The environment where children are raised primarily influences the kind of individuals they grow up to be. That’s why kids need to be brought up in a nurturing and loving home, so they can grow up to be happy and healthy people.
Getting the right amount of care and attention during childhood will also help children become good parents when the time comes for them to start their own families.
Unfortunately, not every kid is lucky enough to have this experience. Some have mothers and fathers who don’t care for them; others even mistreat them.
This 12-year-old boy from Nashville, Tennessee, named Andrew can relate to this scenario all too well.
The child has been in state custody since he was 6 years old, when his biological parents’ rights were terminated. Andrew has four siblings, and they were all adopted right away. For him, however, the situation was a lot different.
Two years ago, Dominique Gill and her husband, Kevin Gill, opened their home to Andrew and decided to become his foster parents. The boy was 10 at the time, and understandably, it took him a while to adjust to his new environment.
“During his first week with us, he sat in his room with the door closed and looked at old pictures. He didn’t want to talk,” Dominique told TODAY Parents.
He would also “scream and behave badly” to try to push them away. But Dominique and Kevin refused to give up on him.
“He’d start shouting, ‘Just let me move out!’ But I refused to give up on him,” Dominique said. “I was like, ‘We are going to get you together.'”
With a lot of love and patience, the couple did just that. Eventually, Andrew learned to control his emotions and hasn’t had an outburst for over a year. He’s also developed a tight bond with their son, Joc.
It all began when Joc asked Andrew if he’d like to play video games with him. To Joc’s delight, he agreed. Ever since that day, the two boys have become the best of friends.
“As the years went on, they got pretty close,” Kevin told WSMV. “It’s good to see that bond they have grow over the years.”
In May, the Gill family asked Andrew if he wanted to be a permanent part of their family. He said yes, and he was officially adopted in July 2020.
“They asked ‘will you?’ and I said ‘yeah!'” Andrew recalled.
Initially, the Gills had no plan of adopting when they began fostering. All they wanted to do was help as many neglected children as they could, just like what Dominique’s parents had done while she was growing up.
However, when Andrew’s second adoption failed, they took it as a sign that he was meant to be with their family forever.
“Our mindset was we’d help him until he found his forever home,” Dominique explained. “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.”
Now that Andrew is officially a Gill, things have been going really well for the family. However, Dominique can’t help but notice the stares they get whenever they’re out in public. She said people seem confused when they see Andrew together with them, and she thinks it’s because he’s white and they’re black.
However, race has never been an issue with Andrew. In fact, he checked the “no preference” box when he was asked about his race preference for his foster parents.
“Love doesn’t have a color. (Andrew) is our son just like Joc is our son,” Dominique said. “He’s a part of us.”
We couldn’t agree more! True love doesn’t discriminate; it only accepts! Share this wonderful story of adoption with your friends and family.