Sara Cozad had always wanted to be a foster parent. She and her husband Stuart Shank got married at just 19. They shared a desire to improve the lives of disadvantaged children. The couple is especially devoted to fostering toddlers and babies. The reason? They wanted the practice of working with younger children first. After Sara and Stuart got their fostering license, the agency assigned them a child named Michael. Originally, they were supposed to foster him for a weekend. That weekend soon turned into several years. The couple had the opportunity to meet Michael’s brother Dayshawn. That was the moment when Sara knew she wanted to be a mom.
She explained that seeing the boys play together touched her heart in a profound way. Sara watched Michael as he ran into Dayshawn’s arms. She and Stuart immediately recognized the importance of that brotherly bond. The couple loved Michael dearly and they couldn’t keep him apart from Dayshawn.
Dayshawn was much older than the kids Sara and Stuart had fostered before. Then they talked to him and any lingering doubts vanished. Their relationship felt extremely natural. It was as if Sara had always been his mom. Dayshawn didn’t even seem to notice how young Sara was.
Sara and Stuart welcomed the two boys home. Their relationship to the boys deepened beyond being foster parents. They had become a family. Adopting Michael and Dayshawn was the obvious next step. The brothers were overjoyed at the news. Initially, Sara was hesitant because of the age difference: she’s only 13 years older than Dayshawn.
She wrote about the experience on Instagram. Sara commented that many foster parents are nervous about adopting teenagers. “It’s not always easy,” she acknowledged, “but it is so, so worth it.” Sara has now become an activist in her home city of Bellingham, Washington. Her focus is on raising awareness about becoming a foster parent. She knows that most foster parents want to return kids to their birth parents. That’s a noble goal, but sometimes adoption can be the answer, too.
The Cozads have fostered 14 children. Sara and Stuart have been heart b-roken every time they have to say goodbye to one of those kids. However, in many cases, they’ve also been blessed to keep in touch with the children and their families. Sara said that it is “the most worthwhile thing you will ever do.” She made a video of their Adoption Day and boy is it heartwarming. They took a limo to the courthouse. The judge said that “You don’t need me to make you a family. You’re already a family.”
Sara broke down in tears as Dayshawn explained why he wanted to be adopted. He said that it was the best thing that ever happened to him. His only wish was that he could “love these people for the rest of my life.” The family then posed with signs that said “Chosen. Loved. Adopted.” They celebrated the occasion with donuts and a special dinner for all their relatives.
This Article Was First Published on “apost.com“