Wininger family welcomes Riddle siblings into their home

As of April 4, 2011, junior Cherokee Wininger and her family officially adopted eighth grader Tyson Riddle and his younger sister, Latisha, out of foster care and into their home. Riddle was 13, and Latisha was 11 when they were first put into foster care. Tyson claims they were in foster care for two months before the Wininger family adopted them in.

“We have known each other since we were babies because we are actually cousins,” said Tyson.­

The people at the foster care had contacted Wininger and let her know of Tyson and Latisha’s situation. Wininger, Tyson, and Latisha are related so the foster care assumed they’d be the best family for Tyson and Latisha. It was then that the Wininger family came to the decision of accepting Tyson and Latisha into their home.

“I was really happy when [my parents] made the decision because I know I don’t have to worry about if they are okay or if they have a warm place to live,” said Wininger on the decision.

Sometimes foster care if the best place for a child to live based on home conditions. But then again sometimes, kids do not want to be anywhere but in an actual home.

“No there was nothing enjoyable [about foster care]. It was upsetting,” said Tyson on his thought of foster care.

Wininger and Tyson both agree life is much better now, now that Tyson and Latisha are out of foster care.

“It’s a lot better. It feels like it’s my own house instead of a strangers,” said Tyson on moving into the Wininger house.

Bringing in two new children is sure to bring changes and conflicts.

“We have had to make a lot of changes. Because instead of me and my sister Donna – Jo sharing things now we have to share with them including our parents which I was willing to do,” said Wininger.

Now that Tyson and Latisha have settled into their new home, it’s pretty clear that the family has grown closer.

“I have always been close to them but I have grown closer to them now that they are living with us,” said Wininger.

The act of bringing kids out of foster care and into a real home can inspire kids to adopt children themselves when they get older.

“Now that we have been adopted, I would say yes I may consider adopting when I grow up because you never know what some kids are going through and how they are living. I hate to see kids without a house and food to eat,” said Wininger on her opinion on adopting in the future.

Tyson says he does occasionally see his biological parents. But as of April 4, 2011, Tyson and Latisha Riddle were officially adopted into a loving, warm house.

Story by Brooklyn Dotts