CQ family opens home to four kids after mum dies
An Emerald family has opened their home to four children after their mother passed away before Christmas due to health complications.
Linda Bono lived in Emerald and was a single mother to her four children Dante, 7, Hope, 12, Mercedes, 15, and Aiden, 21.
Sadly, Linda passed away before Christmas 2020 and was found in a chair by her children who called police.
Police asked the children who to call and they said, "Just ring Paula".
"Paula and her husband got a phone call in the middle of the night to say this is what happened," Paula's sister Mikki Beaton said.
Paula Beaton and her husband Darren live in Emerald with their two children.
While Paula didn't really know Linda, her daughter Bella was friends with one of the children.
"She used to come over to my sister's place to play on the weekends and after school and then another family member started coming over," Mikki said.
"Paula didn't really know the mum; she only really knew the children through her daughter from school.
"She would just meet the mum on the veranda and drop the kids off, she never went into the house or anything like that."
Unfortunately, child services was unable to find any family to support the four children, three with special needs.
Instead of seeing the children split up, Paula and her husband offered to care for them and have been accepted as the children's permanent guardians.
"Child services have already fast tracked it and given her custody of the children because they can't find anyone else and wanted them to stay together," Mikki said.
"Paula had already been taking a couple of the children on weekends and school holidays or if they went away on a holiday or camping. It was just to help the kids and the mother because she was very sick and couldn't look after them on weekends.
"She got to know the kids well and they were comfortable there because that's where they had been going. That's where they asked to go."
A GoFundMe page was created by Paula's sister Mandi Beaton with the target of $10,000 to help raise funds for Paula and Darren to create and accommodate enough space to make the transition as easy and comfortable as possible for their now family of eight in their three-bedroom house.
"We want Paula to have the support she is going to need," Mikki said.
"She has gone from two children to six children.
"She needs to sell her five-seater car and buy an eight-seater to accommodate for the whole family and make modifications to her home.
"Paula's family think she is amazing for offering and accepting these children into her home. "She has the biggest heart.
"We would be grateful for any kind of support to help."