CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - Each year nearly 7,000 children from the Bay Area are put into foster care after being pulled from an abusive or neglectful environment.
You've heard those stories before but what often goes unnoticed are the stories from parents who overcame major challenges in order to bring their children back home.
Friday in Clearwater, Eckerd Connects held a ceremony to honor families who did just that.
They offered activities for the kids, food and special visits from Raymond the mascot and Disney characters.
The most inspiring part of it all was the stories parents shared about their personal struggles. One woman opened up about her abusive relationship and the help she received to create a safe and stable home for her daughter.
“I lied and I allowed the abuse to happen. Not purposefully but just being caught up and I thought I was making the right choices, trying to keep a family together,” she explained. “But when I let it go and I showed everybody my first and foremost love is my daughter… Things started to change for me.”
Her court case was closed in April. She was reunited with her daughter and married a loving and supportive husband.
She thanked Eckerd Connects and DCF for all the services they provide to make this day possible.