Mom Who Adopted 3 White Children Replies People Thinking She’s a Babysitter

A single black mother faced massive backlash after she took in 3 white kids from foster care at the age of 30. While responding to people’s criticism, the foster mom shared that the only thing that mattered to her was love. 

Parents are known for showering their kids with tender love and care, especially a mother whose love for children is endless and unconditional. In that regard, becoming a mom doesn’t always have to involve giving birth to a baby. 

As if often seen, women are naturally bestowed with motherly sentiments, and such feelings can often inspire them to change the life of kids who are in dire need of a loving parent. A single black mom did the same for her adoptive kids. 

[Left] Engleman pictured with her three kids. [Right] A candid picture of Alexis, Elijah and Mercedes. | Photo:

Treka Engleman was the youngest of 11 kids. She lost her mother at the age of 6. Even though she had no role models to teach her how to be a mom, the motherly sentiments came naturally to her. 

Drawing from her experience of babysitting nieces, nephews, and kids from different families over the years, she began working in childcare after finishing high school. It was during this time that she felt a strong desire to be a foster mom. 

However, she was neither married nor had any kids of her own. After some research, Engleman discovered that one had to be at least 21 years old in order to foster children, regardless of their marital status.

In August 2016, she contacted St. Joseph Orphanage and took two months of classes to train for the process. During that time, she heard stories about what some kids had to endure through foster homes. Talking to “Love What Matters,” she said: 

“Color doesn’t matter to me. Love is love no matter what color you are.”

After her classes ended, she was given the approval to foster up to 4 children. While she didn’t know how she would manage to look after so many kids, she knew in her heart that she wanted to go for it, and so she did. 


Engleman then received a call from her caseworker regarding a five-day-old baby who needed a home. On December 8, 2016,  she welcomed Elijah Lee Hill into her home, which was her first-ever placement, but certainly not her last. 

On May 10, 2017, she got a call again regarding two sisters who were in need of a home. Soon afterward, Engleman welcomed an adorable little girl named Alexis Bowman but was surprised to see that she wasn’t accompanied by her sister. 

As it turned out, Mercedes Bowman was facing some trouble and had gone to a group home. Engleman noticed how being away from her sister was taking a toll on Alexis’s emotional health, so she ensured that the two siblings met on weekends.

On March 16, 2018, Mercedes joined the Engleman family, and Alexis was finally reunited with her sister. Talking about the instant change in Alexis’s behavior, Engleman shared: 

“Suddenly, Alexis started getting good grades. She had been so worried about Mercedes that she couldn’t focus on anything else.”

Engleman then talked to her children, asking them if they wished to be adopted, and they immediately agreed. After intensive paperwork, Elijah, Alexis, and Mercedes officially became Engleman’s kids on November 1, 2019. 

Along the way, Engleman faced backlash and sheer criticism from people. The negative comments poured in shortly after her story was featured in a local news segment about adoption. She told “TODAY”: 

“People were writing things like, ‘All these black kids in foster care and she goes and adopts white kids.’ They accused me of self-hatred and all this terrible stuff.”

Engleman explained how she was often mistaken for a babysitter, and people questioned her decision to adopt white kids as a black mom. She said that she loves her kids with all her heart, and being their mother is one of the best feelings in the world.

She also added that all the criticism she’s received over time has never stopped her from fulfilling her purpose.

Engleman said that she shared her story to encourage other women like her to consider fostering and adoption if that was what they really wanted to do. Undoubtedly, the phenomenal story of Engleman and her kids teaches us that love has no color. 

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