When Rozana got accepted into the Orange County Rescue Mission, she threw up her hands and shouted, “Let’s do this!” Later, she explained, “I believed that there was hope for me at the rescue mission. I believed that I could see my kids again and be clean.”
Rozana’s decades-long addiction to drugs and alcohol had cost her a lot. What began as mere experimentation in her 20s had turned into a full-blown addiction by her 30s. “I tried to stop, but it had such a hold on me that I couldn’t. I lived a reckless life, I lived in a junkyard, and then I was homeless,” Rozana said. Of her first three children, her first was grown, and her younger two were in the custody of her parents because of Rozana’s lifestyle.
Rozana’s abusive marriage only made things worse. A year after her fourth child was born, her relationship reached an all-time low. Her husband gave her the worst beating of her life, and she fled to a women’s shelter. Soon, she was back to alcohol and drugs. “It was the same pattern, just falling back into the same pattern. It didn’t take very long,” Rozana said.
She soon found herself living in hotels. One night, Rozana was sexually assaulted. Desperate for a way out of her lifestyle, she tried to find an organization that could help her. Then she stumbled upon the Orange County Rescue Mission!
When she got accepted, everything changed. “When I was settled in at the rescue mission, I realized one day, I don’t have to beg anybody for a place to stay or a place to sleep. It was so perfect.” She enjoyed getting to be with her son without worrying about their most basic needs. “God helped me see that I could be a mama. I could be a mom!” she said with tears in her eyes.
Trinity Law Clinic empowered Rozana and gave her hope. “When I left my husband, I knew that I would eventually have to file for a divorce. I just didn’t know where, or who, or what… the thought of lawyers and money overwhelmed me. I didn’t know how to put the papers together.” She didn’t have a custody agreement initially, and Rozana lived in fear that her son would be taken away from her, but the Trinity Law Clinic put an end to that fear once and for all. “The people at the Trinity Law Clinic were amazing. They prepared me before I went to court every time and explained the paperwork.” The team was a source of comfort to Rozana, who knew that they were rooting for her. “I still can hear the judge saying, ‘Full physical and legal custody granted to the mother.’”
Today, Rozana has a steady job and enjoys lots of time with her youngest son! She continues to work with Trinity Law Clinic on reunifying with her other children. “Even though it’s tough, it’s OK. They’re ready to continue to point me in the right direction. Even though I’m an alumnus of the Mission and have my job, and I’m on my way to being self-sufficient, I still have the opportunity to speak to everyone at Trinity. It’s the same helpful advice, the preparing of all the paperwork, and the emotional support, too. I would feel so lost if I didn’t have the Trinity Law Clinic.”
To those who so faithfully support the Trinity Law Clinic, Rozana says, “A ‘thank you’ seems so small compared to what you’ve offered me and my family and my future. You’ve made it possible for me to have confidence and receive the promises of God. I just hope that you continue to be blessed as much as you’ve blessed me and my family. It wouldn’t be possible… I wouldn’t be moving forward with any of this without you.”