SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Since 1992, Greita Tallios of Smith County has been taking in children who needed a safe home.
Over the course of 28 years, she’s fostered more than 70 children, according to officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
To celebrate this unique achievement and service to the East Texas community, socials workers and members of the foster care community arranged for a surprise retirement party at her home.
Following a parade of decorated cars, Tallios was presented a plaque “for going beyond agency expectation in caring for the needs of children.”
“I will tell you, I’m having withdrawals,” Tallios said with a big laugh as she greeted guests at the end of her driveway.
“At the time she first started fostering around here, crack was on the rise,” said a social worker who worked closely with Tallios. “She could take those ‘crack babies’ who cried constantly and within two weeks they there the most mellow, calm babies that you could ever see.”
Pictures of dozens of those children hang on the walls of her home to this day. Tallios admitted, she still has a few more to include around the house.
“It’s a big paycheck to have all these people here today,” she said as she reminisced on her years of service with her friends and adopted son, David.
David is the most evident example that sometimes saying “goodbye” is nearly impossible to do.
“He said, Mom, won’t you adopt me, so I know I can stay with you forever?‘ And so I did,” Tallios said. “It’s well worth it if you can help a foster child and we are desperate for foster parents.”
Right before she said her final farewell, Tallios received a photo text message showing the newest addition to her growing brood which spans all across the country.
With a proud smile, she flashed her phone in our direction to show a newborn resting on his mother’s chest.
“What more could some granny want? To know she helped a child and that he’s successful in life? Tallios asked.
A well-deserved retirement for a woman who has given the ultimate gift of love.