I was busy planning my ideal life.  Owner of a home and travel regularly. Spending enough time on friends and hobbies.  Enjoy the carefree life. Love was allowed to come on my path but there was no rush. Until my luxury life suddenly came to an end …

Due to an accident I lost my brother and sister-in-law.  Saying goodbye to a loved one is sad and painful.  Unfortunately there was no time for me to mourn.  Because three children had become orphans as a result of the accident.  On adrenaline, we made sure that the children felt at home.  The daughter was taken care of by my sister-in-law’s family and the boys were taken care of by me and my parents.  

By coincidence I was staying with my parents because I was busy renovating my home. It was a blessing in disguise.  Because I suddenly became a guardian.  A role that ensured that I started to speak in function of the children and that I could oppose the type of upbringing of the otter guardians. Everything of course in function of the children.  Because it was not only the raising of the children that was on the agenda.  There was a lot of discord between the two families.  A scapegoat had to be found for the accident of my brother and sister-in-law.  Luckily we were able to leave this behind us for the well being of the children.

The summer vacation was a perfect time to give the children a new home, but also to let my parents get used to the fact that they had to be parents once more.  From day one me and my parents have offered the children a structured life.  I was often the person who had to intervene between parents and children.  The kids were still mourning. My job often brings me in contact with death, so I could guide the children in their grieving process. And let my parents mourn in their own way.

When the summer was over and the first school year was approaching, suddenly I was helping my nephew learn to write and count.  A wonderful time when a child can read … yes even messages on your mobile.  Or replies from some gay app … from then on my phone was placed upside down on the table … embarrassing … not really but better be careful … My life has partly changed.  I can’t go out every time because I have my obligations, but luckily I have a father who takes fully care of his grandchildren, which means that I can occasionally step into the world but keeping in mind that I am responsible for them.  

But you also have your own life, one where I am gay. Often I am asked if I am their dad.  In the beginning, that question was so strange.  Painful for the children, I thought … but they always proudly said that I was their uncle.  I was strict but fair. It gives me so much energy every time I see them happy with the little things I do for them.  The gratitude you get from a child is so tender and pure.  Caring for them gives you that little bit more in life.  

Almost five years have passed now since my life was changed. But despite the loss … I couldn’t imagine a life without the children I care for.  As long as he can, my father takes care of the children.  But one day they will be under my guardianship full time.  A life that I didn’t want in the past … I wanted to travel and bear no responsibility.  Fate sometimes has weird turns … now my heart already aches when the children go on summer camp and I don’t see or hear them every day … my life is not what I used to have in mind. But it is a life where I get energy.  A life where I don’t give up and I want the best for myself and the children.  One to be proud of and will always believe in the future.