One word to describe him: Special
Travis loves swimming, basketball, baseball, WWE wrestling, Netflix movies, fishing, camping, amusement parks and many activities through the SOAR program in Bloomington, and is very active.
He would someday like to be married and has a special lady in his life at this time, Bailey. Recently his parents were able to gift him a house, and he is doing very well on is own – catching a door to door bus for work, and receiving family’s support with his medications, errands, and appointments. He can and does take care of his home and yard by himself, and shows much pride in doing so.
Travis came to his parents as one of their many foster children in 1987. He had a history of being abused and suffered brain injury from abuse at 6 weeks old. He had been in a temporary foster home following a long hospital stay at 4 months of age. His parents share that “when we first saw him at a foster care event we were sure he was coming to our home for a long term placement. After working with his biological family and DCFS for 2 years, we were given rights to adopt him and did not hesitate.”
At adoption we were told by more than one Dr. that he may never walk or talk related to his abuse injuries. That was 30 years ago and they share that they do not remember a time when he was not their son! Not only does he walk and talk, he is a very productive member of society and is always willing to help others. Currently he is 32 years old and a wonderful, hardworking, loving, home owner, puppy dad and an employee of Burger King for the last 10 years.
To his family, inclusion mean that he be included and treated as no different than any of our other children and he be allowed, encouraged and supported in his decisions that affect his life. They want him to be empowered with the strength and courage to be the best he can be at his level and abilities.
Travis’ mom shares this about his story:
“Travis is very loved by all of his five siblings, and through his last 30 years has been put in multiple positions by his family to empower him to share emotions, needs and wants, and encourage him to make it happen. At the age of two when another Dr. told us “he may never walk or talk”, our biological children took him by the hands that very day and began working on walking, holding him steady and going up and down the sidewalk in front of our home. They carried him up onto the porch, sat him on the floor by the door and he walked – his first steps ever, by himself. By laying down the foundation to give him the skills he needs while encouraging and believing in him, he succeeded and always has. When he was two and not able to communicate his needs we, the entire family went to sign language classes at Easter Seals (Judy Jones was our best forever friend after working with us), and he learned to overcome. By giving him the skills he needed that we were taught by Easter Seals, he learned to walk and talk in spite of the doctor!
We know as his forever loving family that he would/could not be as successful and happy as he is today without the love and support of therapy at camps and daily therapy from Easter Seals and are forever thankful to them for being there to help/support and teach us how to help him become the beautiful person he is.”
Travis is moving mountains every single day.