A Family's Love Spreads Nationwide
When Tara Montgomery and her three daughters adopted Michael in December, they had no idea how his exuberant expression and celebration would capture the hearts of a nation.
Tara Montgomery was a single mother of three daughters and never expected to become a foster parent, much less an adoptive mom. However, as an administrative assistant at a local high school, she sees many teens moving through life without guidance from someone who loves them. When a coworker approached her about becoming a foster parent, she and her daughters agreed to do what they could to make a difference in the lives of children who had no one. She learned of Child Crisis Arizona and worked with us to become a licensed foster family.
Tara and her daughters welcomed three children into their home over the next 2 ½ years, understanding that each welcome would be a temporary stay.
On Feb. 13, they picked up Michael. He was 18 months old, and they were his third foster family. Michael was a sick little boy, visiting the doctor 26 times in just the first year. He had chronic ear infections, chronic asthma and allergies. He required a lot of care.
Despite his health issues, Michael developed a special bond with the family.
“Michael’s presence brightened our lives as much as we hoped to brighten his through fostering. His laugh. His smile. His energy. It became a part of our home’s ecosystem. It was an instant connection,” Tara said in her testimonial.
He already shared the last name of Tara’s daughters – Brown – but he also developed close familial bonds with them. One is a cheerleader and Michael has learned all the cheers and their moves. When he’s not watching her cheer at games, he’s watching her and her teammates on the iPad over and over.
He also has a love for basketball, because Tara’s youngest daughter has a love for basketball. Alongside her bag, ball and shoes is Michael’s bag, ball and shoes – all right in her room where he insists they stay. She is the only person Michael wants to sleep next to when he has a bad asthma attack.
“From the outside looking in, you might think we changed Michael’s life and made it better,” Tara said. “The truth is he changed ours.”
These close bonds are the reason it didn’t take the family long to decide to adopt Michael when they received the call that the efforts to reunite Michael with his biological mother had fallen through.
In December, after 832 days in foster care, Michael was adopted. His excitement was caught on camera by one of Tara’s daughters who posted the picture to Twitter.
It went viral.
It seems the nation was ready to hear how a family’s love can change a life forever.