Pregnant Waitress Receives A Note From Cop, Then The Entire Diner Is Shaken Up

Pregnant Waitress Receives A Note From Cop, Then The Entire Diner Is Shaken Up

“Hard work pays off” is a sentiment 23-year-old Courtney English wholeheartedly believed in. But with a baby on the way and her waitressing job at a local diner not always enough to pay the bills, working hard wasn’t exactly making her life any easier. Struggling to get by and longing for a change, Courtney feared all her efforts would be in vain — until a seemingly ordinary note left behind by a cop sent the entire diner into a frenzy.

Hardworking Mom-To-Be

Courtney was, as her father put it, “working her butt off” to save as much as she could for the day she welcomed her first child into the world. The 23-year-old was never one to shy away from putting in a few extra hours — at seven months pregnant, however, things had started to get complicated.

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Understanding The Struggle

At the Lamp Post Diner in Clementon, New Jersey, Courtney had grown close to many regulars who were aware of her situation. Most were surprised to see a fully pregnant woman working such long hours day in and day out, but they understood that money doesn’t grow on trees. Yet this hard-working lifestyle wasn’t foreign to Courtney.

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Supportive Family

Even before the pregnancy, Courtney worked tirelessly to help her father, who supported her all her life. They lived together in their Sewell home, and for a time, Courtney seemed to be on another path entirely when it came it her future.

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Following A Path

Because she was always a caring person, it came as a surprise to no one when Courtney decided on nursing for a career. Unfortunately, college was beyond her reach at the time, though as she began saving up the money for her education, her life hit another speed bump.

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Life-Changing Decision

In July of 2018, Courtney discovered she was pregnant and decided to keep the child. This meant delaying her plans for college, though it was a decision she was prepared to follow through with and one supported by everyone around her. That support included her boyfriend — the baby’s father — her co-workers, and later, one unexpected individual.

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Working Through It

Nick Hionas, the owner of the Lamp Post Diner, held Courtney in high regard and was fine to let her continue to work — even while she was pregnant. “[She’s a] happy-go-lucky, sweet girl who goes above and beyond,” he said. It didn’t take long for new customers to see exactly what he was talking about.

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Everyone’s Favorite Waitress

It didn’t matter whether the diner guests were a party of 10 or if it was just one person: Courtney treated them all the same, brightening their day with a warm smile and conversation. It couldn’t have been easy working so hard while carrying a baby, but Courtney kept on going. Soon, people began to take notice.

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Cop Hot Spot

The Lamp Post Diner sees many different guests, but the establishment is also frequented by many local officers as a rest stop. And on an ordinary February day, an off-duty cop decided to swing by the restaurant while Courtney just so happened to be working.

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The Lone Officer

Courtney was busy taking care of a large party as the officer entered, though she still greeted him as he settled down at a nearby table to order lunch. She brought him a salad, and after hardly giving his presence a second thought, she returned to the rowdy group to continue serving them.

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Sharing Her Story

The large party was curious about Courtney and her pregnancy, and Courtney herself didn’t seem to mind the conversation. They asked her questions like, “How far along are you?” and, “Is this your first child?” In the end, the friendly exchange would lead to a huge surprise for Courtney.

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Just Missed Him

It appeared to be just another busy Friday lunch rush, and Courtney was focused on doing her best to attend to all her customer’s needs. There was so much going on, however, she didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to the lone cop. By the time she came around to his table, he was already gone.

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Leaving Something Behind

The officer had left something with the cashier who checked him out, and it had made such a big impact on them that they brought it to the attention of the diner manager. Eventually, Courtney would see it too, and she discovered that there was more to the cop than she ever could have expected.

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Couldn’t Help But Overhear

What Courtney hadn’t realized was how loud her conversation with the large party had been. When she revealed to them that she was seven months pregnant — and with her first child — she inadvertently informed everyone else around her, including the officer. Her story was a familiar one to him.

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Remaining Anonymous

Yet despite his note, the officer didn’t disclose much — during his lunch and even after leaving the diner, he chose to keep his identity a secret. There was, however, one critical piece of information he decided to share: at the time Courtney was close to having her first baby, he already knew exactly what the experience was like.

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First-Time Parent

The officer was a new father himself, and he considered it to be one of the greatest experiences of his life. When he overheard Courtney’s conversation, he immediately felt a special connection with her. As he ate his hearty salad, he knew he wanted to do something good for the soon-to-be mom.

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Surprise Tip

It could’ve been that Courtney was so busy that the officer didn’t want to bother her, or maybe he didn’t want to draw too much attention to himself. But when he paid his bill of $8.75, he left more than he had to — much more.

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Unforgettable Generosity

As Courtney held the bill in her hands, she began to tear up. The officer had left a $100 tip and a small personal note from the heart. “Enjoy ur 1st,” it read. “You will never forget it.” The incredible gesture was enough to make even Courtney’s boss speak out.

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Restoring Faith

“Good things come to those who have [Courtney’s] type of disposition,” said Nick, Courtney’s boss. He also shared what the story has meant to him: “It gives me faith in mankind.” Courtney herself was clearly moved by the officer’s kindness, though not as vocally as her father, who made the story go viral.

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A Father’s Thanks

Courtney’s father, Brian, jumped onto Facebook to share the heartfelt story. “What a wonderful person to not only leave a VERY generous tip, but a lovely message, I don’t know you Mr. Police Officer, but you made my little girl cry, and made her year. Thank you,” posted Brian.

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Their Soft Side

Many police officers admit that they feel misunderstood in their role, and people often don’t realize how soft cops really are. Miles away from Courtney’s diner, Officer Brian Zach pulled off a pretty similarly generous act for a girl in need. Only Zach ended up taking his good deed to a level that went far beyond the call of duty.

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Duty Calls

One spring evening, Officer Brian Zach was working the night shift at the Kingman police department when suddenly a call came in. He was told to check on the house where it was believed that a toddler was being neglected. As he arrived on the scene, he investigated the caller’s concerns.

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The Scene Of The Crime

After arriving at the house, Officer Zach stumbled upon the toddler, a two-year-old girl named Kaila. Officer Zach recalled how Kaila had injuries that indicated that she had been a victim of abuse. What’s more, this was the third time that Kaila’s household had been reported to the authorities. Surely, this child couldn’t be left in such a hostile environment any longer?

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Taking Action

Refusing to allow this young girl to remain in an abusive home, Officer Zach decided to take her back to the police station, where the pair waited for the Department of Child Safety (DCS) to arrive. Over the next five hours, Officer Zach and Kaila bonded.

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Spending Quality Time Together

While Kaila didn’t talk very much, Officer Zach noticed that she somehow had a knack for working an iPad. The duo spent the next few hours eating snacks, coloring, and watching Wreck-It Ralph on the tablet. Officer Zach already couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen to this young girl.

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A Bond Was Formed

Despite having just met, the bond between Officer Zach and Kaila was undeniable. “She held my hand, and she was just this cute little thing,” Zach recalled. Soon enough, the DCS arrived at the station.

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The DCS’s Response

As soon as the DCS detectives arrived, they transported Kaila to the hospital so that her wounds could be attended to. While she was confirmed to be healthy, there was one question that remained — where would Kaila go now that the only home that she had ever known was deemed unsafe?

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A Displaced Minor

No matter how hard they tried, the child protective services were unable to locate any family members who could shelter Kalia. Upon calling the DCS to check up on Kaila, Officer Zach was distraught to learn that the girl was spending the night alone in her hospital bed. From that moment on, Officer Zach couldn’t get Kaila out of his mind.

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A Lasting Impression

As he returned home, Officer Zach told his wife Cierra about the adorable little girl that he encountered that night. As a father of two, Officer Zach was incredibly concerned for Kaila’s well-being, even stating how he wished that Kaila could have stayed with his family that night. Something had to be done to help this vulnerable child.

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A Fateful Phone Call

Miraculously, it was during Officer Zach’s moment of anxiety that the DCS phoned. Unable to find a suitable foster family at such short notice, the agent on the line wanted to know if the Zach family could act as a placement family for Kaila until a suitable alternative arrangement could be made. But before he could say yes, the entire family had to be on board.

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The Difficult Decision

While Officer Zach’s first instinct was to take Kaila in, he had his own family to think about. In addition to his wife Cierra, he also had two children from a previous marriage — a 17-year-old daughter Reina and a 15-year-old son Trevin. Immediately, Officer Zach called a family conference.

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The Family Conference

With the entire family gathered together, Officer Zach showed them a picture of Kaila. He explained exactly what the young girl had gone through as well as how the family would have to care for her should she come live with them. Even with the potential challenges in mind, the entire Zach family was ecstatic, but the patriarch started having fears of his own.

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Kaila’s Arrival

A few days after the Zach family agreed to house Kaila, the DCS arrived outside their home with the neglected little girl. Suddenly, Brian was overcome with nerves as he was unsure if Kaila would be comfortable in his home or if she would even recognize him. Soon enough, he opened the car door and discovered the answer to his questions.

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Welcome Home

While unsure whether it was his uniform or perhaps Kaila’s memory, Officer Zach was relieved to learn that Kaila indeed remembered him. As soon as he opened the car door, the little girl reached out for him with a surprised look on her face. Instinctively, Kaila reached her arm out and held onto the policeman as he led her inside.

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A Challenging Adjustment

While the Zach family was thrilled to welcome Kaila into their home, they knew that her adjustment wouldn’t be easy, even if it was just short-term. Suddenly, the Zachs had to buy her a bed, potty, and high chair. After all, the only possessions that the mistreated Kaila had were a bag of ill-fitting clothes and a sippy cup. But that wasn’t the only challenge.

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A Slow Start

As Kaila entered the house, Officer Zach decided to put on Wreck-It Ralph, which the pair watched on the couch together. The toddler had a very limited vocabulary, with her main words being “no,” “milk,” and “choccy.” On her second day with the family, Kaila would say another word that would leave the Zachs in utter shock.

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Taken By Surprise

In the most unexpected of circumstances, she instinctively called Cierra “mom.” When asking family friends who also foster children what to do about this new development, they said it’s best to go with it so as to avoid rejection. And that’s exactly what they did.

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Upgraded To “Dad” Status

While Kaila called Cierra “mom,” her name for Officer Zach was most peculiar — she called him “guy.” Once she started attending preschool and watching other children get fetched by their fathers, she would excitedly point out Brian to her classmates and proclaim, “That’s my dad!”

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Overcoming Trauma

While Kaila fit in with the Zachs almost immediately, she was still dealing with some challenges that no small child should have to face. She would often wake up in the middle of the night because of nightmares and would have to be consoled for hours before returning to sleep. But even with her difficulties, the Zach family knew that Kaila would be sticking around a little longer.

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In It For The Long Haul

Without any hesitation, Officer Zach and Cierra applied for their foster license. The next few months saw Kaila become an integral member of the family, with the group going on exciting excursions such as a trip to Disneyland and a big family vacation to Hawaii. With their love for Kaila growing each day, fostering her temporarily was no longer an option.

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A Part Of The Family

Thirty months after Kaila had first set foot in the Zachs’ home, she was officially adopted by Officer Zach and Cierra. “The best thing to come out of 2020 is the fact that we gained an official member of our family. That was my Christmas present,” Officer Zach emotionally declared.

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The New Family

“I love him‚ I love him so much,” Kaila answered when asked about her feelings for Officer Zach. While the family agreed they felt complete with Kalia now officially a part of it, Officer Zach got a lot of attention and was even praised as a hero.

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