As the youngest of 11 children , and after losing her mom at just 6 years old, Treka Engleman knows all about the suffering so many children are forced to endure.
Despite not having anyone to teach her how to be a mom, transitioning into one came naturally to the 30-year-old from Cincinnati, Ohio.
“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 told Love What Matters.
“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).”
When Treka found out she was suitable, she got herself a two-bedroom apartment and contacted her local orphanage so she could complete the required classes needed to make her eligible to adopt.
Her goal was simple: to give children in need a home and a family to call their own.
“Hearing the stories about some children that go through foster care just brought tears to my eyes and broke my heart,” she said. “I mean, I lost my mom when I was young, but I couldn’t imagine being without my family. At that point, I wanted to take every kid in that I could.”
Treka was eventually approved to foster up to four children. When filling in the form as to the type of child she would be willing to foster, she marked both African American and Caucasian.
“Color doesn’t matter to me,” she continued. “Love is love no matter what color you are.”
Soon after, Treka was asked to take in a five-day-old that needed a home. She was only too happy to open her doors to an adorable baby boy, Elijah Lee Hill.
Then, one year after taking in baby Elijah, she was asked to take in two sisters, which she also agreed to.
“There stood this beautiful, petite little girl,” Treka explained. “Her name was Alexis Bowman, but I realized she was alone, even though they said two sisters would be coming. I soon found out her sister Mercedes Bowman had gotten into some trouble and went to a group home.”
The two sisters kept in touch, and when it was possible Treka asked if Alexis’ older sister Mercedes could join them. Thankfully, the caseworker agreed.
Treka said: “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.
‘They are loved unconditionally’
“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 went on to adopt the three children, fulfill her dream of becoming a mother. In November 2019, they officially became a family of four.
“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!”
What an inspiration this woman is. We wish this sweet family all the happiness in their future lives as one big, beautiful family!
Please share to wish them well!