‘Real-life Matilda’ adopted by her teacher after spending half her life in care


A nine-year-old schoolgirl has been adopted by her second grade teacher in a ‘real-life Matilda’ story.

Loralie Henry, from La Verne, in Los Angeles, first went into foster care when she was just four.

At age five she returned to live with her biological mum but by the time she was six she was back in foster care.

Now, after spending 1,445 days in care, Loralie has been adopted by one of her former teachers in a story straight out the pages of the Roald Dahl classic.

Telling KABC-TV about her experience, Loralie said being in foster care has been ‘really scary’.

‘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 mum. My second-grade teacher.’

Loralie added: ‘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.

‘It was like an early present.’

Zoe Henry is a teacher who had no plans to adopt but she said that changed the moment she met Loralie two years ago.

Zoe told KABC-TV: ‘She came into my class, and I just took one look at her – her little freckles, her little birthmark.

‘I am going to adopt this little girl. She’s my daughter. The minute I set eyes on her.’

Zoe initially thought Loralie would get adopted by another family, but when that didn’t happen she pleaded with social workers to let her adopt her.

Two days later, they did and Loralie moved in with Zoe.

The teacher said Loralie had faced a lot of obstacles but she was a ‘brave and strong’ little girl.

‘She is probably the most compassionate person I know. She wants to be a foster mum someday and adopt kids,’ Zoe added.

On November 20, National Adoption Day in the US, Loralie was one of 165 children to officially leave the care of L.A. authorities and be adopted by their forever families.

‘Biological parents have the right to contest. That did not happen. I know her mum really loves her. I know she really wanted to be a better part of her life,’ Zoe said.

‘But like I tell Loralie, her mum loved her so much that she would let her be adopted so that I can give her what she needed.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Get your need-to-know
latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more

Read More

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More