Lieutenant Brian Zach met Kaila in March 2018 while he working for the Kingman Police Department.
Zach and his partner responded to a call involving Kaila's home. While the investigation developed, Zach spent time that night comforting Kaila. He told Good Morning America, "We colored, we snacked... she held my hand and she was just this cute little thing," Zach said. "Once detectives came, they picked her up and took her to the hospital."
Zach's wife, Cierra, told a local news channel that when Brian came home, he was already in love with little Kaila.
"He shows up, he's like, 'I got to hang out with the cutest little girl. She was so awesome,'" Cierra said.
This Arizona police officer has given a little girl a forever home after meeting her while on duty.
— Good Morning America (@GMA)
When child protective services couldn't locate a family member able to take in Kaila, Lieutenant Zach and his wife volunteered to foster her.
"She came with a sippy cup, a bag of clothes that didn't fit her and that was it," Zach said.
When Kaila came to live with them, she was still being treated for multiple injuries as a result of the abuse she suffered in her original home. Zach said criminal charges were filed against Kaila's caretakers.
Despite her trauma, Kaila warmed up to the Zach family quickly.
"Within the second day, she was calling my wife 'mom' or 'mommy,'" Zach said. "I was 'guy' for a week or two and then when she started preschool she learned who dad was."
After 30 months together, the Zachs formally adopted Kaila this summer.
"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," Lieutenant Zach said "Our goal was to love and care for this little girl for as long as it happened."
Zach's department celebrated the adoption. In a Facebook post, the Kingman Police Department wrote, "Welcome to the family Kaila. Amazing family. Well done and congratulations."
Brian and Cierra say their daughter is funny, outgoing, and loves dancing. She completes their family.
They hope other families consider fostering and adopting.
"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.
There are more than 400,000 children estimated to be in the foster system and in need of care, according to the most recent federal data.