Three years ago, Jason and Ashley Rozier became the very first family to receive a placement through WinShape Homes Foster Care. As a Staff member at the Chick-fil-A Support Center, Ashley had been connected to the new program, and she and Jason quickly decided they wanted to be a part of what WinShape Homes was doing.
It was May 2017 when the Roziers welcomed a five-year-old boy into their home. Their original desire was to foster to adopt, and for a long time it seemed like that was going to happen. As in most cases with foster care, the birth parents were experiencing some instability, and the conversations that were had with them only further confirmed the Roziers’ belief that reunification probably wasn’t in the picture.
But as time went on, they began communicating more with the birth mom. As a more open line of communication opened up, the Roziers were able to begin working directly with the birth mom. Through this work, the mom began to bond with the Roziers and developed a real relationship with them.
At the same time, the boy also was working through some of his own trauma with counselors through DFCS. Unfortunately, not much progress was seen over time. WinShape Homes’ Phil Bradfield stepped in and decided to start bringing the boy into the Homes offices for play therapy. That’s when real progress began to take place.
As this was happening, the Roziers started to shift their mindset from desiring to adopt to just fighting for the birth mom, as she was making significant progress in her life.
Fast forward many, many months.
Just a few weeks ago, the Roziers finally reunited their foster son with the birth mom.
This is a story of committing to a family, not just to a child. That’s really what foster care is all about.
Because of the relational work they put in with the birth mom, they still have an active role in the boy’s life. The mom even let him stay with the Roziers three days after the court-ordered date – meaning they were technically babysitting him – just so they could say goodbye. They still FaceTime with him every night, and they’re currently helping the birth mom do at-home schooling for her son. Once the current guidelines loosen and everything starts to settle, the Roziers plan to throw a big going away party.
This is a story of committing to a family, not just to a child. That’s really what foster care is all about. There is potential for deep attachment and a lot of hurt when the child leaves, which makes fostering an even greater sacrifice.
“We know it’s not death, but it feels like it,” Ashley said. While she and Jason feel the absence of their foster son, they also feel incredible joy at seeing a family finally together and healthy.
The Roziers will leave their home open to foster again in the future.