Ben Carpenter with Jack, 10, Ruby seven, Ben and Joseph, both two and Lily five (Image: Huddersfield Examiner)
Meet the single gay 'super dad' who pulls out all the stops at Christmas to make it extra special for his four adopted disabled children.
Ben Carpenter, 33, places talcum powder on the stairs so Santa's footprints can be spotted and adorns his home with festive decorations to make it resemble 'Blackpool illuminations'.
On Christmas Eve he tells the children stories, plays Christmas music and has left a mince pie and a glass of Baileys for Santa.
Kind-hearted Ben, of Huddersfield, West Yorks, said he enjoys going the "extra mile" and often sheds a tear when he watches his children open their presents.
“This is my second Christmas with all four children Jack, 10, sisters Ruby, seven, and Lily, five, and Joseph, two.
“I like to go to extra mile by trimming up with outdoor lights which look like the Blackpool Illuminations. On Christmas morning I’m like a big kid myself.
“I wake up and I shout ‘he’s been’ and I’m always the first to go downstairs and put the Christmas tree lights on.
“Watching the children’s faces whilst they open their presents always brings a tear to my eye.”
Ben doesn’t forget to tell the children about why we celebrate Christmas.
“I always like to teach them the true meaning of Christmas, about the birth of Jesus Christ,” he added.
his year Ben has even more to celebrate as he has just been nominated for an award in the ‘inspirational individual’ category in the Yorkshire Choice Awards. The winner will be decided by a public vote, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reported.
Ben said he didn’t know who had made the nomination but he felt honoured.
“It’s amazing. I just can’t believe it. I means so much to me but is also a tribute to other parents who have adopted children with additional needs.”
Ben said he remained immensely proud of his children and their own achievements.
“They have taken part in Christmas performances at their different schools. I was very proud seeing them perform. They all took part in their own way. What they did was out of this world.”
Ben has previously been named Adopter Champion of the Year in recognition of his adoption of four children since 2010.
His adoption journey began more than 10 years ago when he became one of youngest gay men in Yorkshire to adopt a child, not to mention the first single man to apply in Kirklees.
It had taken him around three years to convince the authorities that he was serious about adopting and, more importantly, had the maturity and skills to be a good dad.
Ben is helped by his mum Rita, friends and support workers.
When he’s not looking after the children – which is pretty much non-stop – Ben works to educate prospective adopters and sits on a local adoption panel.
*To vote for Ben visit the Yorkshire Choice Awards website . Voting closes on March 12.