We are the Risberg family. Our family consists of myself, Angela (34), my husband Chris (34), my son Damien (14), my daughter Eiliya (13), my son Brandon (5), and my son James (4 months). We also have two fur babies that are female kitties named Snickers and Kitten. I work as a Certified Nursing Assistant and Med Tech at The Heritage in Appleton. My husband is currently a stay-at-home-dad. When my husband and I first decided to get married and start a family we discussed some major life goals we would love to achieve. We both wanted to go to college and we both wanted to have a big family with a house and yard for all of us to enjoy for years to come. The funny thing about life is it loves to give you many challenges and curve balls along the way that make you question whether or not you will ever be able to achieve the goals you have made.
Instead of going to school right away we decided to get married and start a family. We lived with my husband’s parents in a small home in Wild Rose for the first 6 to 7 years of our marriage because it was all we could afford financially. We had Damien and Eiliya during this time and finally decided something needed to change if we were ever going to be able to afford our own place to raise our family. I decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and started working at a place called Crystal River Nursing and Rehab in Waupaca.
After working there for about 6 to 8 months, we were able to afford a small two bedroom apartment in Appleton and I took a new job there at Rennes Health Center. We chose Appleton because there were better job opportunities and more family close by. A year or so after we got settled, I decided it was time to go to college and make my dream of becoming a nurse a reality. I had completed almost all the general education classes but one and was just a semester away from entering full swing into the nursing program at the Fox Valley Technical College, when my husband and I realized the demands of the program and the demands of our family were not going to work. I felt a little defeated and upset but then remembered that I always dreamed of being a Teacher when I was a child. I took this obstacle and turned it into a sign that maybe I was meant to be a teacher instead of a nurse.
I changed schools, transferred my credits and completed my teaching degree online. I finally completed my goal of going to college. My husband and I had our son Brandon during my studies to be a teacher. Shortly after I graduated, I became pregnant with my son James. We decided it was time to think about accomplishing our goal of having a house. Our family was quickly outgrowing the current 3 bedroom townhouse we were living in. We just didn’t know how to make it happen. Our financial situation was better than when we first started out but didn’t seem enough to be able to purchase the size home with the yard we dreamed of raising our family in. We still wanted to have more children. My husband and I started feeling discouraged and lost hope. We had sacrificed so much already and worked so hard and it seemed like our goal might never be achieved.
That’s when we found out about Habitat for Humanity’s Homebuyers Program. It seemed like a ray of hope. The light at the end of the tunnel we had been looking for. We didn’t waste any time applying and everything seemed to be finally falling into place. It was days before our little James was due to enter the world and we were still awaiting the news on whether or not we were accepted into the program. The feelings of despair were coming back again. What would we do if we were denied? Our family was cramped enough in our townhouse without adding another baby.
Just one day before I went into labor we were accepted!! A huge sigh of relief came over me and my husband. Tears of joy were shed that our dream and goal of owning a home was finally happening. As if we didn’t feel blessed enough, we were able to be offered a rehab home that would give us the space and yard we always dreamed of. This program has exceeded all expectations and the people involved in this process have got to be the most amazing, caring, and informative people you could ever imagine. My family and I are over the moon excited to move into our home next year. Thank you Habitat!! We would never have been able to do this without you!! Our next step after this will be making my husband’s dream of becoming a chef a reality once we are all settled in. Who knows, maybe he will be making a delicious meal for you someday!!