Rowan Miller met Carson Wentz once before.
It was back in September, when the Philadelphia Eagles visited the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 of the regular season.
Steve Miller and Tammy Miller, Rowan's adoptive parents, had gifted their 11-year-old son with tickets to the game, hoping he'd get close enough to the sidelines to catch a glimpse of his favorite team's quarterback.
But once the Eagles organization heard about Rowan, who has cerebral palsy, they decided he wouldn't have to wait until the day of the game.
“The Eagles went so above and beyond. In September, when they played the Falcons, we went down the day before and we got to meet Carson Wentz. We got to meet probably 10 of the players," Tammy said. "They were in a hotel, staying the day before. They put us in a room and every few minutes, a new player would come in and spend time with Rowan, myself, my husband and our other son that they let us bring along. Then, the next day we went to the game, and they gave us awesome seats, we were able to go down on the field before the game, (and) it was just an amazing weekend.”
Then, a couple of weeks later, it got even better.
The Eagles' public relations staff met with the Miller family again, this time bringing a video of Wentz personally inviting Rowan to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.
So, when Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs on a 21-point rally during the fourth quarter of Sunday's 31-20 win against the San Francisco 49ers, Rowan watched along the 50-yard line, just a couple of rows back.
“It was surreal, honestly. He was out of his skin," Tammy said. "I mean, he was just so excited. There really aren’t words for it. The entire family just had an amazing time.”
The trip included tickets to the game and accommodations, and was made possible by The Granted Wish Foundation, which is described on its website as an organization "enriching the lives of physically challenged children and young adults by granting wishes exclusively in the sports genres."
Rowan is one of 12 children — seven adopted — in the Miller family.
Tammy, whose husband Steve is the principal at Otwell Middle School, said she has adopted siblings, which led the couple to adopt their first son, Patrick.
“After that, we never really had a set plan to have this many," Tammy said. "But once we had one or two, we said, ‘We can add another. We can do one more.’ It was such an amazing experience that, as the children came along, we felt that we could be a good family for what would be a good fit. We went for it.”
One of her primary concerns, however, is making sure her seven adopted children will have someone to care for them after she and Steve grow old.
That's one reason Tammy and her friend, Beth Burns, are taking steps to establish Keystone Village, a forever home for special-needs children in Forsyth County.
“We’re originally from New York," Tammy Miller said. "When we first started adoption, a lot of people would say to us, ‘Well, what are you going to do when the kids get older? And will you be able to care for them?’ Our experience was always a lot of group homes, a lot of different facilities and options for kids with special needs. Unfortunately, down here in Georgia, there is very, very limited options."
She said setting up a community that would take a Medicaid waiver is pivotal, since many similar communities accept only private pay, and costs can balloon.
Tammy wants to ensure her children won't have to leave the county where they get older, and they will have the opportunity to remain in a community where they've received so much support.
“We just started talking, like we need to do something so that there is a safe, loving place for our kids when we’re no longer able to take care of them," she said. "We don’t want them taken out of our community, because Forsyth County has been so amazing in educating our children and loving our children. My son, Patrick, works at Chick-Fil-A, and a lot of people know him. This is where they belong, in a community that loves them.”