2023 Daytime Emmy Nominee for Outstanding Talk Series
Woman Who Adopted Baby After Hurricane Harvey Surprised with a Vacation!
October 17, 2023
Jennifer Hudson has a big surprise in store for a woman who suddenly found herself a single mom after adopting a baby in the wake of a deadly hurricane.
Dr. Bernada Baker from Chicago, Illinois, appeared on "The Jennifer Hudson Show" to share the inspiring story of how she adopted her daughter, Bella, in the weeks following Hurricane Harvey.
In 2017, Bernada moved to the Houston area from Chicago and was working as a professor at Texas Southern University. When Hurricane Harvey hit that August, Bernada helped with recovery efforts. She had no idea that the biggest help she would give would be becoming a mother to an infant girl.
Bernada was contacted through someone who saw the work she was doing and informed her about a displaced dad and his 8-month-old daughter, Bella, needing help.
Bernada raised $800 for the family and delivered supplies to them at their temporary housing. Bernada saw Bella’s dad needed much more support and offered to babysit Bella on weekends so he could get back on his feet.
In the weeks that followed, Bella and Bernada began spending much more time together. Bella’s dad recognized that he needed more support and couldn’t provide Bella with the life she deserved, so he asked Bernada if she would officially adopt Bella.
Bernada’s community rallied around her and helped her raise the $22,000 for the adoption fees.
Within two months of first meeting, Bella and Bernada were spending their first Christmas together as a family. Bernada told “The Jennifer Hudson Show” that although becoming a single mother was unexpected, being a mom and watching Bella grow has been the most rewarding experience of her life.
Bella, who is now 6 years old, loves theme parks — so Jennifer surprised her and Bernada with a trip to LEGOLAND California!
LEGOLAND® Resorts are unique theme parks and the ultimate vacation destination for families with children between the ages of 2 to 12. Based on the world’s most popular toy — the LEGO® brick — LEGOLAND offers families the opportunity to play together and to let their imaginations run free through an exciting range of unique LEGO® experiences from kid-powered rides, building challenges, spectacular LEGO models, interactive attractions, family-friendly coasters, and shows that pull the audience into the action.
This year’s Holidays celebration at LEGOLAND® Resorts features festive décor, sweet treats, fun photo ops, a nearly three-story LEGO® tree, and exclusive LEGO® characters to meet! All LEGOLAND Resorts are now Certified Autism Centers and are multi-day destinations with a LEGOLAND Hotel just steps away from the entrance to each Park!