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“Junior was just over a year old when we were asked to look after him by his father. He and his dad were victims of a xenophobic attack and they tried burning the two of them.

"Junior’s dad is from Zimbabwe, but Junior was born in South Africa. The dad really needed our help as he was going through a very hard time and asked if we would take care of Junior for two weeks while he found a new place for them to stay.

"Junior’s mother had left them both and there was no one else to look after the little one

"The dad suffered an electric shock while working and he’s had many seizures so he wasn’t doing too well.

"My husband Cornelis and I knew Junior and his dad very well. Junior schooled at the nursery school I worked at and I agreed to cover his fees as his father couldn’t afford it.

Kelly-Ann van Der Meer

"This led to him being dropped off at our doorstep.

"My husband was a little wary and guarded, as he didn’t want us to get hurt. We agreed to look after Junior and it was the best decision we have ever made in our lives.

"Junior has been with us ever since. He is now 3 years old and he has become our entire world.

"This little bundle is very stubborn, but an absolute joy to our lives daily, with all the giggles and the endless love he blesses us with.

"It’s so hard to choose what we love about him, but we love this child with all our hearts and he is really the best thing to ever happen to us.

"Life has changed drastically for us since Junior came into our lives. Life has got a lot more expensive, but I wouldn’t change it.

"He has been a light through all our struggles. He keeps us going as we have a reason and purpose in life. From the little giggles to being on the move non-stop, he makes our day each day.

"We have never met Junior’s mommy and one day I’m sure we will. We know Junior’s dad quite well and he does try to come to see him when he can, and he will always have a part in Junior’s life and future.

"I hope is that one day we can adopt Junior. We will try to look into an open adoption in the next two years.

"His dad has agreed to the adoption, however social workers want to find the mom.

If the mommy comes back she has to agree to the adoption, otherwise we have to give Junior back.

"I will be heartbroken if we lose Junior. He has become my life and I never want to imagine a day without him.”

By Kelly-Ann van der Meer of Johannesburg, as told to Sameer Naik

The Saturday Star