Peter Mubatazi knew he would become Tony’s father the minute they met. Their story is a heartwarming tale of love and family. Foster children are so vulnerable, and it is all too often they are abandoned or lost in the system. It can take years for a foster child to find a family and when they do, their whole lives are changed. Recently, the most heartwarming adoption happened–and it involved an unlikely parent and a child who had been abandoned in a hospital. The heartbreaking story found its happy ending, in the unlikeliest of hero.
From Uganda to becoming a single dad in America/ Peter Mutabazi lives in Charlotte but he hails from a completely different continent. And his childhood was also rough. I grew up in Uganda. I grew up the poorest of the poorest. I didn’t have a good childhood. I ran away from home and became a street kid. Peter said that he realized his calling to be a foster father after he himself was rescued and taken in when he needed it the most. “How can I not give back?” Peter explained. I understand where [these kids] come from. Someone stepped in to help me, and now I’ve adopted my oldest. In 2017, Peter made the decision to start fostering while in Oklahoma. He went to a local agency. Initially, he was afraid that being a single man would mean that he was not a good candidate. But he signed up nonetheless and took the required classes to qualify as a foster parent. About four months later, he got his license.
He believes they were meant to meet/ Peter believes that him and his newest (and oldest) son Tony, were destined to meet. Indeed, the two make the perfect father-son pair–it was a match right away. Tony had previously been adopted by a couple in Oklahoma when he was 4 years old. He had been waiting in the system since the age of 2 years old. But then, when he was 11, his adoptive parents abandoned him at a hospital.
For Tony, it meant a devastating return to the foster care system. “I could not fathom … who could do that,” Peter said. One day, Peter was called by a foster care worker who asked him if he could take Tony for the weekend. As soon as he met Tony, he instantly knew they were meant to be family. I remember telling him, ‘You can call me Mr. Peter.’ And Tony was like, ‘Can I call you dad?’ As of November 2019, Peter and Tony legally became father and son.
“ADOPTED TODAY!!! I was chosen, I was wanted, I was cherished, I grew in his heart, I was the missing piece and I’m loved today despite of my shortcoming,” Peter wrote in a post celebrating the big day on Instagram.
“‘Little souls find their way to you, whether they’re from your womb or someone else’s. I found my little/big soul today!”
There was yet another celebration in store for them/ Just two weeks later, Peter also celebrated becoming a U.S. citizen, with his son by his side.
“Today I became an American Citizen: I’m proud, thankful, grateful and hopeful! A dad and U.S citizen in just two weeks can’t describe in words the joy in my heart and house after a long journey,” Mutabazi said.
He made a huge difference in a little one’s life/ Peter gushes about his new son, who is wise beyond his years and “has read more than 500 books.” He’s 13 years old, so he thinks he’s 40. He’s a fun kid. He loves to play video games and bike and go places. This unlikely duo reminds us that we’re capable of making a difference in someone’s life. The process is rewarding: Peter and Tony have a special bond that will strengthen with time. We don’t have to be biologically related to someone to be family.
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