Rays’ Pitcher Helps to Find A Family
Video made by Rays’ Chris Archer helps foster child find home
CLEARWATER, Fla. – They hadn’t seen each other in more than a year: An ace pitcher and a teenage fan.
Zach, whose last name is not being shared because he was in the foster system, reunited with the Ray’s Chris Archer.
Archer’s gesture changed his life forever.
The two met on the eve of the biggest day of Zach’s life
“It is hard to believe,” said Archer from training camp in Port Charlotte. “I try to do things for the community all the time and I do not see it come around full circle until now.”
Zach finally has parents he can call his own. Terri and Mark Schreffler adopted the 15 year old, all thanks to a video.
“When he was doing the interview with the Rays you really got to see his personality. It was really touching,” Terri Schreffler said.
That video was made more than a year ago when Archer heard Zach’s story through the Heart Gallery . The nonprofit places kids in need in forever homes.
“This is one of the most special experiences I’ve had directly impacting somebody’s life,” Archer said.
He and Zach made the video together. It shows the two of them playing baseball, and Zach talks about being drawn to Archer.
“I thought he was a good inspirational player to me,” Zach said. “I hope I can be a role model like him.”
At the time, Zach was losing hope he would ever find a family. Zach’s story hit close to home and Archer hoped he could help with Zach’s dream.
“If you get the right parents, it’s the perfect thing. It’s an awesome thing. And I can speak to that because I was adopted,” Archer said.
Archer said he was adopted at 2 years old by his maternal grandmother and her husband. His own mother struggled to take care of him at the time.
He talks fondly about his parents and his upbringing. Now, Zach has that chance. The Schreffler’s said he is the perfect fit.
The couple, who both served in the Air Force, has two grown sons and no longer wanted to be empty nesters. But they were losing hope, too.
“Honestly if it wasn’t for that video. My wife saw it on the Heart Gallery website and we were so moved. I remember saying, ‘Hey this young man is just a really good kid, and he would be a really good match for us,'” Mark Schreffler said.
Now the trio is officially a family.
“It’s completed a long journey, and we are happy to have him with us and be part of our life,” Schreffler said.
Zach was too overwhelmed to speak. For Archer, it gives him more drive and hopes others will be inspired, too.
“I really do hope I can continue to do more not just in the adoption process but also have an impact globally,” said Archer.
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