'Fairy Godmother' Gets Surprise Thank You From Mom After 27 Years. We Melt.

Daugherty and Menakaya at their Fort Worth reunion. Photo: Courtesy Chidinma Menakaya.When Patience Menakaya was seven months pregnant with her first child 29 years ago, she suddenly found herself in an unenviable position: A student at Dallas Baptist University, she was all alone in Forth Worth, Texas, after her husband became stuck in their native Nigeria during a coup d’état. After developing visa problems, she was kicked out by the friend she'd been staying with, and had nowhere to go.

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Enter Lolamay Daugherty, wife of the pastor where Menakaya attended church, who offered a generous solution. “We told her to just come and live with us,” she recalled, speaking with Yahoo! Shine this week. “We were happy to have her.”

It was a precious gift that Menakaya, now 53, said affected the entire course of her life. And last week, after three decades of ups and downs that included moving around the country, raising six children (all now college grads), splitting from her husband and eventually settling in Maryland as a school teacher, she returned to Daugherty’s house for the first time, to say thank you.

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“It's like she gave me a life—she gave me hope,” Menakaya told Yahoo! Shine, explaining why it was so important to go and thank Daugherty in Texas after not seeing her for about 27 years. The kindness Daugherty showed her made her, in turn, a giving person, she said. "It changed my life in a way that made me tender. I've helped a whole bunch of people in my life."

Local news station NBC 5 News Chicago broke the story, capturing the joyous reunion on camera, while another NBC story dubbed Daugherty, who is the godmother of Menakaya's first born, a "fairy godmother."

Soon after taking the pregnant Menakaya in, Daugherty and her husband, Sam, spent the night in the hospital with her when she gave birth to her daughter, Chidinma. They then helped her care for her newborn for a short time before Menakaya moved on.

"This was my first child, and I was praying for God to give me a way to take care of my baby," Menakaya recalled. "I was new here, I had nobody, and I was going to be homeless. This made me realize that God answers prayers."

Her oldest daughter, now 29 and living in the D.C. area near the rest of her siblings, helped her mother track down Daugherty before they traveled to Texas to reunite with a family member last week. "My mom always talked about Lolamay, about how she took her in," Chidinma told Shine. "We never hesitate now to help people because of how she helped us."

Chidinma found her godmother through an online people-tracker service—in the same house they left her in, but widowed since 1997, with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren scattered around the country.

When Menakaya called, Daugherty told Shine, “I was really surprised, because I never expected to hear from her again.” Over the years, she said she has “thought about her and wondered about her," although she never realized the great impact she had on her until now.

“We didn’t think it was that big a deal, but they did," she said, "so it was great to hear from them."

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