Jesse Whitten has been an officer with the Santa Rosa Police Department for the past 10 years. The California cop would often encounter the same thirtysomething homeless woman while patrolling the streets.
One friendly conversation led to another, and soon the pair developed an unlikely friendship.
Jesse knew the woman was battling her inner demons and used drugs to cope. He tried helping her to get clean by driving her to detox centers and urging her to go to rehab, but she struggled to get off and stay off drugs.
Then one night in August, Jesse and his wife Ashley were walking around town when they bumped into the homeless woman. She asked Ashley to feel her belly.
As Ashley curiously placed her hand on the woman’s womb, Jesse realized she was pregnant. With three young daughters of their own, the Whittens encouraged her to seek prenatal care. They also asked her to get an ultrasound of her unborn baby.
It wasn’t long before Jesse and Ashley encountered the woman yet again. This time, she said she needed to show them something — it was an ultrasound photograph of a baby girl.
Then, six months after first learning the woman was pregnant, the Whittens were attending a Valentine’s Day party when Jesse received a phone call. It was from a social worker at the hospital’s labor and delivery department.