"I really don't remember much of my childhood; just faint recollections of family dysfunction, neglect and abuse," Rosemarie once mused. One memory she does have is that of giving birth to her daughter on April 9, 2007. Rosemarie was high on “meth” when she went into labor. But somehow, the feeling of her new, little baby, Lisa Rose, being laid on her chest was still with her. When both mom and baby tested positive for drugs, the State Department of Children and Families stepped in and removed the newborn from Rosemarie’s custody. Rosemarie tried hard to get and stay sober. Detox, rehab, group meetings, one-on-one counseling…that became her new routine. At first, she just went through the motions, trying to convince the counselors that she was really “buying in”. It lasted two months. Over 15 years of getting high and living on the streets had a strangle hold on Rosemarie.
Then something clicked, and she really was in! There was no eureka moment, just the undeniable reality that if she failed this time, she would never see her daughter again. Rosemarie recalled that she was given supervised visitation with little Lisa Rose for a couple of hours each Sunday. “It was agony to watch them leave each time, but somehow, the visits gave me confidence. Once I realized there was that little bit of hope, that's when I wanted more," she said. While living in a court appointed transitional home, Rosemarie was introduced to Tom Lane, a former Navy Chaplain, minister and local Tampa Bay business owner with a huge, caring heart. Tom took a chance on Rosemarie and gave her a job. Rosemarie’s hope began to soar as she discovered through Tom’s encouragement and mentoring, that she was indeed special. Rosemarie began to believe that she was worthy and capable of coming out of a life of darkness through God’s help and through the help of the people that he had placed in her life.
Then came the “icing on the cake”...Tom arranged for Rosemarie’s smile makeover. Years of neglect and drug abuse had decimated Rosemarie’s smile, but after weeks of restorative and cosmetic dental care, Rosemarie could finally smile again on the outside, just like she was already learning to do on the inside! And the story doesn’t end there. Rosemarie was awarded full custody of Lisa Rose four years after her birth!
Where did SmileFaith begin? SmileFaith Foundation began when a hurting and desperate young lady named “Rosemarie” was placed in the pathway of a compassionate and caring humanitarian, minister and business man named, “Tom Lane!”