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 Mutabazi

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. 

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I understand where [these kids] come from. Someone stepped in to help me, and now I’ve adopted my oldest.

Peter Mutabazi

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.

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I remember telling him, ‘You can call me Mr. Peter.’ And Tony was like, ‘Can I call you dad?’

Peter Mutabazi

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

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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.

Peter Mutabazi

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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