of adoptions were relatives adopting kin in 2018, as per the North American Council of Adoptable Children, but school teachers adopting a student is far rarer. Zoe Henry was Loralie's second grade teacher and told ABC7 that she knew she was her daughter the second she walked into her classroom.

"She completes our family, she completes our life. She brings such adventures and joy and fun and spunkiness to everything that we do, so it's perfect. It's perfect," Henry told ABC7 while fighting back tears.

The family is set to spend its first Thanksgiving with Loralie this week.

Loralie's heartwarming adoption was a part of Los Angeles' National Adoption Day, which saw its second virtual event this year.

Judicial officers from the Los Angeles Superior Court held virtual adoption hearings for over 150 children in the Los Angeles County foster care as a part of 2021's National Adoption Day. Families were able to appear through video to finalize their adoptions, and were also given gift cards donated by the LA Rotary Club.

The day is a teamwork of efforts from the Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, the Alliance for Children's Rights and Public Counsel Law Center.

Bobby Cagle, director of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services said during the livestreamed opening ceremony: "I am immensely pleased that the ongoing pandemic did not get in the way of this very special day. The Saturday before Thanksgiving was specifically chosen as the annual day for this event given that it is a time of symbolic gratitude.

"This day also serves as a reminder that thousands of children in foster care need a permanent, loving family. This is an annual observation that marks an opportunity to honour all adoptive parents nationwide and to celebrate as dreams become a reality for countless families and children.

"As we approach Thanksgiving, we have so much to be thankful for and it warms my heart that all the children being adopted today will grow up knowing that they are loved, protected, connected and most importantly, that they are not alone."

Teacher and student
Stock image of a teacher and student. A 9-year-old Californian was adopted by her second grade teacher over the weekend. Getty Images