Stranger adopts baby from struggling woman she met on flight

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Stranger adopts North Carolina woman's newborn son after encounter on flight

25-year-old Samantha Snipes missed her flight one day, and ended up flying standby sitting next to Temple Phipps, 42.

"So she sits down in the middle seat beside me and she's really nervous and anxious. She told me to call should I ever find myself in trouble, in need of anything or if I wanted to talk more about adoption".

The woman and her two children, ages 12 and 14, were able to escape the house, and told authorities they heard a gunshot and Mapes yelling as they did so.

"I'm just sitting here like, 'I'm going to give up everything I have that I have known my whole life, '" Snipes remembered thinking. And although her 6-pound baby boy was healthy, she said she "still didn't feel like a mother to the point that I should".

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She offered to let her new friend feed the baby, and as she watched Phipps rock the infant, Snipes said she saw a "light at the end of the tunnel". She then picks him up and shakes him and smacks him in the face.

"I was scared for my life, I could hear him chasing me - I didn't want to get assaulted after getting assaulted all those times", she testified. "And I was watching that and that's what made me decide this is the right thing to do", Snipes said.

Nearly two years later, Snipes and Phipps remain close and talk daily - Snipes even moved an hour away so she could visit Vaughn.

"We talked while she was there visiting and during our conversation I asked Temple if she would like to adopt my son as her own", Snipes said. "But a stranger that felt more like family to me than anyone". "And I look at him and think I still can't believe this happened to me", Phipps says.

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The case of mistaken identity then lead to a freaky texting exchange between the two women, which became increasingly heated.

Metro SWAT officers arrived at the scene, and the woman and child eventually walked out of the home, Alvarado said.

She said she hopes her story will encourage other pregnant moms who are struggling through hard situations.

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