One Amazing Dad Adopted Five Children All With Special Needs
Being a single parent isn't the easiest job and it can be more difficult when the child has special needs.
But none of this mattered to Ben Carpenter, who is a single dad to not only one child, but five - all with a disability.
The 34-year-old from West Yorkshire is a happy, supportive and loving dad to Jack, Ruby, Lily, Joseph and, most recently, little Noah.
Ben was only 21 when he applied to be a father - and the youngest gay adopter in the country - and became a dad to Jack, now 11, who has autism and linked obsessive compulsive disorder.
His family grew further when he adopted seven-year-old Ruby - who has Pierre Robin syndrome, scoliosis, limited use of her arms as a result of missing bones, and is blind - and then her half-sister Lily, age six, who is deaf.
Ben went on to become a father once again to three-year-old Joseph who has Down syndrome and uses a colostomy bag.
Finally, he adopted baby Noah, who Ben knew he had enough love and time for even with his four other children.
Little Noah, who is 15-months-old, has a rare syndrome and severe birth defects that affect both his arms and legs, but none of this was an issue for Ben, who told the Mirror: "I could see he had profound disabilities and I instantly fell in love."
The amount of care and attention that each child needs individually would be too much for some people, but for Ben, seeing each child flourish makes it all worth it.
He said: "I love it. People say it is hard work but I love every bit of what I do. They are amazing kids. They don't ever let their disabilities hold them back, they just get on with life."
Prior to becoming a father, Ben had worked with both adults and children with special needs and knew that children with learning difficulties are often the hardest to place in a home.
Though Ben loves all the time he spends with his children, having five kids - disability or not - can be difficult. He's happy to receive help from his 65-year-old mum, Rita - who he lives with - along with his friend Jeanette and the kids' godmother Michelle.
He said: "It has its moments, I can't sugarcoat that. We have some really trying times. I have five children all with really complex needs. There are a lot of appointments up and down the country, which can be quite draining."
He added: "I love everything about being a father. Just the simplest things you take for granted, when your children are playing in the garden and they look up at you and smile."
He is truly passionate about adoption and encourages people to not rule out taking on a child with special needs.
Ben truly is an amazing human - someone get this man a 'World's Best Dad' mug, he definitely deserves it.
Featured Image Credit: Huddersfield Examiner