Single Dad Adopts Girl With Down Syndrome Rejected by 20 Families

Alba and Luca Trapanese
(Instagram/trapaluca)

Alba was just a few days old when she was put up for adoption by her parents because she has Down syndrome. Sadly, 20 other families passed on adopting her by the time she was only 13 days old. But her story got a happy ending when a single dad stepped in to adopt the adorable weeks-old infant.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Wedding Livio e Serena❤

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca Trapanese’s story went viral with the release of a book he wrote about his life with Alba, a story he says “destroys many stereotypes about fatherhood, religion and family.” Adoption laws in Italy are fairly strict, and rarely are single parents approved, but Alba’s condition warranted an amendment to the normal regulations. And Luca said he experienced no trepidation about the decision, driving to the hospital to fill out the paperwork the moment he was approved.

(UPDATE: We chatted with this hero dad to see how he and Alba are doing. Read more here.)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Ma poi andrò in vacanza anche io?😂😂😂#Procida #estate2019 #Alba #maldischiena

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca had a history of volunteering and working with children with disabilities, so he felt prepared to raise a child with Down syndrome. And he couldn’t wait to become a dad.

“When I held her in my arms, I was filled with joy,” he told the BBC. “I felt she was my daughter immediately. I knew I was ready to be her father.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I momenti di relax con Alba sono veramente pochi😂😂😂 #alba #nataperte #padre #diversità #single #roma #nuoviamici

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca said Alba, now 1.5 years old, loves to play and meet new people. “I will spend the rest of my life with a girl I love,” Luca says, “and we will do many wonderful things together.”

Dad Wins “Most Talented Beard” Contest, Uses $20,000 Prize To Adopt a Baby

Dad wins Most Talented Beard Contest, Uses Money to Adopt
(Facebook/Jonathan Brannan Live)

Six years ago, Jonathan Brannan and his wife Alyssa had their first child, a daughter named Eden. Though the couple wanted to expand their family, Eden’s challenging birth almost took Alyssa’s life – as a result, their best option was adoption.

“One thing I think people may not realize about adoption is that it’s not for families who are in a hurry to have a kid. It takes a long time and a lot of resources. You have to be extremely patient throughout the process,” Brannan told The Dad. “You also have to be able to handle rejection. You may end up writing letters to many prospective moms, and while they won’t reject you, they may just pick someone else.”

Brannan and daughter
Jonathan and Eden (Facebook/Jonathan Brannan Live)

Jonathan and Alyssa began the adoption process about two years ago when Eden was four years old. Fortunately, the couple was chosen by an expectant mom, and their son is due in April. The couple was thrilled to learn that they had finally been chosen as an adoptive family, but the cost of adoption was enormous. The family started a fundraising page to cover some of the cost, but in October, Jonathan stumbled upon an incredible opportunity.

“I was scrolling through my newsfeed just like I do every day,” Jonathan explained, “but this was in the middle of my family trying to figure out how we were going to pay for the rest of our adoption expenses. We had options available, but many of those options would have left us in debt.”

An ad for a contest held by Wahl Grooming caught Jonathan’s eye – the contest, oddly enough, was for the “Most Talented Beard in America.” Jonathan stroked his full, well-groomed beard and was hit with an incredible realization.

“Seeing the amount of the prize money from Wahl Grooming blew my mind. It was almost exactly what we needed to finish our fundraising,” Jonathan recalled. “It was asking for bearded contestants to submit a video of themselves performing whatever talents they had. I’ve always been a dramatic, fun-loving dude, I’ve performed all of my life on stage and screen. So, this contest seemed like the perfect fit for me. It was almost too good to be true. I figured I might as well give it a shot. I don’t mind making a fool of myself on the internet… especially if it means we could cover our adoption expenses!”

With the contest’s deadline inching closer, Jonathan and Alyssa threw together a video of the multi-talented dad (and his beard) showcasing everything from his singing skills to his incredible ability to solve a Rubik’s cube. Heck, he even balanced a ladder on his hand while delivering the perfect dad joke to get the judge’s attention.

“Being a modern father and husband requires a delicate…balance,” Jonathan explains in his submission video.

Clearly, the Brannans did something right – Jonathan won the contest and the $20,000 prize, which covered the last of the family’s adoption costs. Though the couple no longer needed their fundraising page, they decided to use all remaining contributions to help other families through the adoption process.

“We’ve turned our original fundraiser on AdoptTogether into a donation site for other families. We will donate the proceeds to a nonprofit called the Seventeen Twenty Foundation, which awards grants to families looking to adopt. We’re hoping our blessing can turn into a blessing for others!”

To Jonathan, family is everything. After becoming a father and embracing all of the joy that comes with it, he and Alyssa chose to help other families experience the life-changing nature of parenting as well.

“My family is my world! My wife, Alyssa, is brilliant and beautiful, and fortunately our 6yo offspring, Eden, takes after her! Eden and Alyssa both give me a hard time constantly, so I feel like I’m doing something right as a dad and husband,” Jonathan joked. “I’m looking forward to getting another dude in the house! Although, he’ll probably end up on their side anyway.”

Police Officer Adopts Little Girl He Helped Two Years Ago During Welfare Check

Police officer adopts little girl he helped on duty
(Youtube/Inside Edition)

Brian Zach, lieutenant of the Kingman Police Department in Arizona, was already a father of two when he received a seemingly typical call while on duty as a patrol sergeant in 2018. Zach and the other officers on duty responded to the call regarding the residence, and it was there they found young Kaila – a little girl that would change Zach and his wife Cierra’s lives forever.

Kaila was a toddler at the time, and tragically, she had been the victim of abuse. As a result, she was removed from her home and immediately began to bond with Zach. While waiting for detectives to take her to the hospital, Zach and Kaila spent time playing and coloring. It was evident that Kaila felt comfortable with Zach, and the patrol sergeant felt a deep need to protect the little girl who, even after significant abuse, so trustingly placed her small hand in his.

By some twist of fate, after being treated for her injuries, CPS was unable to find a placement for Kaila. Incredibly and unexpectedly, Zach and Cierra’s family grew by one – the kind-hearted couple took Kaila in, opening their home and their hearts to the little girl who had never before had a safe space to call her own.

“She came with a sippy cup, a bag of clothes that didn’t fit her and that was it,” Zach told Good Morning America. “Within the second day she was calling my wife ‘mom’ or ‘mommy,’ I was ‘guy’ for a week or two and then when she started preschool she learned who dad was.”

The couple loved the little girl as their own, though it was unclear whether Kaila would be placed back with her former caregivers.

“Our goal was to love and care for this little girl for as long as it happened,” Zach explained.

Nearly two and a half years after Kaila first moved in with the Zach family, the days of wondering and worrying finally came to an end. The loving parents treated Kaila as their own child, and with each passing day, it became more difficult to imagine their family without her. Now, thankfully, they don’t have to. On August 18, the Zach family officially adopted Kaila. At last, the Zach family is complete, and Kaila will never again have to feel unsafe in her own home.

Single Dad Who Grew up in Foster Care Adopts Five Siblings To Keep Family Together

Single dad adopts five siblings to keep family together
(Facebook/Hamilton County JFS Adoption & Foster Care Recruitment)

Every kid deserves a family. Every child should have at least one person that they can trust to keep them safe, someone to encourage them and love them unconditionally. Sadly, for many kids growing up in foster care, stability is something they never get to experience. Right now, there are over 400,000 kids in foster care in the US, and that number is only increasing. The chances of a child being adopted decreases as they get older, and finding families willing to take in more than one child is often extremely difficult. Not only do children in foster care have to cope with the stress of an unstable living situation, but they’re often separated from their siblings, the only family they really have.

Robert Carter knows what it’s like to dream of having a stable, loving home. At 12 years old, Carter entered the foster care system along with his eight siblings. Carter was the third oldest out of the nine, and as a result, he found himself wanting to protect his younger siblings. Due to his mom’s alcoholism, she was unable to care for her children and they were removed from their home. For a child in foster care, each instance of loss and instability shakes your sense of what “home” really means.

Carter went years without seeing some of his siblings, but thanks to his strength and optimism, he did extremely well in foster care. So well in fact, that after his emancipation he fought for and gained custody of one of his little sisters and guardianship of one younger brother. The trauma of being pulled from his home and separated from his siblings changed Robert Carter, but rather than dwell on his own hardships, he put that energy to use helping kids just like him.

In December of 2019, Carter took in three foster sons named Robert Jr., Giovanni, and Kiontae. Unbeknown to him at the time, the three brothers also had two sisters in the foster care system from whom they’d been separated for about six months. Remembering how challenging it was to be separated from his own siblings, Carter was determined to do something about it. He took his three foster sons to visit their sisters, but the pain of watching them leave each other again was too much for him to bear.

“We met up for visits, and all the kids were crying,” Carter told WLOX News. “They didn’t want to leave each other, and at that moment, I knew, ok, I have to adopt all five.”

On Friday, during National Adoption Month, Carter celebrated his new family in the most touching way possible – by making it official. Robert Carter went from a foster dad to a father of five in an instant, and he couldn’t be happier. Rather than growing up in foster care, the five siblings now get to grow up in a loving home together.

Carter has all the love in the world to give his five kids, but understandably, he’s now looking to give them a slightly bigger home as well. Carter is working tirelessly to save for a new house, and a GoFundMe is now in place to help him reach his goal.

“I’m relieved because I tried to go through the process before and it didn’t work out,” Carter said, “but now I’m just happy that it’s over and I’m their dad for the rest of their life, and they know that they’ll never have to go through what they went through again.”

Giants’ Buster Posey Skips Season to Care for Infant Twins He Adopted

Buster Posey Opts Out
(Getty/Dilip Vishwanat)

The United States is trying to get back to normal, post-COVID, the only problem is COVID hasn’t gone anywhere. Numbers are surging in Florida and other parts of the country, which is casting some doubt on the resumption of sports that were postponed at the start of the pandemic.

With the NFL’s season still up in the air, the NBA and MLB are left as the guinea pigs. Players in both leagues are deciding not to join their colleagues as their sports come back, some of them citing the coronavirus as a concern.

Buster Posey, the star catcher for the San Francisco Giants, announces that he’s staying home when the baseball season resumes, but not because of the virus. Because he recently adopted twin girls and they need their dad.

According to ESPN, Polney’s adoption of twin girls was finalized last week, and while they’re healthy, they were born 8 weeks premature. They will be spending time on the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, due to their weakened immune systems. Rather than travel for a truncated baseball season, Buster and his wife, Kristen, will be staying nearby.

“In the current state that we are right now and these babies being as fragile as they are for the next four months, at minimum, this ultimately wasn’t that difficult a decision for me,” Posey explained. “From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I’m making a decision to protect our children, I think it was relatively easy.”

I bet it was. A decision like that sounds like the right one whether there’s a virus or not.

Per ESPN, Posey joins Dodgers pitcher David Price, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond and Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake in deciding not to take part in the 60-game season that starts on July 23.

Everyone makes their choices for their own reasons, but this must strike most parents as a sound one. And who knows, with infections skyrocketing in certain pockets, it’s possible the MLB’s season may not even happen.

Either way Buster Posey won’t be there playing catcher. He’ll be home playing dad instead.

Superdad Who Adopted Teen Abandoned at Hospital Takes in Another Foster Child

Superdad Who Adopted Teen Abandoned at Hospital Takes in Another Foster Child
(Instagram/fosterdadflipper)

Peter Mutabazi won our hearts in November of 2019 when he adopted 13-year-old Tony, who had been abandoned by his adoptive parents when he was just 11 years old. Before meeting Tony, Mutabazi had been a foster parent for three years. That alone would have been enough to earn him hero-dad status, but Mutabazi was far from done making the world a better place for kids in need. Upon meeting Tony and taking him in as a foster child (Tony was really only supposed to stay with him for two days), Mutabazi decided that this bright, kind, young boy had been through enough. Since the day Tony came into Mutabazi’s life, the two haven’t separated. When Tony was 13, Mutabazi legally became his father.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Of all the joys that parenting has brought to my life a hug from my son is at the top of the list. Never take the blessing of love and affection from your children for granted. To our kids it take a while to get that hang and when it comes, we never want to let it go. Son thank you for taking the step of faith and trust 🤗 love you so much! #blackdad #blackdads #fostermoms #transracialadoption #diversity #dadgoals #fosterparents #fostermomlife #teendad #lookingtoadopt #adoptivemom #adoptionpodcast #handsandfeet #waitingkids #hopingtoadopt #fostercare #singledads #solodad #dadtribe #dadlife #dadofinstagram #instakids #parentsofinstagram #father #adoptionislove #nontraditionalfamily

A post shared by Street Kid To Foster Father (@fosterdadflipper) on

Mutabazi was born in Uganda, and at age 10 he left his abusive home. He was fortunate, to a degree – 10-year-old Mutabazi, scared and alone, met a man who became somewhat of a father figure to him. This allowed him to complete school and, although he grew up extremely poor, he was eventually able to move to America to build a life for himself. Because of his own challenging childhood, Mutabazi is enormously passionate about helping children in need. He knows firsthand just how scary and daunting the world can be when you are completely and utterly alone.

This big-hearted superdad saved the day once again when he received a call from a social worker in the middle of a pandemic. Mutabazi was asked if he could take in a 7-year-old who urgently needed to be placed in a foster home, which is even more difficult than ever due to so many families being in quarantine.

Mutabazi shared his thoughts in an Instagram post, stating that while Tony’s safety was his priority, he couldn’t let this child slip through the cracks. The Instagram post continued, “We had been in quarantine for 3 weeks at the time the request came in. I was truly torn between keeping my son and I safe and taking in a child that I had no idea the environment he was coming from. At the same time, I could not imagine where this little one would go if we did not step in to help. I trusted my heart and agreed to the placement.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I choose to risk it all for my family to provide a safe and loving home for a foster kid that had no place to go in the midst of coronavirus and quarantine. Not too long ago, I got a phone call from a social worker asking me if we could take in a placement for a 7 year old. At first, I was taken aback wondering how this child needs a home so urgently in the most critical periods for everyone. We had been in quarantine for 3 weeks at the time the request came in. I was truly torn between keeping my son and I safe and taking in a child that I had no idea the environment he was coming from. At the same time, I could not imagine where this little one would go if we did not step in to help. I trusted my heart and agreed to the placement. We knew we would have little to no emergency help from our friends since everyone had been quarantined, but we also knew all he needed was a safe home and family to love on him. My son is 13 and barely has any toys and games. Taking in a 7 year old has made us all be more creative in ways that we can find fun things to do. It has been a joy to have this little boy with us despite my fears of the unknown. Please join me in welcoming him to our family 🎉🙏🏼❤️ . . #loveisloveislove #covid19 #fosteringsaveslives #fostercareawareness #togetherwerise #lovemakesafamily #dadgoals #singlemom #singledad #fosterparents #singlefostermom #blackdads #gobekind #kindness

A post shared by Street Kid To Foster Father (@fosterdadflipper) on

The Mutabazi household is fuller than ever, and so is Mutabazi’s heart. “I LOVE being called ‘Dad’ more than I can even put into words,” he shared in another Instagram post, “but hearing it yelled from 2 kids every 10 seconds is a lot to handle.” Mutabazi isn’t complaining though – he’s thrilled that Tony has another kid to play with, and he’s even grateful that he was able to take in his new foster child during a time that they can be together 24/7. This has helped ease the 7-year-old’s transition enormously, and it has allowed the family to bond more quickly.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I LOVE being called “Dad” more than I can even put into words but hearing it yelled from 2 kids every 10 seconds is a lot to handle🙇🏾‍♂️. I’m often being summoned 📣 when I’m in the bathroom 🚽, taking a shower 🚿, on a phone call 📞, or at 6am when I’m catching my last dream of the night 🛌…🤯… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I don’t know about you, but in my home, it’s rare to find a moment to finish something without interruptions, or even to breathe. So, when these moments happen, it’s 10-20 minutes of sheer tranquility that I’m sure is contributing to my sanity 🙏🏾. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m thinking of starting a kid-free club for parents only 🧞‍♂️ and if the words “Mom” or “Dad” are so much as whispered, your membership is automatically revoked🙅🏾‍♂️! . . . . . #adoption #adoptionislove #adoptionrocks #beautifultogether #bebrave #bettertogether #dogsofinstagram #family #lovemakesafamily #mamalife #momlife #thisisus #singledads #singlemoms #singlefostermama #blackdads #togetherwerise

A post shared by Street Kid To Foster Father (@fosterdadflipper) on

Follow Peter Mutabazi on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their heartwarming story.

UPDATE: Single Dad Adopts Girl With Down Syndrome Rejected by 20 Families

Luca and Alba Trapanese
(Instagram/trapaluca)

Remember Luca Trapanse and his daughter, Alba? Here’s a quick refresher, in case you somehow forgot this incredible duo. Nearly three years ago, Luca adopted an adorable little girl named Alba. Amazing in itself, right? This was no ordinary adoption, though. Alba was put up for adoption when she was just a few days old because she had down syndrome. Subsequently, Alba was passed over by 20 families simply because she was born a little bit different than other children. Luca Trapanese, a single man living in Italy, heard about Alba and felt compelled to pursue adoption. Although Italy’s laws about adoption are strict, especially when it comes to single parents, Luca knew he had to be Alba’s dad. Because of the multiple families that had passed Alba over combined with the fact that she had down syndrome, Luca’s application was accepted. When Alba was just 30 days old, Luca became her father.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Well, Alba is nearly three years old now, and life with this tiny family has been nothing short of incredible. Luca found the role of a lifetime in fatherhood. “I am made to be a father!” Luca told The Dad, “I really like to dedicate myself to Alba and her life. I feel very happy”. The pair loves spending time together, and especially enjoy dancing and singing (although Luca admits, Alba is the real star).

The duo have had so many successes, and reached so many goals side-by-side. Luca recalls, “Surely the most exciting moment was both when Alba called me ‘Dad’ and when she walked for the first time meeting me.” For any child, this is an enormous milestone – but for children with down syndrome, these markers of growth and achievement are often even more special.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

To an outsider, it’s clear that Alba is not like other children. Luca explains, “My greatest struggle is to make others understand that Alba is above all a person, and needs to be considered for all her needs. We must fight against mental barriers and against exclusion. I hope Alba will meet people who value her talents and who don’t consider her just a person with a handicap.” Any parent of a child with a disability knows this to be true – your child is incredible. They are capable, strong, and faced with so much more adversity than their non-disabled peers.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca even wrote a book, “Vi Stupiremo Con Difetti Speciali”, or “We Will Amaze You With Special Flaws”, a book that talks about disability and diversity. The book follows three children who turn their disabilities into gifts, which is a mentality he tries to instill in Alba every single day.

To potential adoptive fathers, Luca imparts, “Adoption is the most rewarding gesture that can be done. One must be aware and make this choice with conscience and determination, without ever going back. Being a father is a vocation”. A vocation that, in our humble opinion, Luca is absolutely nailing.

For more updates and to see more of Luca and Alba’s journey, follow them on Instagram.

Single Dad Adopts Teen Who Was Abandoned at Hospital

Single dad adopts 11-year-ol who was left at the hospital
(Instagram/fosterdadflipper)

Peter Mutabazi has quite an incredible story.

At the age of 10, Mutabazi ran away from an abusive home in his native Uganda. He was fortunate enough to find a father figure who helped to guide him through his formative years. Eventually, Mutabazi ended up in the US, becoming a citizen and dedicating his life to helping others.

That alone would be worthy of coverage, but it’s what Mutabazi did back in 2018 that continues to make headlines around the world.

Having worked in the foster care system for a number of years, Mutabazi was always ready to lend a hand when needed. But when he heard of an 11-year-old boy was abandoned by his adoptive parents, Mutabazi knew he’d need to do more than simply foster the young man.

The boy’s name was Tony, and after being adopted at the age of four, Tony was now alone in the world. “He asked if his parents were coming to get him and they said no,” Mutabazi recalls. “By that time, I was crying. I thought, ‘Who would do that?’ Once I knew the parents’ rights were signed off and he had nowhere to go, I [knew] I had to take him.”

So Mutabazi opened his home to Tony, fostering him as he had so many times before for others in difficult situations. But this time was different. Mutabazi knew Tony needed a place to call home. A forever home.

Mutabazi telling GMA “I had the room, the resources, so I had no reason to let him go. For what someone did for me I wanted to do something for someone else.”

Since then, the two have truly bonded, with both gaining the family they never had before. “From day one, he’s always called me ‘dad.’ He truly meant it and he looks up to me. He’s proud to show me at school and say, ‘Hey, he’s my dad.’ That’s something that I love about him.”

Mutabazi is quick to acknowledge that he gets as much if not more out of the relationship as his son, saying in an Instagram post “Truly a blessing to have you as my son, thank you for accepting me as your dad with all my faults, I strive daily to be a better dad. Thank you for hanging in there with me as I learn and grow.”

While the two chronicle their adventures on Instagram, chances are they won’t be alone for long. Mutabazi and his son say they plan on counting to foster other youth for many years to come.

Two souls now paying it forward as one in the best possible way.

Parents Bringing Home Adopted Newborn Get Impromptu Plane Baby Shower

Impromptu Plane Baby Shower
(Twitter/theamericanrd)

Bringing home your baby is an emotional moment for everyone, and for one airborne couple, that moment is one they will never forget. Dustin and Caren were flying en route to California accompanied by their recently adopted newborn daughter.

Let’s be upfront with this; babies on airplanes are rarely stories that end well. As cliché as it is for business travelers to complain, it’s commonly understood now that no one is having a worse time than the parent. This, fortunately, is not one of those stories. It’s a story new dad Dustin shared on Twitter because it was such a positive experience. And it all started with a diaper change.

Dustin was in the back of the plane, completing one of his first diaper changes when the flight attendant and another passenger complemented his new daughter.

“(they) politely asked what had prompted a flight with such a young infant,” he wrote. “I gave them the shortened adoption story, to which they hastily offered congratulations, and shared a few more kind remarks.”

Shortly after the conversation, they heard an intercom announcement about a “special passenger.” It was about their daughter and how she was coming home that day. The airplane, mind you, usually, a hive of cynicism and general malaise, broke out in applause and cheers.

Then, an impromptu baby shower broke out, as flight attendants handed out napkins and encouraged passengers to share a few words of wisdom or encouragement for the new parents. More than 60 responded, leaving the happy parents with a scrapbook full of kindness and advice from the flight home.

The flight attendants then began reading some of the best suggestions. Dustin told the TODAY show that one of the notes was especially poignant.

“A person had written down they were adopted 64 years ago and ‘Us adopted kids need extra love.’ It was nice to have that person there who helped us realize everything will be fine,” he said.

He concluded his story by talking about how much the outpouring of love meant to them as new parents.

“The outpouring of love from that flight, brought on by the actions of two thoughtfully observant flight attendants… it exceeds my ability to describe what it meant to us. How much those wings and written notes uplifted two new parents determined to love their new daughter,” he wrote.

Michigan Boy’s Entire Kindergarten Class Attends His Adoption Hearing

Michigan boy's class shows up for adoption hearing
(Facebook/Kent County, Michigan)

The greatest moments in life deserved to be shared with friends. So it’s likely no surprise that when a year-old Michigan boy was set to be adopted, his entire kindergarten class decided to join him.

Michael has been in foster care since last Thanksgiving, but this year, Michael had a new reason to be thankful. So his teacher, Mrs. MsKee, reached out to his foster parents and shared an idea. She wanted to attend the court hearing that would officially see Michael find his forever home. And she wasn’t alone. Michael’s entire class from Wealthy Elementary were on hand to witness a moment young Michael and his family have been looking forward to for so long.

(Twitter/James Starks)

The class brought hearts and signs to show their love and support for their peer. It’s that support that Michael’s newly adoptive mom says helped him endure the past year. From inviting Michael over for play dates to simply just being there for him, it was so many small acts that helped lead to this monumental day. “We didn’t have any kids prior to that, and things got pretty chaotic in a hurry,” his father told CNN.

Perhaps the most touching part was when the judge asked those in attendance to share what Michael means to them. The children standing up to share “I love Michael” and “Michael is my best friend.

Kindergarten class celebrates peer's adoption
(Twitter/James Starks)

Many have taken to social media to share their own accounts of love and support received during adoptions as well as most commenters sharing the fact that the post had made them bawl uncontrollably.

While posts such as this tug at our heart-strings, they serve as a reminder that good exists all around us. Especially in the hearts of children.

Single Dad Who Has Fostered Over 30 Kids Officially Adopts 5 Siblings

Lamont Thomas Adopts 5 Siblings
(Facebook/Anna Miller)

Lamont Thomas has long been an advocate for children as a foster parent in Buffalo, NY. Back in 2000, friends of Lamont had lost their child to social services. Wanting to help, he stepped in to care for the child, an act of kindness that led to Thomas becoming a certified foster parent.

Over the past two decades, the single father has helped raise over 30 children, eventually adopting five of them permanently. That made Lamont father to a total of seven kids including his two biological children LaMonia and Anthony, and the very first boy he ever fostered, Michael. “He was my third foster home and it ended up being my forever home,” 27-year-old Michael Thomas recalled to Good Morning America.

But seven of his own was plenty for Lamont. After Michael, who was the last to be officially adopted, Lamont was ready to settle down and enjoy watching his children build their own lives.

However, fate stepped in recently, bringing the retired caregiver back into the system. Five young siblings were in need of a home. Their father was once in Lamont’s care, so he knew what he had to do. “They had them in four different homes, four different cities. They were separated for over a year-and-a-half,” he shared. Lamont reapplied to the foster program with the intent to adopt all five of the children. After fostering all five kids in-home for the past two years, Lamont made it official last week, adopting the siblings and welcoming them into his family permanently.

“They bring new energy to me. They’re lovable kids, very affectionate,” Lamont said.” “They deserve to be raised as siblings, and that was my fight.” Michael told GMA that caring for children is his father’s “God-given call.” His sister LaMonica echoing the sentiment. “It’s amazing he’s taking on all of them. He does anything for everybody. He’s a really a great man.”

As for Lamont, he’s just glad he could once again be a positive force in these children’s lives, telling GMA “I wanted to make a difference by being a difference, and I love what I do.”

Lamont says there is always a need for foster parents and encourages individuals to apply. To learn more about foster care programs in your area, visit the Children’s Bureau.

After Growing up in Foster Care, Virginia Man Adopts Three Children

(Instagram/iambarryfarmer)

Being a single parent is one of the toughest challenges imaginable. So when one Virginia man willingly decided to adopt not one, but three sons, it made headlines for all the right reasons.

It all began when Barry Farmer was placed into in Kinship Care – a form of foster care allowing family members to raise a child. Farmer’s grandmother became his legal guardian as he shared in an Instagram post, including a photo from his first Christmas living in her home.

“My Grandmother didn’t have a lot to give me but it was more than what I ever had up until that point. I was fed, well groomed, my own room and loved. I may not have had what other children around me had growing up, but I did have a CHANCE.”

So at just 21 years-old, Barry Farmer decided to give back, receiving his foster care license and taking in then 8-year-old, Jaxon. What was originally a temporary placement eventually became permanent, when Jaxon asked if Farmer would become his “forever father” after the two had formed a special bond.

Two years later, wanting to give Jaxon a bigger family that included a sibling, farmer adopted 11-year-old Xavier. Less than a year later, the family added 4-year-old Jeremiah to their brood. Originally another temporary placement meant to give his former foster family some time off, the young boy eventually became an official Farmer in 2016. “Jeremiah’s plans to return home had changed during that time,” Farmer explained to PEOPLE magazine, “and that’s when my two older boys and I decided to welcome him into our home permanently.”

While parenthood has obviously come with some challenges and surprises, Farmer is still as passionate about being a dad as he was on day one. “Fatherhood has been everything I imagine it to be because I’m the father I wish I had growing up. I’m involved, I’m there when my boys go to sleep and when they wake up,” he says.

Beyond the immense feeling of joy it gives him, Farmer also says it’s a small way to honor his grandmother and her sacrifice. “Becoming a foster parent was like a tribute to my grandmother because I could never pay her back, but I was definitely able to pay it forward.”

Although his home now feels more like a frat house, Farmer said he wouldn’t have it any other way. “They are loving, strong-willed and, at times, extremely thoughtful,” Farmer says. “My sons have a lot of potential to make a positive impact on this world, I just hope they realize it and act on it.”

While having a stable place to call home is important, it’s the emotional bonds that Farmer says matter most. “They need your understanding, your compassion, and your guidance.”

Farmer encourages others to explore foster care and adoption. “This is about the hundreds of thousands of children who need permanent homes and closure on their traumatic past and how we need hundreds of thousands of individuals to step forward and help them,” he says.

To learn more about foster care, visit the resources page on ChildWelfare.gov.

“Super Dad” Adopts Fifth Child With Disability

Super Dad Adopts 5th Disabled Child
(YouTube/Caters)

Adopting a child is not an easy decision to make, but it’s definitely a profound and life-changing one, both for the parents and the children themselves. Devoting yourself to a child who is not biologically your own is an important thing to do, and adoptive parents deserve a lot of credit.

Especially those who go above and beyond, like Ben Carpenter.

Ben Carpenter is a 35-year-old dad from Huddersfield in the UK, and his friends and family call him “super dad,” for good reason. Ben has adopted five children, each with their own unique health conditions and challenges. And he parents them on his own, as a single father.

He adopted his first child when he was 21, and 14 years later, he’s just completed the adoption process for his fifth, a one-year-old named Noah, who lives with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a genetic condition. His other children – Jack, 11, Ruby, 8, Lily, 6, and Joseph, 3 – suffer from a range of issues like autism and Pierre Robin syndrome, but that doesn’t faze Ben.

“Even at the age of 21 I knew I wanted to be a father as soon as possible – I may have only been young but I’ve always had an old head on my shoulders,” Ben told the Mirror. “I was convinced with me being single as well that they wouldn’t take me seriously – but I was over the moon when they did.”

Having previously worked as a social carer for people with special needs, Ben was confident he could handle the responsibilities of parenting, and based on the past 14 years, he was right. My dude is nailing it.

“I knew it was only right for me to adopt a disabled child because I knew I’d be able to care for them properly,” he said. “I originally saw an advertisement from local adoption social services looking for adoptive parents; and I thought, well, they’re not going to want me as a single guy. But I told them who I was and where I worked and they were really positive and quite enthusiastic about me adopting a child.”

They couldn’t have trusted these children with a more selfless, caring dad, and Ben might not even be done.

“If in the future a child really needed me and my help, I’m sure I would end up adopting them,” he told the Mirror. “I definitely see myself fostering more children though — I just love being a dad.”