Tony and Jeaneau Snell from Amarillo received an early Valentine’s present when they adopted their niece, Nevaeh Wilson on Feb. 4.
Four-year-old Nevaeh has been a part of the Snell home, which includes big brother Kayden, 14, and big sister Ryleigh, 11, for over a year. As soon as the Snells learned that Nevaeh was living in an unsafe environment, they did everything they could to bring her into their home and worked with Buckner to foster her through kinship care. While the journey to adoption has been difficult, Tony and Jeaneau were willing to face those challenges to ensure she always had a safe home.
“We have had two other nieces and nephews adopted out by other families,” Tony said. “I don’t want to lose another member of the family.”
“We always promised we would do whatever it took to make sure we give Nevaeh the life she deserves,” Jeaneau added.
Kinship care is a type of foster care in which children are living with and being cared for by relatives or fictive kin – close family friends or other adults with whom the child already has a relationship. It is a growing area for Buckner and in the state of Texas. While children still sometimes live informally with relatives, formal kinship care helps relatives get the support they need to care for them.
“Tony and Jeaneau Snell have learned a lot about themselves as adoptive parents and are continuing to grow along their journey,” said Melanie Rice, Buckner foster care case manager. “The adoption day was a tearful one for the Snell family, but they were definitely tears of joy. Being able to give Neveah a forever home in their family was the sweetest culmination of their long and difficult journey.”