Human Interest

12-year-old boy celebrates adoption after years in foster care

Two years ago, Andrew and his four siblings were removed from their parents’ custody, but while his siblings were each adopted, Andrew still had not found his forever family. Or at least he didn’t think he had.

Foster parents Kevin and Dominique Gill had welcomed Andrew into their home as a foster child with no intention of adopting. According to Today Parents, Dominique wanted to help foster children the same way her parents had when she was growing up. But as time went by, they knew Andrew was meant to be their son.

Photo via Village Voices Twitter

“During his first week with us, he sat in his room with the door closed and looked at old pictures,” said Dominique. “He didn’t want to talk.” He struggled emotionally and would “scream and behave badly” to push the Gills away, said Dominque. But then the couples’ son Joc invited him to play video games, and Andrew agreed. “They’ve been best friends ever since,” she said.

During his time in foster care, Andrew suffered two adoptions that fell through. That’s when the Gills, who are also parents to baby girl Kynnedi, realized God’s hand was at work in those disappointments.

“Our mindset was we’d help him until he found his forever home,” said Dominique. “But after the second adoption didn’t work out, I realized God put Andrew in our lives for a reason. God made sure the adoption didn’t work out so he could come back to us.”

READ: Thousands line up to adopt boy in foster care after TV appeal: ‘I hope one of y’all pick me’

Youth Villages, which works to help young people and children with mental and emotional difficulties, had a surprise ready for Andrew at a local park. There, Andrew saw friends and the Gill family holding signs and balloons. The Gills asked Andrew if he wanted to permanently join their family.

“They asked, ‘Will you?’ and I said, ‘Yeah!'” he explained. Now he and his best friend are brothers too.

Photo via Village Voices Twitter.

“When we see them together, we’re glad we decided to adopt Andrew,” said Dominique. “It just seems like it was meant to be.”

Andrew is learning to control his emotions and hasn’t had any outbursts in over a year. Thanks to the love and support of his family, he is doing well.

“From the beginning, Andrew has always said, ‘Thank you for accepting me,’ ‘Thank you for not giving up on me,'” said Dominique. “People would read his file and get scared away. But I knew he was a good child who had experienced a lot of trauma.”

Though the family does get stared at a lot in public because of their different skin tones, race has never been an issue for them. Andrew checked “no preference” when asked if he had a race preference for foster parents. Dominique said, “Love doesn’t have a color. [Andrew] is our son just like Joc is our son. He’s a part of us.”

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