7-year-old heartbroken to learn foster kitten was adopted until mom gives her box with it inside

July 6, 2018 10:18 am Last Updated: July 6, 2018 10:18 am

For a pet trying to find a new home, often the best place to be is in foster care. These foster parents will volunteer to take care of a dog or cat temporarily while they try to find their “forever home.”

It can be a great experience that gives an animal a safe, loving home—the only downside is sometimes the foster parents get attached, and have a hard time letting go when it comes time to give them up for adoption.

That was the case for one young girl who grew attached to one of her foster kittens and couldn’t bear to see her go …

But everything changed when she realized who adopted her.

Stephanie Pabon, from Chesapeake, Virginia, volunteers with the Billy the Kidden Rescue group, frequently taking in groups of feral kittens while they wait to find a permanent home. 

Experienced Bottle-Feeders Needed ASAP 🐱•Must have the ability to bottle feed every 2-5 hours depending on age. Who…

Posted by Billy the Kidden Rescue on Monday, March 19, 2018

A few months ago, she brought home a litter of 3-week-old kittens who had been found in a local warehouse.


The kittens needed a lot of care and attention—but luckily, Stephanie didn’t have to raise them alone.

She got a lot of help from her 7-year-old daughter Bela.

“She took the time to correctly learn how to bottle-feed,” Stephanie told The Dodo. “Bela is so amazing with all the kittens and cats that come through here.”

As the young girl helped care for the growing kittens, she formed a special bond with one of them: a kitten named Helen.

In fact, they got so close that when the inevitable day came for them to give up the foster kittens, it was like losing a pet.

“My daughter had bottle fed Helen since she was 3 weeks old,” Stephanie wrote on Facebook. “At 10 weeks we said our goodbyes. She took it extremely hard.”

A whole lot of fluff & cuteness

Posted by Stephanie Pabon on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

After the family dropped the kittens off at a rescue facility, Bela cried over losing Helen. While she tried to hide her tears from her mother, Stephanie knew her daughter was hurting.

“I saw her puddle of tears,” she told the Dodo. “She has not bonded like that to any of the others.”

In June, Stephanie had some bittersweet news for her daughter:

She announced Helen had been adopted—and the news broke Bela’s heart.

(Stephanie Pabon/Screenshot)

However, Stephanie also told her she had brought home a new cat for her to take care of.

Bela opened the crate—and instantly recognized the cat: “Helen!”

It was Helen—Stephanie decided to adopt the kitten permanently!

(Stephanie Pabon/Screenshot)

It was a heartwarming reunion. Bela broke down in tears realizing she wouldn’t have to be separated from her beloved cat after all.

It’s what’s known in the foster community as a “foster fail,” but for this mother taking in the new pet for good was an easy choice, recognizing how strong the bond was.

“The two are reunited and Helen follows her everywhere and cries if she goes out of sight,” Stephanie said. “They have a bond that can’t be touched. I think they needed each other.”

(Stephanie Pabon/Screenshot)

And while Bela takes great care of Helen, it’s clear that she gets a lot of love in return, too, and provides a huge benefit for her.

“Bela is easily overwhelmed at times,” Stephanie said. “Helen calms her, and Helen needed someone to help her live and grow and make that change from feral to friendly.”

The goal in fostering an animal is to take care of it until it finds a perfect home—and in this case, Helen was in the perfect place all along.

Watch the video below:

My family fosters for Billy The Kidden Rescue.My daughter had bottle fed Helen since she was 3 weeks old. At 10 weeks we said our goodbyes. She took it extremely hard. After days of tears, decisions had to be made. #fosterfail

Posted by Stephanie Pabon on Friday, June 22, 2018