At just 3 pounds, the baby who is now named Samuel Tyler was so small he fit in a shoebox. And that’s the where his birth mother put him as a makeshift cradle when she left him at a local firehouse with a note explaining she couldn’t care for him. The bottom of the note said simply, “I love you.”
Brittany Tyler, a foster and adoptive mom from Kentucky, didn’t know any of this when she was scrolling her social media feeds in May 2022 and saw a story about a baby being left at the local firehouse. But she knew right away in her heart that her story was meant to include this child.
“I started praying that he would be placed with us, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” Brittany told TODAY.com.
Just a few days later, Brittany and her husband Chris got a phone call about fostering the newborn who had been left at the firehouse, a designated place under Kentucky’s SAFE Act where you can anonymously relinquish an infant, no questions asked.
“My prayers were answered,” Brittany said of the phone call.
When the Tylers first met Samuel, he was still very tiny and fragile, and a resident of the hospital’s NICU. His medical situation is part of how he was matched with the Tylers as foster parents: they were known for fostering medically fragile babies.
In that NICU, it was love at first sight for Brittany and Chris. “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 Tyler said.
Chris was right. It took 518 days, but the Tylers were able to legally adopt little Samuel on December 18, 2023. He joined big brothers Judah, 8, and Calvin, 5. Chris says their older boys were immediately enamored with Samuel and that the three as a unit are inseparable.