Nine-year-old girl is adopted from foster care by her second grade teacher – drawing comparison to Matilda and Miss Honey

  • Loralie Henry pent 1,445 days (about four years) in foster care, which was almost half of her life
  • ‘It was actually really scary, too. I didn’t know what to expect in other homes or what they would feed me,’ she said
  • Zoe Henry, her second grade teacher, was a single mother with no intention of adopting before she had Loralie with a student
  • But as soon as she saw the little girl, she knew: ‘I am going to adopt this little girl. She’s my daughter’
  • Within two days Loralie was living with Zoe, and on November. 20, National Adoption Day, the adoption became official 
  • They are being compared to Matilda and Miss Honey from the 1996 film Matilda, based on a 1988 book by Roald Dahl

A nine-year-old girl has been adopted from foster care by her second grade teacher in a story that’s being compared that of Matilda and Miss Honey.

Two years ago, Loralie Henry entered Zoe Henry’s second grade class in La Verne, California. She had been in foster care for years at the time, and single mom Zoe had no intention of adopting.

But as Zoe told KABC, ‘She came into my class, and I just took one look at her — her little freckles, her little birthmark.

The ‘minute [she] set eyes on her” is when Zoe thought to herself: ‘I am going to adopt this little girl. She’s my daughter.’

Zoe had spent 1,445 days (about four years) in foster care, which was almost half of her life.

‘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,’ she said.

‘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 fell for Loralie immediately, and begged the little girl’s social workers to let her adopt her. Within two days, Loralie was moving in to the Henry home.

‘I remember the moment when we were sitting by the car, she’s like, “You’re going to come with me.” I was so surprised and happy,” Loralie said.

It’s taken two years, but the foster-to-adoption process was finally completed on November. 20, National Adoption Day, when Loralie was among 165 kids adopted in a joyous virtual ceremony.

Zoe held back tears as she told KABC: ‘She completes our family, she completes our life. She brings such adventure and joy and fun and spunkiness to everything that we do, so it’s perfect. It’s perfect. Don’t cry? OK.’

Biological parents have the right to contest these adoptions, but that didn’t happen in Loralie’s case.

‘I know her mom really loves her. I know she really wanted to be a better part of her life,’ Zoe said. ‘But like I tell Loralie, her mom loved her so much that she would let her be adopted so that I can give her what she needed.’

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