Published: 11:49, 18 October 2021
| Updated: 16:05, 18 October 2021
The father of twins killed by their own mother has welcomed a baby boy with his new partner.
Steven Ford - whose beloved toddlers Jake and Chloe were drowned at their mum's home in Margate on Boxing Day 2018 - says the joyous new arrival has given him "purpose in life once more".
Baby Rupert was born at 10.22pm last night, weighing just over 6lbs 10oz.
Steven welcomed the little boy with his new partner Cristi, who "saved his life" after he suffered the devastating loss of his twins.
Speaking to KentOnline this morning, Steven said: "It was a huge decision for me to have another child.
"I always wanted to be a dad and even when that was taken away from me, I still felt like a dad.
"We spoke about it at length and agreed to try, and it's really lucky we've been successful and have a healthy baby boy."
Steven decided against giving Rupert a middle name.
"I'd have liked to have 'Jake' in there, but then I couldn't have 'Chloe' so I decided no middle names," he said.
"Rupert will know everything about Jake and Chloe.
"When the time is right, I'll talk to him about it.
"But he'll know he's got a brother and sister in heaven - two angels."
Steven met Cristi "purely by chance, and at the right time", as he attempted to carry on with his life following the death of the twins, who were a month away from their second birthdays.
"I met Cristi when I started to try and rebuild my life again, build myself up, get back into work, and slowly start to be a bit social," he said.
"She saved my life - she really did.
"She picked me up from rock bottom and put me on my feet, and we've built a family together."
But Steven still grapples bravely with his grief, Jake and Chloe forever in his heart and mind.
"What happened in my life is incredibly rare and people don't really understand how someone would live with that afterwards," he said.
"It's there every single day.
"It doesn't matter where I am, who I'm with. I still think and see Jake and Chloe everywhere around me; in songs on the radio, smells, sights, sounds, anything - they're always in my mind, always in my thoughts.
"Some days I use it to my strength.
"Other days it's not easy, and I just have to take myself somewhere private to a quiet place and just have a moment.
"Grief's not a linear path. It's constantly moving, and the biggest part of grief for me to understand was acceptance.
"It's not just accepting that your children are gone and the circumstances in how they died - it's accepting that they're not here, and accepting that it's changed you, and accepting that you feel differently different days.
"And that's, I guess, how I live with it. I just constantly, daily, have to keep accepting what happened.
"And some days it's tough, and some days I can do it and it's OK.
"People have said to me 'it looks like you've moved on well'. I've not moved on.
"I'm not going to get over it. I'm just living with it."
Steven shared the happy news of Rupert's birth on Twitter this morning, writing: "My 3rd baby, my 2nd son, my only child.
"You've given me purpose in life once more, I'll help you do great things with yours. I love you son x"
He shared the moving post with the hashtags "#brothertoangels" and "#jakeandchloeforever", in tribute to his twins.
The "miracle" babies were born after four attempts at IVF while Steven and Samantha Ford were living in Qatar, where Steven was club captain at Doha Golf Club and managing director of an infrastructure support company.
The family moved to Charing, near Ashford, in early 2018, but their marriage began to crumble as Ford became obsessed with losing her “perfect life” in Qatar.
In November 2018 she ordered Steven to leave, before days later demanding he returned.
After he refused she became fixated on trying to win him back, chillingly warning him in one message: “If this continues it’s going to lead down a horrible path.”
Samantha Ford drowned the 23-month-olds in the bath on Boxing Day 2018.
She then drove her car into the back of a lorry on the A299 Thanet Way in a failed attempt to kill herself.
She later admitted two counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and is now serving a 10-year prison sentence.
Steven Ford has previously spoken to KentOnline of his anguish following the senseless tragedy, recalling the last time he saw his "beautiful babies" alive on Christmas Day 2018.
His children were, in his words, his "everything".
His "daddy’s boy" Jake was “kind, caring and always ready for daddy cuddles” - a mini version of himself - and Chloe, his "little coco pop", who would sing to him every day, was his little genius.
He says they were everything he dreamed a son and daughter would be.