Here’s story to warm the cockles of your heart: a baby girl with Down syndrome rejected by 20 families finds her forever home with a kind, single man.
Every day is an adventure for Luca Trapanese and little Alba from Italy.
The many heart-warming posts on Instagram of the father-and-daughter duo show clearly that the 44-year-old’s life revolves around his little princess. “I am a single father in love with his daughter,” he shares on his bio.
Their story was a case of the stars aligning – Luca had just come out of a serious relationship with his boyfriend at the time and Alba (3), had been rejected by 20 homes after being put up for adoption by her mother. In July 2017, just 13 days after she was born, Luca swept in to rescue her.
“She brought me happiness and a sense of fulfilment. I am proud to be her dad,” he’s said.
Now the pair are inseparable. It had long been Luca’s dream to be a daddy but being gay and single in Italy came with challenges. Surrogacy is illegal there and gay parents cannot be listed as co-parents on birth certificates.
“I was told that I’d only be given a child with an illness, a severe disability or with behavioural problems,” he told the BBC. “I was absolutely OK with that.”
Luca was uniquely poised to take on the challenge of being a dad to a child with special needs. After losing his best friend to cancer at the age of 14, he began volunteering with several organisations linked to the Catholic church to help the critically and disabled.
In 2007, he founded A Ruota Libera Onlus, an association in Naples. “To offer disabled people, in post-school age, the opportunity to socialise, cultivate their talents and integrate into the community,” is its goal, according to its website.
After waiting for what felt like an eternity to adopt, he finally got the thumbs-up and was able to fetch his baby girl, who had been rejected by so many other families.
“It was the first time I’d held a newborn baby. Before that moment, I had always been scared. But, when I first held Alba, I knew I was ready to be her dad,” he said. “I was overcome with joy. I felt she was my daughter straight away.”
He shares their daily adventures – which include fun activities such as karaoke, rough and tumble, outdoor walks and recently, for the third year in a row, celebrated the true spirit of Christmas just last year – with more than 320 000 followers on Instagram.While many followers comment on how lucky Alba is to have Luca, the down-to-earth dad who has described having Alba as “revolutionising his life” reckons he’s the lucky one!
SOURCES: BBC.CO.UK; BOREDPANDA.COM; INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, MYMODERNMET.COM