HOUSTON (FOX 26) - What started as a part-time babysitting job during Hurricane Harvey turned into a full-time gig for one Houston woman. Just days before Mother's Day, Dr. Bernada Nicole Baker received a surprise donation from rapper Paul Wall and Cricket Wireless that could change her life.
On Tuesday, Dr. Baker walked into what she thought was a business meeting but instead was greeted by rapper Paul Wall, a room full of cameras and a $4,500 check from Cricket Wireless.
"I need help. I can't save her on my own, so thank you," Baker said.
When she was just seven months, baby Bella was homeless and living in a car with her biological father when Dr. Baker stepped in to help. From day one, the two were inseparable.
"She was attached the first day we got together. I just baby-sat her while dad went to a job fair and she just acts like we've been together forever. She acts like I had her in the womb literally. She knows who her mama is," Baker said.
Before she knew it, Dr. Baker was attached and couldn't bear to see baby Bella end up in the foster system or feeling unwanted. It's a feeling Paul Wall said is all too familiar.
"When my biological father didn't want me, it made me feel like I was an unwanted child. But when my stepfather did adopt me, it showed me to this day and put something inside of me to show me that I was loved and wanted, and that somebody did want me," Wall said.
That's why Wall and Cricket Wireless surprised Dr. Baker with gifts for Bella and a $4,500 check-- a sum just enough for her to finalize and officially adopt the now 15-month-old. The sweet gesture brought Dr. Baker to tears.
"On Friday, when I knew I had to pay the $2,500, I was like I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know how we're going to do it, but I know we have to do it. I am still processing the fact that I am a mother. This is real," Baker said.
Finalizing Bella's adoption was something she'd been dreaming of for months, but this Mother's Day surprise couldn't have come at a better time.
"I can't imagine life without her so for me, now having Bella, every day is Mother's Day," Baker said.
As an added plus, Baker will also receive up to one year of free service from Cricket Wireless.
Dr. Baker is the founder of The Princess Within Foundation and works part-time at Texas Southern University.
She moved to Houston from Chicago two years ago and has been trying to raise $15,000 for the adoption fees and unexpected child care costs.