In November 1999, a woman was on her way to work when she found something wrapped in a sheet under her apartment stairwell. Initially, she thought it was a kitten. But when she took a closer look, she found a baby girl.
Miracles happen every day, but often, they end up changing people's lives in the most surprising ways. This happened to a young girl abandoned as a baby and whose life changed thanks to the kind strangers who found her.
Rochetta Cheek was only 13 when she gave birth to her abuser, Michael Wilson's baby. But as soon as the child was born, Wilson snatched her away from Cheek.
[Left] A picture of Tonie McNair. [Right] A picture of Angel Thomas on her graduation day. | Photo: twitter.com/myfox8 | youtube.com/FOX8 WGHP
LOSING HER CHILD
Sadly, the abuse didn't stop, and Cheek gave birth to two more children, a daughter and a son. However, she never stopped thinking about the baby girl who had been taken away from her. She shared with FOX8:
“I had to go all these years not knowing if she was dead or alive and just dealing with that on my conscience, that’s rough (sic)."
Cheek had no idea where Wilson took her baby daughter, born on November 12, 1999. Even though the trauma was too much to handle, her motherly instincts always made her wonder and worry for her child.
Rochetta Cheek, Angel Thomas's biological mother. | Photo: YouTube.com/FOX8 WGHP
THE ABANDONED BABY
The abandoned baby was placed under the apartment staircase at the Carolina Circle Apartments in Greensboro on the day she was born. Tonie McNair was on her way to work when she spotted something wrapped in a sheet outside her door. She told FOX8:
"I thought it was a kitten."
But when the lady leaned in closer, she was surprised to see a baby. She then ran into the house, "screaming and hollering," to break the news to her two sons, Willie and Rickie, who were 19 and 15 at the time.
Tonie McNair, the woman who found Angel Thomas abandoned as a baby outside her apartment door. | Photo: www.facebook.com/fox8news
McNair and her sons then called the EMS, and the baby was taken to a local hospital, where she was diagnosed with moderate to severe hypothermia. Her story began making headlines, and she was dubbed "Baby Doe" by the media.
It was an emotional reunion at the Ashleigh Park Apartments, Greensboro, New Carolina.
Carrie Thomas, a foster parent at the time, heard about Baby Doe on the news. A social worker contacted her later on, discussing the initial plan of placing the baby into a home for 30 days, where she could have the opportunity of being adopted.
Angel Thomas's adoptive family. | Photo: www.facebook.com/fox8news
ANGEL FINDS A HOME
Carrie picked Baby Doe on December 19 and shared how she didn't want to let go. Soon afterward. she adopted the baby girl at six weeks old and named her Caroline. However, she then decided to give her a different name. Carrie explained:
“I felt like the angels were watching over her that day, so that’s why I named her Angel."
The abandoned baby girl finally had a loving and supportive adoptive family and became known as Angel Thomas. She grew up to be a bright, young woman with dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. Angel graduated from high school in 2018.
Angel hugging McNair on their emotional reunion seventeen years laters outside the same apartment. | Photo: www.facebook.com/fox8news
Angel always wondered about the angels who had helped save her life and wanted to meet them. On the other hand, McNair had also not forgotten about the baby girl she rescued. Seventeen years later, McNair's son, Willie, saw Baby Doe on TV.
She had amassed sheer attention from the media, so FOX8 decided to give people an update on her story. After seeing her story, Willie talked to his mother, and they called the TV station, hoping to meet the baby they had saved years ago.
A week later, FOX8 organized the perfect reunion for them. In 2017, Angel came with her adoptive parents to meet the kind strangers who had saved her life seventeen years ago outside the same Building 1808 where she had been abandoned as a baby.
It was an emotional reunion at the Ashleigh Park Apartments, Greensboro, New Carolina. A teary-eyed McNair told Angel how she had hoped to find out she was safe before leaving the world for her final abode.
Angel hugged McNair and was happy to finally meet and thank the kind family who rescued her. Thankfully, Angel's biological mom, Cheek, found out about her after the case became public in 2013.
After seeing Angel's story on the news, Cheek reached out to Carrie and thanked her for taking care of her daughter. She plans on staying in touch with Angel and her adoptive family. Angel also invited Cheek to her high school graduation ceremony in 2018.
McNair's sons, Willie and Rickie, told Angel that they were happy to have a baby sister. Indeed, Angel's story is not only incredible but also heartwarming. We're glad this story found its much-deserved happy ending.
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