At just 11 years Tony Mutabazi had already suffered incredible sadness in his life. He was placed in foster care when he was 2 years old but at 4 was adopted by a family from Oklahoma.
He spent 7 years with his family before he was cruelly abandoned again at a hospital. The distraught 11-year-old asked if his parents were coming back but hospital staff had to tell him no and they had no idea why.
Foster care worker Jessica Ward contacted single foster dad Peter Mutabazi to ask if he could take Tony for the weekend. He only expected to have the abandoned boy for a couple of days but after hearing his story he knew what he had to do.
“By that time, I was crying. I thought, who would do that?” Peter said describing the moment Tony told him what he’d suffered.
“Once I knew the parents’ rights were signed off and he had nowhere to go, I [knew] I had to take him,” he added.
Peter, from Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a foster parent for three years, helping to raise 12 children. He was born and raised in Uganda, but fled from his abusive home at the age of 10. Thankfully, he found a parent figure who helped him through school.
Tony’s story resonated with the big-hearted foster dad and the two developed a special bond.
“He’s the nicest, smartest kid I’ve ever had. From day one, he’s always called me ‘dad’. He truly meant it and he looks up to me,” Peter told Good Morning America.
“He’s proud to show me at school and say: ‘Hey, he’s my dad.’ That’s something that I love about him. I had the room, the resources, so I had no reason to let him go.
Helps kids living in vulnerable areas
“For what someone did for me, I wanted to do something for someone else.”
Peter eventually moved to the United States and became a citizen. He works with the nonprofit organization World Vision United States, which helps kids living in vulnerable areas.
Officially adopted at 13 years old
“[Tony] had some issues that he was dealing with from foster care and trauma when he was abandoned, so Peter knew once he took him in, that was it. Because of the age Peter was when all of the things happened in his world, I feel like that’s been such a connection for him and Tony,” she added.
Tony was officially adopted by Peter when he was 13 and moved from Oklahoma to North Carolina.
Peter said he and his son enjoy watching movies, playing board games, reading books and bicycling together.
Such a wonderful story of love and compassion which reiterates the important point that families don’t have to match.
Peter is a beautiful soul and Tony deserves a loving parent. Please share to pay tribute to these incredible beings that serve as an inspiration to us all.