“Every time I turn around, I have new siblings! One time, I came home from school and there were twins,” Travonya exclaimed with a huge, proud smile on her face. Travonya is the oldest daughter of Tracie Snell.
When Travonya was sixteen, Tracie decided to become a foster parent. Her two kids were teenagers, and she was ready to open her home and her heart to children who needed short-term care. In the beginning, it was difficult not to get overly attached to the children, mostly babies, who stayed with Tracie for a few days or a few months. But as she began returning children to their permanent families, Tracie realized that her role as a foster parent was to deliver comfort to the children, but that her real success came when the children were reunited with their permanent families.
Over the years, Tracie has cared for more than twenty foster children and adopted two, including Cierre, who has special needs. Travonya, who has a four year old son of her own, helps out with the foster kids when she’s not at college or work, though she confesses that sometimes she has no idea how many places to set at the table. Tracie also gets support from her own extended family – nieces, cousins, and her mother.
“I’m everybody’s grandma,” Tracie’s mother said, “I walk down the street and I hear somebody shout ‘Grandma!’ and I turn my head because chances are good they’re talking to me.”
Click here to read Tracie’s letter about her adopted son Cierre, who just hugged her for the first time in the six years she’s mothered him.