Not every child who ends up in the foster system is lucky enough to find a forever family. A lot of young kids go from one home to another, but never settle, and that’s a very sad reality.
Luckily, there are people out there, like Treka Engleman, who give these children a chance for a clean start and turn their life for the better.
Sharing her incredible story with Love What Matters, 30-year-old Treka from Cincinnati, Ohio, recalled the time she decided to became a foster parent.
“I have 20 nieces and nephews, 3 great nieces, and a host of cousins who I have babysat over the years. I’ve worked in childcare ever since I graduated from High School. I’ve always babysat for different families; I guess I can say I thought I was a natural when it came to taking care of children. Little did I know three children would change my life….” she wrote.
“For years, I wanted to be a foster mom. Yet I was always hesitant to start the journey into foster care because I didn’t think a single person like myself could be a foster mom (no spouse, no children).”
Treka heard a lot of stories of children who were left without a family, and losing her mother at the age of six, she could only imagine how hard life would be for her without her big family by her side.
Once she was told she was suitable to be a foster parent, Treka took some parenting classes at an orphanage and moved into a bigger apartment.
When asked about the children she wanted to foster, Treka listed down African American and Caucasian. “Color doesn’t matter to me. Love is love no matter what color you are,” this incredible lady said.
The first child she welcomed into her life was five-day-old Elijah Lee Hill. Soon after, she was asked whether she wanted to take two sisters in. Treka agreed, but only one of her sisters, Alexis Bowman, came to live with her. As it turned out, the older girl, Mercedes, got herself into trouble and was sent to a group home.
As she couldn’t imagine for the girls to be separated, Treka contacted the caseworkers and asked to take Mercedes. They agreed, and soon after, the two girls were reunited and Treka’s family became a family of four.
“On March 16, 2018 Mercedes came to live with us. The girls and little Eli were all so excited. So now at this point it was me, a single mom 30 years old with 3 children ranging from 1 to 15. What was I thinking?
“You know what I was thinking? I love these kids and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They needed a home and I had more than enough to give them…My family does not see color, just kids that needed someone.
“Yes I have had my fair share of stares while we’re out in public, but we just keep walking by unbothered. I’ve had people ask me, ‘Oh, are you babysitting?’ and my response is no, they are my children. No questions asked. I never say ‘foster children,’ but my children. Because that’s what they are and always will be,” Treka shared with Love What Matters.
“Love has no color in my home and they are loved unconditionally…If you are considering fostering or adopting I say go for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, divorced, married, black or white. You can change someone’s life!”
Thank you Treka for everything you do for your beautiful children. You truly are an amazing woman and a mother.