Black Teacher Who Adopted Three White Foster Children Says 'Love Has No Color In Her Home'
Treka Engleman says "love has no color."
Treka Engleman, a math teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrated National Adoption Month by officially adopting three foster children, one of which she’s had since he was just 5 days old. In a blog post, Engleman detailed the years-long journey of becoming a foster parent. She shared that some folks have been left more confused than excited because Engleman is a single Black woman and her three, now adopted, children are white.
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“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.” Engleman wrote in the Love What Matters blog post.
Engleman, the youngest of 11 children, says she’s never really had someone to “show her how to be a mom” since her mom passed when she was only 6 years old. She states that she knew she wanted to adopt children but thought that single women could not adopt. In 2016, after learning she met the requirement of being 21 years old, she decided to begin the process. She stopped rooming with her sister and rented a two-bedroom apartment.
In December of 2016, after about four months of classes, she called St. Joseph Orphanage and placed herself on the list to accept children. She originally requested either Black or white children and wanted them to be between 4 and 5 years old.
The very next day, she received a call from St Joseph’s and accepted Elijah Lee Hill into her home when he was just days old.
The following year, Engleman was called to care for two sisters, and she again accepted. When the worker showed up, she only had the younger sister, Alexis, as the older sister, Mercedes, had gotten into some trouble and was sent to a group home. The new mom was sure to keep the girls in contact, and by 2018 Mercedes began having overnight visits and was soon allowed to move in to complete the family.
The following year Engleman would learn that she could now adopt the three children, and after asking their permission, she began the tedious process of having full custody of her children. In the blog post, she discussed the times that the caseworkers would separate the children to ask them questions and she wondered if she “was enough” as well as times that workers asked “Where have they been hiding you?” as a sign of praise.
On November 1, 2019, the first day of National Adoption Month, after years of caring for the three foster children, Engleman was able to officially adopt Mercedes, 16, Alexis, 12, and Elijah, 2.
Meet Team Engleman! ❤️ 12 y/o Alexis, 16 y/o Mercedes, and 2 y/o Elijah have found their forever home with Treka Engleman. You can watch the ceremony happening right now by clicking here. https://t.co/mkgXzc90PB @FOX19 pic.twitter.com/IVqQjRmjJ9— Lauren Minor WXIX (@LaurenMinorWXIX) November 1, 2019
A representative for the agency jokes that she won the award for the “Most Kids.”
Interracial adoptions have long been the topic of controversy as some Black Americans mistrust white parents who adopt Black children.
“I get why there’s not trust. Why would your community trust my community with its babies? I 100% understand that. I wouldn’t either.” Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis told Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Jones, while being interviewed on Red Table Talk, as Blavity previously reported. Pinkett Smith discussed the sensitive subject with the actress who has adopted a Black child, and Davis shared that she has noticed the prejudices her child faces.
Engleman states in her piece that “love has no color in her home” and is keeping her focus on continuing to love her children and paying for Mercedes, who will be a high school senior, to complete college. There is a Go Fund Me dedicated to assisting the mom as she does just that.
“Officially 2019, Team Engleman!” Alexis said while being interviewed after the November ceremony.
We just have all the feels.