The community did something incredible for these amazing gay dads
Two devoted gay dads were moved to tears when they got the gift of a lifetime.
Garry and Kyle Ratcliffe, who live on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, have four adoptive children after starting out as foster carers.
Three of the children have complex special needs.
Garry and Kyle first adopted Haydn, who has cerebral palsy, and then Curtis, who was adopted at four months old and is severely epileptic, blind, prone to life-threatening chest infections, and also has cerebral palsy.
The two dads then fostered sisters Bella, who was six, and Phoebe, who was one.
Bella has Down’s syndrome, so when there was a hint that the sisters may be split up, they decided to offer a lifeline to both girls and applied to adopt.
But after taking on so many kids, the Ratcliffes quickly ran out of space in their cramped three-bed bungalow, which was not fully accessible and did not have enough room to cater for all the kids’ needs.
However, the local community banded together to do something amazing for the couple, with help from BBC TV show DIY SOS.
In a first for the TV show, the pair’s bungalow was entirely demolished in order to build them a new home from scratch.
The new home, built on the same lot, is a fully accessible five-bedroom build to cater for all of the family’s needs.
The house, which was built in just nine days, was only possible due to the amazing goodwill, hard work and generosity of the local community and trade workers, who gave their time, work and supplies to the project.
It even comes kitted out with a hoist system, to allow Haydn to access the bathroom independently.
After the build was complete, Garry and Kyle were taken aback to see the love and compassion that had gone into building their new home.
The pair were both moved to tears as they toured the house, which is packed full of features to help their family live independently.
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Kyle said: “It’s absolutely beautiful! Our kids are going to love this. Everything’s been thought of.
“I just can’t believe the detail and the thought that’s gone into our kids. Because it’s all just about our kids, isn’t it?
“It’s everything, it’s literally everything, you’ve thought of everything. It’s enabling their kids to be more than they are, which is really important.”
Speaking to the hundreds of workers and volunteers who helped build the house, Garry added: “We love our kids very much as you can probably tell.
“We’ve always thought we were quite independent and could do things on our own. We could never have done this on our own.
“Not only have you given us a beautiful house and garden for today, but for our children, they’re going to be with us forever. You’ve future-proofed our lives for us.”