In the movie we see that the first person to offer any sympathy to Maria and her need for five dollars is the mental patient who, for what we know, stole the baby. Maria develops a small obsession with finding the woman's husband and meeting her. But we know that she wanted to find them again for more than just returning her five dollars. I believe that Maria respected that woman because she was not only the first person to help her but also because she knew what she wanted out of life, a baby. It may have been a little crazy for her to take it but she did give it back and she was a mental patient.