Jeremiah, Sam and Milton -- a family!
At the young age of four, Jeremiah was placed in the Los Angeles foster care system where he lived for the next six years, dreaming of finding the loving family he longed for. Jeremiah’s life turned around when he joined Kidsave’s Weekend Miracles program. And while Jeremiah looked for a loving family, Sam and Milton searched for a way to welcome a child into their lives.
Two worlds collided at one of Kidsave’s weekend advocacy events. “Little did we know that we’d meet the most amazing little guy in the world on our very first Kidsave event,” recalls Sam. It was at a bowling alley in downtown Los Angeles. Before the bowling games began, kids and adults mingled around board games. Sam and Milton stopped by a table and began to play a game of Connect Four. Their opponent was none other than Jeremiah.
“Looking back, it seems that some things are just meant to be, and when you are fortunate enough to make that kind of meaningful connection with another human being, you have to take full advantage of it,” says Sam.
Sam and Milton continued to get to know Jeremiah during Kidsave events until just a few months later, in May of 2019, Jeremiah moved into their home. “At that point, we became a family,” says Sam. “We spent every day together.” Sam and Milton favored spending their free time playing outdoors and hiking, as well as coming up with new family traditions with Jeremiah.
“It had been a couple of months, and everything is as wonderful as we’d dreamed it would be,” said Sam. “He’s an amazing kid and fits in so nicely with our family.” One of the biggest surprises Sam and Milton discovered was how well their parenting techniques worked together. Sam considers himself to be more of a “taskmaster,” while Milton is more of the “warm and fuzzy” type.
After 14 months in the program and a year and a half since Jeremiah met Sam and Milton, Jeremiah accepted Sam and Milton’s adoption plans. “The stars aligned for our family, and Kidsave has become kind of a second family,” said Sam. “Kidsave will be there for you throughout the process and will celebrate with you when your adoption is finalized.”
In the spirit of new beginnings, Jeremiah legally changed his name to Andreas. “There will be no more social workers, no more courts, no more therapists, and no more bouncing from home to home,” Sam and Milton explained to Andreas. “From now on, it’s all about all of us spending time together, you, your friends, and school. We’re a regular family.” “We really can’t imagine our lives without him anymore,” expressed Sam and Milton.
Now that Sam and Milton are parents, they have tweaked their parenting techniques in ways that have surprised them. “We have ended up switching our roles and learning from one another how to be the best parents we can be,” says Sam. “Our number one rule in the house is to have respect for each other and others.”
With Sam and Milton’s help, Andreas now has the support and resources he needs to excel in the 6th grade and become whoever he dreams of becoming in the future. “He can now focus on doing whatever makes a 12-year-old happy,” says Sam. “Ride bikes with his friends, eat chips, play video games, whatever he wants! The most important thing for him to understand is that no matter what he goes through or what he feels from his tough past, we’re not going anywhere. We’re family.”