NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn baby’s home life was uncertain after her foster mother passed away from COVID-19.
But the woman’s sister selflessly stepped in to help, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Thursday.
Just days after 10-month-old Kaylin was born, she was placed in the care of her foster mother, Sharon Henry of Canarsie, Brooklyn. Marjorie Allen is Henry’s sister.
“Joy. Just pure joy. She loved this baby so much. She doesn’t leave her anywhere unless she has to,” Allen said. “It was her heart. Her whole soul was this baby.”
But in April, when Kaylin was just 6 months old, 59-year-old Henry, who suffered from lupus, was hospitalized with COVID-19.
“We got the phone call that she had passed, and it was very devastating for the whole family,” Allen said.
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Henry left behind three grown children, and little Kaylin. Her dying wish was to have the baby continue living in the Canarsie home Henry shared with her sister Marjorie, their mother and children.
“This is the last wish I would’ve been able to grant her, was to take Kaylin and take care of her and at some point she goes back to her mother,” Henry said. “We had to do it. There was no hesitation, nothing.”
They reached out to Olukayode Ojo, their case worker from the foster care agency, Rising Ground. Keeping Kaylin with the family that already knows and loves her made perfect sense to everyone, including her birth mother.
“I assured her that this is a good family. They will continue to care for your child until she returns back to you, and, of course, she agreed with me,” Ojo said.
“This is really the best possible situation that we could ever ask for,” Rising Ground’s Aldervan Daly said.
“We were ecstatic. We were screaming. We were so happy,” Allen added.
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Kaylin is clearly happy, too, and thriving and growing.
Allen said she finds comfort in knowing her sister would be proud.
“I love her so much. This is all I can do for her, carry on this legacy for her,” Allen said.
It’s a legacy of love that now lives on in this beautiful baby girl.
Henry would have celebrated her 60th birthday this month. Her whole family, including baby Kaylin’s birth mother, will be gathering this weekend to honor her memory.
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