Police officer adopts girl he consoled during welfare check

Lt. Brian Zach conducted a welfare check four years ago. Overall, the visit was fairly routine; he was responding to a call about a toddler allegedly being beaten by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. However, he was actually saving the daughter he would soon adopt. At that point, Kaila was two years old and a clear victim of physical abuse.

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She had a skull fracture, brain bleed, and dislocated elbow,” Zach said. “My heart felt for this little girl who was covered in bruises. She had a very strong spirit about her.[1]

Adopting Kaila After the Welfare Check

Image credit: ABC 11

Kaila’s mother and boyfriend were arrested. At the police station, Zach waited with Kaila for child services to come to get her. They snacked, colored, and watched Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph together. “We were buddies. I distinctly remember her grabbing my hand and just petting my hand like I was the one needing to be consoled. It melted my heart right away.[2]

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His shift ended and he went home, but he couldn’t forget the little girl. The next morning he called child services to ask about her welfare. The worker asked if he would take care of Kaila until a more permanent placement comes up. “They said it would only be a couple of weeks to a month until they could find a placement home for her,” Zach said. “We played it week by week, month by month, court date by court date, not knowing how long we would really have.

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In the meantime, Kaila became a part of the family, bonding with Zach and his wife and their two children, Raina and Trevin. The family even traveled together, including trips to Disneyland and Hawaii.

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“Within the second day she was calling my wife ‘mom’ or ‘mommy,’” he added. “I was ‘guy’ for a week or two and then when she started preschool she learned who dad was.” 

All the while, Zach wondered and worried about Kaila’s future. “If I stopped and thought about it, it would make me sick to my stomach not knowing what this girl’s future would be if she left. Having seen what happens when children are in the system … It made me worry a lot more.” So, Zach decided to adopt Kaila, just two years after her welfare check. “This weight was lifted because I knew that I didn’t have to worry about who was going to be taking care of her and who was going to be loving her.”

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Brian Zach and Kaila share a father-daughter moment.
Image credit: Zach Family via CNN

Read: A gay couple found a baby boy abandoned on the subway. Now, he’s their son

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“I never heard of any of our officers doing that”

Detective Heath Mosby is a fellow officer as well as Zach’s childhood friend. “We started out as rookies together,” Mosby said about Kaila’s adoption. “I was awestruck! I never heard of any of our officers doing that. When it came down to adoption, it was like ‘Wow!’ … Especially after the journey she went through.” [3]

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However, Zach was much less surprised. “She is just so loving that G-d sent her to me for a reason, and I’m very thankful for it,” he said. The police officer hopes to foster other children in the future. 

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Zach’s father was a state trooper and his grandfather was an officer at the same agency Zach works at today. He follows in their footsteps of helping and protecting other people, keeping their badges in his office. “It is very much in my blood. I feel very fortunate to have the career I’ve had and help the people that I’ve helped. You get to see the difference you make, you get to know the people you help and there are very, very kind people here,” Zach said.

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As Kingman Police Department’s chief of police Rusty Cooper said, “Lt. Brian Zach’s commitment to public safety is exemplified in his commitment and love for Kaila. Both Brian and his wife Cierra are amazing parents.[4]

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Take the Leap to Adopt or Foster

Additionally, Zach encourages anyone thinking of fostering or adopting to go for it. Adopting Kaila was one of the best decisions Zach and his family have ever made. Kaila is now a happy child who enjoys preschool, dancing, animals, and playing make-believe. “Just do it. The process isn’t as harsh or overburdened as we thought,” Zach said.

Keep Reading: Couple marries after 50 years apart and tracks down daughter they gave up as teens

Sources

  1. “Arizona officer adopts girl he consoled during welfare check.” ABC News. October 1, 2021
  2. “Cop Who Adopted Little Girl After Responding to Her Home for a Call Shares Story of How They Became a Family.” Inside Edition. Johanna Li. December 18, 2020
  3. “The police officer took a bruised toddler from an abusive home. She took his heart.” CNN. Adrienne Broaddus and Meridith Edwards. October 2, 2021
  4. “Police officer adopts little girl he comforted while on duty.Good Morning America. Nicole Pelletiere. December 2, 2020
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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