Foster Boy and His Bestfriend Are Now a Family

Photo: (Photo : Youth Villages on Facebook)

A 12-year-old foster child, at last, finds his forever home. After his second adoption didn't materialize, his best friend's family decided to adopt him.

In 2018, a family from Tennessee opened their home to Andrew - a foster boy living in foster care since he was six years old. Dominique and Kevin Gill told Today Parents that when the state terminated Andrew's parents' parental rights, Andrew's four siblings were adopted soon after.

The first time wasn't easy

The first week with Andrew wasn't easy, the young parents recalled. The then 10-year-old was reclusive and would mostly sit in his room with the door closed. Dominique said Andrew "behaved badly" at the start. He would shout and push them away. However, the couple didn't give up on him. They were determined to provide him the love and care he needed.

Neither did he and Dominique's son, Joc, become close the first time they met. That day will not come until they realized that they have some things in common. It turns out, both of them love playing video games, particularly Minecraft. Also, for snacks, they both love Pop-Tarts. That sparked the friendship that would lead to Andrew finding his forever home and new family.

Adopting Andrew wasn't the original plan

Eventually, Andrew left after spending more than a year with the Gills, but the boys remained friends. Dominique and Kevin said they didn't really plan to adopt a child. Fostering is just their way of helping as many kids as they can. It was a sort of tradition started by Dominique's parents that the couple now continuous.

As much as they love Andrew, all they wanted was to help him find a family that would open their doors for him. However, after Andrew's second adoption didn't happen, Dominique and Kevin knew that Andrew belongs to them.

Foster boy no more

One day, Andrew got the surprise of his life while walking through the park with Youth Villages Counsellor, Molly Parker. He turned around and saw familiar faces holding balloons and signs. When the Gills asked him if he wanted to become part of the family, Andrew didn't hesitate and said, "yeah."

Youth Villages shared the heartwarming moment in a Tweeter post. "We don't know which is sweeter," they wrote, "Andrew and Joc's love of @KelloggsUS PopTarts, or the bond these two share!"

Andrew was thankful to the Gills, who never gave up on him and accepted him. People still stare at them when they are out in public — because the Gills are black, and Andrew is white, Dominique said. However, race was never an issue with Andrew or the Gills. They are a family, and their love knows no color.

There are over 415,000 children in foster care across the U.S., and about 8,000 are in Tennessee. Sadly, less than 4,000 families have chosen to open their homes, Adoption.com says. And the pandemic even made the situation worse. Youth Villages said that calls from families willing to provide homes to these foster kids slowed because of economic uncertainty.

Watch the video from WBIR here.

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