A warm and loving home is something that many of us take for granted. Stories like these are a gentle way to remind us that many children don’t have the same as they grow up. When Andrew was only 6, the state took away his parents’ right to raise him. In 2018, Kevin and Dominique Gill welcomed a 10-year-old foster child into their home in Nashville.
Dominique told TODAY, “All four of Andrew’s siblings were taken in right away.” At first, Andrew was very shy and didn’t talk to many people. “During his first week with us, he sat in his room with the door closed and looked at old photos. He didn’t want to talk.”
Even though he had a hard start, his parents didn’t give up on him. They were determined to give him the kind of home that every child deserves. They realized that the only way to get him out of his bad headspace is to be patient and understand him.
Soon, things got better when Joc, the son of Kevin and Dominique, asked Andrew if he would play video games with him. Andrew agreed, which surprised him, and after that there was no turning back. Both of them liked Pop-Tarts and Minecraft, which led to a new happy friendship between them. Soon, Andrew stopped being the sad and shy kid he used to be. Andrew told WBIR Channel 10: “We had a lot in common.”
The couple didn’t want to adopt, they just wanted to take care of as many kids as they could. But when Andrew’s second adoption fell through, Kevin and Dominique took it as a sign from God and made the decision to keep him forever. Dominique said, “We thought we’d help him until he found a place to live for good. But when the second adoption didn’t work out, I realized that God put Andrew in our lives for a reason.”
In May 2020, the couple decided to do something big to show that he was now part of the family. Andrew was talking to Molly Parker, a counselor at Youth Villages, when she asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. He had no idea that what seemed like a normal walk was actually the path to a happy future. Andrew saw the Gills and other family friends he knew from living in the house while he was walking. Andrew couldn’t help but cry when his family asked him to be his brother, and Joc even wore a T-shirt that said, “Will you be my brother?” WBIR says that Andrew said “yes” when they asked him to marry them, and his new parents gave him a t-shirt that said “Yes” on the front.
“From the beginning, Andrew has always said, ‘Thank you for accepting me’ and ‘Thank you for not giving up on me,'” Dominique said. Still, people still stare at the family when they are out in public. She said, “People will stare at us because Andrew is white and we are black. They’re confused.” But she said that neither she nor their family cared. “Love has no color,” they said. (Andrew) is our son just like Joc is our son,” Dominique said. “He is one of us.”