As Scott and Chelsey Schlatter prepared to finalize the adoption of their second child, they decided to take the celebration to the spot where she was born — the Corner Bakery in Burbank.
On Friday, the couple and 15-month-old Lilah were joined by family members and friends at the eatery at the intersection of San Fernando Road and Grinnell Drive.
It was there on Feb. 11, 2011 that Lilah’s birth mother went into labor and, with the help of some customers, delivered the child on the floor in the middle of the dining area.
“By the time everything was complete, the baby was wearing a little hat and a full coat, all made out of dish towels,” said Clyde Ralston, a retired Los Angeles city firefighter who happened to be in the bakery that morning and helped with the birth.
Burbank firefighters arrived minutes after the bakery staff called 911 to transport the pair to the hospital.
Those who assisted the birth mother said that the entire episode lasted about 20 minutes. But the experience stayed with them, and everyone wanted to know what had happened to the baby girl. They inquired with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, which relayed the message to the Schlatters.
As the date to finalize the adoption approached, Scott Schlatter called up the Corner Bakery regional manager and let him know they would be stopping by on Friday after they signed the paperwork.
“I said we would like to share, and if they want to say hi and see the baby, they are more than welcome,” Scott Schlatter said.
The family lives in Long Beach, where Scott Schlatter, 32, works as a youth pastor and Chelsey Schlatter, 29, as a preschool teacher. They are on track to adopt a third child within weeks, and blog about their experience as adoptive parents at www.ckschlatter.wordpress.com.
In addition to Lilah’s parents and big brother, 2-year-old Nolan, both sets of grandparents were there for the homecoming on Friday. It marked 15 months to the day that Lilah was born on the bakery floor.
“It was our little joke that we were going to go back and visit the place she had been born,” Chelsey Schlatter said. “When the whole family was up in L.A. getting her adopted, we decided we would come down and have breakfast.”
Ralston, along with several bakery staff members who were present for the birth, also joined in the celebration. They marveled at the now-toddler making her way around tables and chairs.
“I am really, really thrilled to see her because most of the emergency deliveries that the fire department is involved in — you never get to see the result,” Ralston said. “This is just unusual. I am just as tickled as I can be.”