Richters family doing its share for children

11/8/2013

By KELTON BROOKS

By KELTON BROOKS

kbrooks@gctelegram.com

There is an old saying that reads "It takes a village to raise a child."

That village is run by two people who have given their all to provide a home for the growing number of foster children in Finney County.

Dan and Misty Richters have been a foster family with TFI Family Services since the fall of 2009, and in their time with the agency, they have served 10 different children.

They currently have eight children, two of their own, two adopted and four foster children.

"It's just my nature to be a caregiver," said Misty Richters, who has two part-time jobs and is also in school. "It keeps them from being in so many homes and gives them a sense of stability."

Working part-time in the post office, part-time with helping handicap adults and a part-time student, Misty admitted she gets tired at times, but said "it's about time management" and "being flexible."

"It's a balancing act," she said. "But my husband gives me strength whenever things become stressful or overwhelming at times," she said. "Some homes just can't handle the behavior of some of the kids and will just move them. They get bounced around so much."

With eight children, Misty is already two beyond her max, but Family Services has her on an exception.

"There are not enough foster homes in Garden City," said Angela Webster, recruitment specialist of Family Services. "Despite having eight children, staying busy with work, school, and all of the kid's activities, the entire family volunteers regularly for TFI, spreading the word about the need for foster parents in Garden City and the surrounding counties. They are an amazing, giving family that has truly been a blessing to us and all of the children they serve."

November is National Adoption month, and in Kansas, there are currently 995 children awaiting adoption.

"It may not be such a thing as normal at this home," Richters said, laughing. "But I just want to give these kids a sense of normalcy. At night, we will sit at the kitchen table — no cell phone and no TV — and eat supper. Some of the kids haven't experienced this before. I know Family Services is trying their best to help as many kids as possible."

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