A police officer took a bruised girl from an abusive home. She took his heart

Kingman, Arizona (CNN) – A Christmas tree full of ornaments inside Lieutenant Brian Zach’s office tells you that Christmas is his favorite time of year.

But the police officer knows that the gifts are not always neatly wrapped under the tree.

Zach, 40, met one of life’s greatest gifts during a welfare review four years ago in Kingman, Arizona.

The city is known to be the “heart” of historic Route 66 and most calls to the police are related to theft, drugs or domestic violence. This time Zach was asked to help in a child abuse case.

A two-year-old girl named Kaila was waiting for him.

“My heart went out to this girl who was covered in bruises. She had a very strong spirit,” Zach told CNN. “He had a skull fracture, brain hemorrhage and a dislocated elbow.”

Kaila was pulled out of an abusive situation when she was just two years old.

It wasn’t the first time Zach had seen a child in need during his work.

“A 13-month-old boy died. That was difficult. It’s something that leaves an emotional scar that I relive every time I talk about it,” Zach said. “Look, Kaila could be that girl, but God had a different plan.”

He became friends with Kaila while they were waiting for the social workers for the first time. And his kindness was remembered when authorities began looking for a foster family.

“The question that changed our life forever was, ‘Would you really consider being a foster home?’ And we immediately said, ‘Yes,’ “Zach said.

Kaila was very well received by the entire Zach family and now has an older brother and older sister.

Kaila was only supposed to be with Zach and his wife and their two older children, Raina and Trevin, for a short time.

“They said it would only be a couple of weeks to a month before they could find a place for her. We played week to week, month to month, cut-off date by cut-off date not knowing how much time we would really have,” Zach said.

While waiting, Zach often thought about where Kaila would live in the long term.

“If I stopped and thought about it, it would make me sick to my stomach not knowing what the future of this girl would be if she did go away,” she said, swallowing tears. “Having seen what happens when kids are in the system … it made me worry a lot more.”

The family began creating memories with Kaila, including trips to Disneyland and Hawaii. Now, four years later, Zach and his wife are his adoptive parents.

Detective Heath Mosby attended the same high school as Zach and they became close friends in law enforcement.

“We started out together as rookies,” he said. And although they knew each other well, Mosby had no idea what to expect for Zach. “I was amazed! I never heard of any of our officers doing that,” he said. “When it came down to adoption, it was like ‘Wow!’ … Especially after the journey he went through.

Brian Zach and Kaila share a father and daughter moment.

Zach is a great asset to the Kingman community, Mosby said.

He’s following in the footsteps of his ancestors and mentors: his father was a state trooper and his grandfather was one of the first motorcycle officers for the same agency where Zach is now a lieutenant.

Their badges are displayed on a shelf in Zach’s office.

“It’s in my blood. I feel very lucky to have the career I have and to help the people that I have helped. You can see the difference you make, meet the people you help and there are very, very nice people here. “Zach said.

And for those who are undecided about sponsorship or adoption, Zach says it is one of the best decisions he and his family have made.

“Just do it. The process is not as hard or overwhelming as we think,” Zach said.

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