DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands of kids are in foster care every year in Colorado and foster parents open their hearts to them, giving them a safe place to call home. Christie and Maggie Duffy, are an incredible example.
“We started fostering about 4 months after we got married,” Christie Duffy said. “And up until today, we have had 43 kids in and out of our doors.”
Right now, the Duffy house has 10 kids under their roof. Two are foster children and eight are kids they have ended up adopting through the system.
“I think they’re getting to the point where they’re like ‘Oh boy, we have a really big family,’” the couple said, laughing.
Fostering was something the two were always interested in. They had friends in California who did it, and the Duffys say it was an incredible experience to witness. Plus, the two wanted to give parenting a try before they decided to have kids of their own, or adopt.
“We were always the ones that our friends would ask to watch their kids, whether they wanted to go out of the country or have a date night,” Christie explained. “So we had a lot of experience as aunties.”
Once they started fostering, the Duffys realized it was a great fit, and they continued to take kids in. The two said the secret to parenting a household of kids is to be laid back and flexible, but also have schedules the kids can rely on.
“The kiddos, they know their routine, and they know what’s coming so there is no surprise,” Maggie explained. “There is no throwing them off their game.”
Ultimately in fostering, the end goal is to reunite their foster children with their biological families.
“Our biggest thing is making sure that biological families know we are in their corner from the get go,” Christie said. “We’re here for you.”
Of their 43 foster kids, the couple said about 30 have been reunited with their biological families. While that is not always the case, and in an effort to keep siblings together, the Duffys have adopted those eight kids.
“When they walk in they are part of the family,” the two said. “Our motto is for however long or short they are under our roof; they are a Duffy.”
Aside from 10 kids, the family also has two trained service dogs to help the kids overcome challenges they face being in the foster care system, and every day is in exciting one.
“We’ll have four in football and two cheerleaders this year,” they laughed. “All play sports year round. Five of the girls are in dance. We just finished football and cheer, and now the boys are in soccer.”
With a full house and so many kids in the foster care system, the two encourage everyone to give fostering a try.
“Go through the certification process and get one kiddo, it will change your life,” Maggie said. “You see how just your little bit of support and love has changed somebody’s life.”