Dad’s family of five

Tyler and Harna with dad Paul Hugo. Picture: Tanya Boon.

Family. Scotchtown father Paul Hugo will be spoilt by five children this Father’s Day.

He will have his 14-year-old son Tyler and seven-year-old Ethiopian born daughter Harna. Plus three foster children.

Mr Hugo and his wife Adele had always wanted a big family. But when fate stopped them at one, the couple had to reconsider their dreams.

“It took two years for Paul to agree to adoption and a four year wait to welcome Harna,” Mrs Hugo said. He had been worried he would be unable to love the children equally.

That has not been a problem.

The then family of three travelled to Ethiopia six years ago to adopt 17-month-old Harna, who is now a “daddy’s girl”. They arrived back in Australia on Father’s Day, 2007.

After adopting their daughter, the Hugos registered as foster carers and in February this year the agency phoned to ask if they would consider fostering three children. In 30 minutes the family grew from four to seven.

Mrs Hugo said this Sunday the family will celebrate having a father who is an ex-chef, “awesome cook”, a swimming coach and someone who has never missed his children’s important sporting matches or triumphs. A man who takes his kids fishing and four-wheel-driving. Who teases and jokes with them and has converted them (and Mrs Hugo) to Hawthorn supporters. Someone who is first to put his hand up and isn’t afraid to help around the house.

Although Mr Hugo said being a father is one of life’s biggest blessings he will still be spoilt this Sunday.

Mrs Hugo said her husband can expect a home-made breakfast, hand made presents and cards this Sunday and perhaps an excursion to the beach, bush or family shack.

“We’ll do whatever he wants to do,” Tyler said.

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