Fateful flight: Clayton woman adopts baby after encounter on plane

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- One little boy and two women are now forever connected by a chance encounter. A Clayton woman ended up adopting the baby boy from a woman she met on a plane.

"I count my blessings every day," said adoptive mom Temple Phipps. "I still can't believe this happened to me. I am in shock and awe."

Phipps was seated next to Samantha Snipes on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Raleigh.

Snipes was then 8 months pregnant and says she just left an abusive boyfriend.

"After I announced I was pregnant to him, I thought maybe things would change a little bit and it just got worst," said Snipes. "One night when he put his hands on me again, I was scared and insecure and I wasn't even sure how to live on my own at that point.," said Snipes.

She didn't have the means or strength to support a child and was considering adoption.

"The position I was in, he wasn't going to have a very good life. He was going to have a struggling life and I didn't want any of that for him," said Snipes.

Phipps, meanwhile, was yearning to have a child.

She was 42 years old and felt the opportunity slipped out of her hands.

She was meeting with adoption agencies and considered fostering a child, but was running into problems as a single woman.

"Every time I would inquire, they'd said it "really needs to be a two-parent household,'" she said.

The two shared their stories on the flight and exchanged numbers once they landed in the Triangle.

Snipes gave birth a few days later and called Phipps.

"It just felt right talking with her and seeing her with the baby. She looked like she would be a great mother for him and she already looked like she loved him after holding him for an hour. The stuff that I wasn't feeling, she was feeling," said Snipes.

"I would just say to anybody, don't give up hope. I won the baby lottery for sure, miracles do happen and I think you can manifest those things. And this is what manifested," said Phipps.

The baby is now 18 months old and is named Vaughn.

Snipes has permanently moved to area. She started a photography company and wrote a blog about her experience. The article has gone viral.

Snipes regularly visits her biological son.

The women plan on writing a book together about their story.
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