In September 2016, Snipes was completely unaware of what would unfold after she boarded a Delta flight from where she was living in Arkansas to North Carolina; then again nothing about those past few months had been expected.
Three months earlier, Snipes’s life was turned upside down when she found out she was pregnant. Although she was living with her partner and father of her unborn baby at the time, she had to face the unfortunate reality that she didn’t feel safe with him. From that moment, it wasn’t just her life and future she had to think about, but that of her child’s as well.
The relationship between Samantha and her boyfriend at the time had not been healthy. Samantha had already been planning to leave the relationship. But the urgency suddenly struck her knowing she had a baby on the way. This time, Samantha knew she needed to be resolute and leave the relationship once and for all to protect herself and her baby. Sadly, things didn’t get any better, so one day she made a brave decision.
Making A Move
One day, Samantha had decided that she’d had enough and left in the middle of the night. She never looked back. And although she felt relieved with her newfound freedom, she now had to seek a safe place to live.
With her belongings packed, the young pregnant woman set off for her mother’s home in Arkansas. She believed she would have the time and space there to consider her next move and contemplate what to do going forward with the pregnancy. She was considering her options when she ultimately decided that adoption would be the best route for herself and the baby. But just as she found an adoption agency that she liked, something else threw her plans off course.
By this time Samantha was five months pregnant. Although she had decided that adoption seemed like a good move, her mother had a last minute change of heart and wanted to raise the child as her own. Although it was a nice gesture, the expectant mother now felt all the more conflicted. Time was of the essence and Samantha needed to make a decision that would be definite and positive for the baby, but the answer still didn’t come easily. Still, her journey was far from over.
Although Samantha loved her mother dearly, her mother’s house wasn’t what she had in mind for raising a baby. She didn’t believe the household was fit for an infant, but she was starting to feel that she was running out of options. The emotional roller coaster that the pregnant woman was experiencing was only enhanced further by all of the dilemmas in her personal life. And while she had hoped she’d be basking in the glow of pregnancy, she started to become discouraged. It was then that she turned to an old source of relief.
Samantha’s pregnancy was inevitably advancing but she still felt unsure of what the future would hold for her and the baby. She desperately wanted to be assured that her child would have a place to be nurtured and grow. So to pass the time and cheer herself up, she turned to an old pastime that gave her escape: playing online video games. In particular, she enjoyed “League of Legends.” At that point, however, she had no idea how that simple development would set her life on an unthinkable path.
Samantha had harbored a passion for video games since she was 15. It was always what she turned to when she needed an escape from real life. For her, gaming always felt like a home away from home. Playing online also exposed her to all kinds of people she perhaps wouldn’t normally interact with. Through multiplayer gaming, she started talking to a young man named Tom. For months the two spent hours chatting, laughing and getting to know each other over the Internet. By then he knew all about Samantha’s situation. And although she was eight months pregnant, he pleaded for her to come visit him in North Carolina. But would she accept?
Taking The Plunge
Samantha thought about the offer. Although she wasn’t entirely certain, she eventually decided to take a chance and go to North Carolina. So at eight months pregnant, she went to the airport and mustered all her energy to navigate the bustling hub. However, when it came time to find the gate for her connecting flight, she was unsure of where to go. It was then that he heart suddenly sank.
After everything, Samantha couldn’t believe it when she realized she’d missed her transfer flight! She was tired and frustrated, but just when she started rethinking the whole thing, Tom made some calls and got her the next available standby spot. Samantha had to wait a while until a seat opened up, but eventually something came up and she made her way again. She had no way of knowing then, but that missed connection flight would irrevocably change her life forever.
Things were looking up further when an airport employee arrived with a wheelchair to take her to the gate. Since she was flying standby she didn’t have a choice when it came to seating although she was seated in the first available spot. The traveling pregnant woman could finally breathe a momentary sigh of relief when she finally settled herself in her plane seat. But she had no idea who the stranger in the seat next to her would turn out to be.
Samantha’s relief was short lived as her nerves about flying soon returned. However, it turned out that she was seated next to a delightfully bubbly woman in her 40s named Temple. The woman was very friendly and sensing that Samantha was nervous, struck up a conversation with her. The two start chatting and Samantha found comfort in getting to know Temple. Although it was only an hour flight, the two women laughed and bonded, forging an instant friendship. While they had an enjoyable flight together, Samantha wasn’t expecting what happened when they got off the plane.
During the course of their conversation on the flight to North Carolina, Samantha had told Temple about the circumstances of her pregnancy. She also confided in her new friend that she had some reservations about having her mom adopt the child. As the two disembarked from the plane, Temple went with Samantha to the bathroom to help fix up her makeup and exchange some encouraging words before meeting Tom. They then exchanged phone numbers while Temple waited with Samantha to make sure she was picked up and safe. The two women parted ways not knowing how their lives would incredibly overlap once again.
All Of A Sudden
Samantha had just three days with Tom before she started having contractions. As the reality that the baby was coming struck her, the two frantically tried to decide whether Samantha had time to go home. Time was running out, though, and she had little choice. Ultimately, Samantha had no time to go home. Regardless, she wasn’t allowed on a plane at that stage in her pregnancy. Her contractions were growing stronger, and although Tom offered support and encouragement, they had to rush her to the hospital.
The Big Moment
Although Samantha was somewhat scared and felt unprepared, she was supported by Tom and a midwife who surrounded her with encouraging words. And after just 12 minutes, Samantha had given birth and was the mother of a beautiful six-pound baby boy. Much to Samantha’s joy, the infant was healthy. Samantha was also in good condition and was able to have some time to bond with the newborn. She was overcome with emotion, but soon she was also gripped by another overwhelming sentiment.
Having given birth out of state, the medical staff wasn’t necessarily aware of her situation. To make matters more distressing, the day after giving birth, Samantha was starting to feel overwhelmed and lonely as Tom had to go to work. Despite the joy of seeing her healthy baby, Samantha admitted that she still didn’t feel as much like a mother as she thought she should. So she called her mother but her unwavering insistence on raising the child only further upset Samantha. It was then, with tears running down her face, that a name popped in her mind: Temple.
She remembered that Temple, the friendly woman whom she’d met on the plane, told Samantha she could feel free to call if she found herself in trouble or needed anything. So Samantha called Temple, explaining that she’d had the baby and asked if she’d be willing to visit. To Samantha’s delight, Temple agreed to come and even asked if Samantha wanted her to bring anything. She was overcome by Temple’s compassion, but looking back, Samantha says she’s still in disbelief about what was about to happen.
A Friendly Face
Samantha couldn’t have been happier when Temple arrived at the hospital. She was grateful for just a friendly face to keep her company. The two women caught up on what had occurred in the few days since their flight, but that wasn’t all. As the medical staff brought the baby into the room, Samantha asked Temple if she wanted to feed him. With trembling hands Temple agreed. As she held the child and lifted the bottle to his mouth, Samantha had an idea, but she hoped it wasn’t completely off the mark.
Having seen Temple with the baby for just an hour Samantha thought: “Temple would be perfect for him!” She looked so natural with the child and Samantha thought she’d make a great mother. It seemed that Temple bore the maternal inclination that Samantha just didn’t feel. It also already looked like Temple loved the baby. During the course of the visit, Samantha got the courage to ask Temple if she’d like to adopt the baby as her own. Temple was in disbelief. She had been caught completely off-guard and started shaking uncontrollably as she pondered the question and shared the reason she’d never had children.
Temple Phipps explained how she had previously been married but had never had children. Even though she had been single for a while up until that point, she actually had always wanted kids. However, she’d always had some reservations.
Meant To Be
Even though Samantha and Temple were practically strangers, Temple ultimately agreed to adopt the baby! Even though it was a difficult decision, Samantha felt it was right. The two women were full of emotion and crying tears of joy as they contemplated how life had serendipitously brought them together.
Bittersweet Birth Announcement
Samantha was dreading the call to her mother, but she knew she had to inform her of her decision. Unfortunately, her mother didn’t take the news very well. Her mother felt upset and betrayed. Life again seemed uncertain for Samantha until she was pleasantly surprised yet again. Although they barely knew each other, Temple once again was at Samantha’s side. Samantha was blown away when Temple helped her make living arrangements and offered to help financially until Samantha could get her feet on the ground. It was at that moment that Samantha Snipes’s life was swept up in yet another whirlwind.
Another Big Change
Tom, the young man Samantha had initially come to North Carolina to visit, heard about all that Temple was doing for Samantha and it made him do some thinking. Although Samantha and Tom had also only known each other for a short period of time, he came to a profound understanding. In light of everything they’d been through together in such a short amount of time, Tom declared his love for Samantha. Not wanting to be apart from each other, he asked if she wanted to move in together and she agreed! Two years have since passed and some surprising events have transpired.
Temple officially adopted the baby she named Vaughn in August, 2017. She recalled that before going to the hospital to visit Samantha and baby Vaughn, she had been nervous and called her own mother to recount the story. But when she saw the baby, she knew she’d become his mother.
As it turns out, Samantha and her boyfriend Tom are still together and going strong. She lives only an hour’s drive from Temple and Vaughn and is able to visit them often. Actually, Samantha still has a fairly active role in their lives. While Samantha gives Temple and Vaughn the space to foster their mother-son relationship, she actually does talk with Temple almost every day. After moving to North Carolina, Samantha is even more grateful for her chance encounter with Temple.