There are currently more than 400,000 kids in foster care in the United States.Generally, these children have either experienced abuse, abandonment, or neglect by their parents or legal guardians.While most parents could never imagine mistreating their child, it’s a tragic reality that many kids face firsthand.
Brian Zach, a police officer in Kingman, Arizona, has dealt with a large number of child abuse cases.The hardest thing for him is that he bonds with every abused child, but he never has the direct power to take them out of their situation.During one call, Brian met a young girl named Kaila while checking in on a residence.
The pair spent 5 hours together, waiting for a DCS to show up, and in that short space of time, they formed a bond that had a lasting impact on Brian.
What happened to have brought them together like that?
Not much, according to Brian, who told AZ Family:
“We colored. We watched Wreck-It Ralph. She loved Wreck-It Ralph.”
But when Brian returned home to his wife, Cierra, he couldn’t stop thinking about Kaila.
He told Cierra that Kaila was “the cutest little girl” and “so awesome” – and Cierra knew that she and Brian had to help her in any way that they could.
So, after being treated for her abuse injuries at the hospital, Kaila was sent to the couple’s home, and they agreed to look after her while criminal charges were filed against her caretakers.
They had no supplies for children and not much from Kaila’s home either.
“We had to get a bed. We had to get a high chair, potty chair. She came with a bag of clothes that didn’t fit her and a sippy cup and that was it.”
Cierra and Brian soon settled Kaila into, what they hoped was, a normal life – or as normal as possible, considering her situation.
Brian enrolled the little girl at a local school, and she quickly became a part of the family.
“Within the second day she was calling my wife ‘mom’ or ‘mommy,’” Brian told Good Morning America. “I was ‘guy’ for a week or two and then when she started preschool she learned who dad was.”
For both Brian and Cierra, adoption wasn’t an option – it was a certainty.
After a full year, the adoption process was complete, and four-year-old Kaila became their child for life.
The difference Brian has seen in the little girl is phenomenal. He said:
“She’s happy and she’s flourished, and when we got her, she knew three words. Basically, she grunted like a caveman, she didn’t know how to talk. And now she loves to talk.”
Having been so inspired by their successful adoption story, Brian and Cierra are renewing their foster license.
They want to be able to help other kids in Arizona, and they’re keen to spread the word about how rewarding it is to foster.
“I would definitely encourage people to do it because there’s so many kids who need guys even if it’s just for a small amount of time you can make such an impact,” Cierra said.
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