PHOENIX (FOX 10) - There are approximately 9,300 children currently in foster care in Maricopa County. In some circumstances, parents have an opportunity to get their child back, but it takes a lot of hard work and time to do so.
It's never a pleasant day when a child is removed from their home and placed into foster care, but when parents work through the issues that led to the removal, and after careful consideration, they have the opportunity to be reunited with their child.
That's what Maricopa County's reunification day is all about.
"The whole motivation is her," said Jessica Pearson, who was reunited with her daughter.
Jessica and Eric were reunited with their daughter Louisiana in February of 2016. Their daughter was taken away at birth because at the time Jessica was an addict. Eric says the couple fought the Arizona Department of Child Services for years but said the hard fight was worth it.
"When you're already in a rut you gotta climb out of that rut, it's hard to do especially with a family," said Eric Elias.
Jessica said she couldn't have done it without Eric's support.
"He is my rock, he supports me 100 percent, and he had his hardship as well, but he made it through and he's been there ever since, so we did it together," said Jessica.
David Barber says having his child removed from his home was the biggest wake-up call life has ever given him. Separated for almost a year and a half, David says instead of moping, he worked at bettering himself. David said he volunteered, took classes, went to therapy and AA meetings, and says it was the best decision he ever made.
"I'd walk to the ends of the earth, whether it's flat or round, and go right off the edge of it to bring him home," said David Barber, who was reunited with his son.
David says he's so thankful for the second chance he was given, adding he will never take having his child home with him for granted again.
"A phenomenal feeling to have him home and back with me and I intend on keeping it that way and being the best that I can be for him," said Barber.