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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Heartwarming: Police Officer Adopts Little Girl He Helped Save from Abusive Home

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In March 2018, Lieutenant Brian Zach with the Kingman Police Department in Arizona had no idea that his future daughter was waiting for him at the next call he would respond to.

What Zach, then a patrol sergeant, did know was that when officers responded to the residence check, the toddler named Kaila who they found there needed help.

“We colored, we snacked … she held my hand and she was just this cute little thing,” Zach told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Once detectives came, they picked her up and took her to the hospital.”

A survivor of abuse, the girl made a huge impression on the officer, who had two kids of his own with his wife, Cierra.

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“He shows up, he’s like, ‘I got to hang out with the cutest little girl,'” Cierra told AZ Family. “‘She was so awesome.'”

The girl’s caretakers faced criminal charges, and Kaila had to be treated for her injuries, but Zach wasn’t done helping just yet. When the opportunity came up, he and his wife offered to house her.

“She came with a sippy cup, a bag of clothes that didn’t fit her and that was it,” Zach recalled.

She quickly adapted to her new arrangements, settling into calling Brian and Cierra “dad” and “mom” pretty quickly — though Brian had to work a little longer to earn the title.

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

“She’s happy and she’s flourished and when we got her she knew three words basically she grunted like a caveman, but she didn’t know how to talk,” he added. “And now she loves to talk.”

Their time with Kaila was precious, as they never knew what the next day would hold and whether or not her family would reclaim her.

“We lived each week not knowing if she was going to go back to her biological parents, or how long we were going to keep her,” Zach said. “Our goal was to love and care for this little girl for as long as it happened.”

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But 30 months after their first meeting, 4-year-old Kaila officially joined the family. Her place in their hearts and home was made official on Aug. 18.

“I had a lot of child abuse cases and there’s always kids that I would bond with and I’d love to take them out of bad situations and just bring them home,” Zach said. And now, he’d been able to.

Brian has certainly taken on the proud dad role, and he and his wife are staunch supporters of fostering.

“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.

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

“They are committed to the service of others and a cause that is greater than themselves. We are proud of Brian and thankful that he and his family are part of the Kingman Police Department.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking