Baby was left at a firehouse with a note saying 'I love you': His parents share his story


Brittany Tyler, a foster parent in Kentucky, was scrolling through her news feed in May of 2022 when she noticed a story about a baby boy who had been surrendered at a local fire station.

“I started praying that he would be placed with us, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” Brittany tells TODAY.com.

Kentucky’s Safe Infant Act allows someone to anonymously and legally relinquish an infant at a designated location — no questions asked.

At the time, details were scarce, but Brittany, 37, and her husband, Chris, would later learn that the newborn’s birth mother had placed him in a shoebox with a blanket and a handwritten note explaining that she wasn’t able to properly care for him.

“At the bottom, she wrote ‘I love you,’” Brittany shares.

Brittany loves him, too.

Samuel is the name Brittany and her husband chose for their son, who is now 20 months old. The couple adopted Samuel on December 18, 2023, after fostering him for 581 days. He joined brothers Judah, 8, and Calvin, 5.

Baby adoption (Courtesy Heather Wilkerson of Heather Shay Photography)

Baby adoption (Courtesy Heather Wilkerson of Heather Shay Photography)

The Tylers received a call about fostering Samuel just days after he was surrendered at the fire station.

“My prayers were answered,” Brittany says.

When Brittany and Chris, 43, were first introduced to the newborn, he weighed just over 3 pounds, and was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The Tylers were chosen because they foster medically fragile babies.

“I remember holding him in the my arms and knowing right off the bat, ‘This is my boy. This is the next member of our family,’” Chris says.

Baby adoption (Courtesy Heather Wilkerson of Heather Shay Photography)

Baby adoption (Courtesy Heather Wilkerson of Heather Shay Photography)

Chris notes that Judah and Calvin were also immediately smitten with Samuel. Judah and Calvin, like Samuel, were adopted through foster care. The three brothers are inseparable.

“Everybody lives for Samuel’s hugs,” Brittany says. “He’s such a cuddly kid.”

One big happy family

Outside the Tylers’ home is a doormat that says, “Just so you know, there’s a lot of kids here.”

It’s a dream come true for Brittany and Chris after years of struggling with infertility.

“All I ever wanted was to be a mom,” Brittany says, noting that they are in the process of adopting another foster child — a girl.

“Samuel is obsessed with her. He tries to pick her up like baby doll and she just takes it,” Brittany chuckles.

Baby adoption (Courtesy Heather Wilkerson of Heather Shay Photography)

Baby adoption (Courtesy Heather Wilkerson of Heather Shay Photography)

Samuel’s name has special meaning. In the Bible, Hannah is a barren woman who prays for a child.

“God answers the prayer and Hannah has Samuel,” Chris explains.  Samuel’s middle name is Ryan, after Brittany’s late brother, who was a firefighter.

Brittany and Chris want Samuel’s birth mom to know that they love her for what she did. They are saving her note for Samuel to read when he’s older. And he sleeps with the blanket he was surrendered in.

“I made it into a teddy bear,” Brittany says. “So that he always has a piece of her.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com



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