One teen’s emotional testimony during his adoption hearing is touching the hearts of people across the country.
The family’s story started just two weeks after Sara Cozad and her husband, Stuart, got back from their honeymoon.
Cozad always knew that if she were going to have children that they would be from the foster care system, so after their honeymoon they decided that they would enroll in foster parent training. At the time, they only wanted to foster babies and toddlers because of their young age.
“We became foster parents because we wanted to help families in our community. Adoption wasn’t our primary goal, although we were open to it if it became available,” Sara told Love What Matters.
They received a call immediately after finishing their training to foster their first baby. The infant stayed with them for only a week, but they were asked to take in a 3-year-old boy named Michael soon after.
Michael was only supposed to stay with them for a weekend, but that weekend quickly turned into years.
Just a few months after Michael first came to their home, Sara and Stuart were asked to supervise a sibling visit. That’s when they met Dayshawn for the first time.
“The second Michael caught a glimpse of his brother from across the playground, he ran with all his might and jumped into his arms,” Sara wrote. “It was that second that Stuart and I looked at each other and we truly understood the importance of Dayshawn and Michael needing to be together.”
Even though Dayshawn was older, only 13 years younger than Sara, all of her fears dissipated once she began to talk to him.
“Dayshawn breaks every single stereotype about teens in foster care. He is the most empathetic and compassionate person I’ve ever met. He is a social butterfly and makes it his personal mission to welcome every new child who comes to us. He works so hard in school and is SO funny,” she wrote. “Being his mom feels so natural. He doesn’t even seem to notice that I’m so young (or he just doesn’t care.) To him I’m just his mom.”
Even though she and her husband are huge supporters of reunification, Sara described the case as a “flip-flop of emotions.” The constant change taught her how to appreciate each moment with the two boys.
On August 13, 2018, the big day finally came. They were going to be a family, officially.
During the hearing, Dayshawn interrupted the judge to express just how much his soon-to-be parents have meant to him as Sara melted beside him.
“I’m glad to be their son. They’re really just the best thing I ever had,” he said. “If I wished anything in the world, I just wished that I could just love these people for the rest of my life.”
To which the judge replied, “If I had any doubts, they are gone!”
The two boys banged the gavel and the adoption became official. They celebrated afterward with donuts, cake and close friends.
This sweet family of four is continuing to open their hearts and homes to foster children who need it.
“There’s that quote ‘It’s better to have loved and to lost than never to have loved at all’ (Alfred Tennyson) which resonates deep in my heart,” Sara wrote, reflecting on the 14 foster children who have come in and out of her home.
“With foster care, the highs are so incredibly high, and the lows can be so, so low. It’s never boring. But I love this life. I love being a mom. I love caring for the children in our community- whether it’s for a night or for a lifetime.”
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