GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As Angel Thomas got older, she was becoming more comfortable with sharing her story.
“I felt that it's not something that I should have to hide because it's something that makes me who I am,” she said.
Terri Sims, a school social worker at Washington Montessori Elementary, would hear Thomas’ story.
She previously worked with Thomas’ aunt at Smith High School.
Sims noticed a picture of a little girl sitting on her colleague’s desk.
“It just intrigued me,” Sims said.
When Sims asked about the photo, Thomas’ aunt shared her niece’s story of being abandoned as a baby.
Sims asked to meet Thomas thinking that she would make a good mentor for some of the young ladies at the high school.
As the two developed a relationship through the mentorship program, Thomas told Sims about the one thing she hoped to achieve before going to college.
“She told me the same thing her aunt did, ‘If it's anything that I could do in life I just really want to meet the family that saved my life,’ and I always told Angel just let me know when you want to make that happen and I'll try to do my best to make that happen,” Sims said.
Sims contacted FOX8.
The connection led to FOX8’s 2017 story on Angel Thomas as she expressed her desire to meet the family that rescued her.
Tonie McNair, the woman who found the baby, called FOX8 after the story aired.
From there, McNair and her two sons, Willie Baldwin and Ricky Baldwin, met Angel Thomas.
When interviewed for the current series, “What Happened to Baby Doe?” FOX8 asked what it was like seeing her in person – again.
“It's like I finally got to hold quote unquote my daughter,” McNair said.
“I thought about when we first saw her wrapped up with the umbilical cord and now seeing her as a grown young lady. It was shocking, but I had happiness for her,” Willie Baldwin said.
The family who rescued Thomas also met her adoptive family.
McNair and Carrie Thomas, Angel’s adoptive mother, shared a warm embrace when they met.
“I recall the love and passion that she had for Angel, and not even knowing her that long, but she really loved that young lady and I'll never forget that,” Carrie Thomas said.
This is part of our series on Baby Doe.