The single father had adopted a son who was abandoned by his adoptive parents, and he opened his home to a younger child yet again during these troubled times.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 17, 2020. It has since been updated.
Being a single parent is not easy but being a single dad to two boys definitely sounds like a lot of work. But, some people are just meant to be parents because of how warm and welcoming they are. One single dad, Peter Mutabazi, knows the ins and outs of the foster care system since he was once a part of it. He also has adopted one son and is now fostering another through the system.
How he came to be a father to two boys is an inspiring story. Now called Anthony (Tony) Mutabazi, the teenager was 11 when his adoptive parents left him at a hospital and never returned. He had been part of the foster care system from the age of two and was adopted at the age of four. After seven years together, his adoptive parents abandoned him without a warning, according to Good Morning America.
On January 16, 2018, Peter received a call from social worker Jessica Ward asking if he could take Tony for the weekend. Peter wanted to be a foster parent ever since he once received someone's kindness after running away from his abusive home in Uganda at the age of 10. He works for the nonprofit organization World Vision United States and had fostered at least 12 children by then.
Tony was supposed to be with Peter for only two days but he stayed on. He learned Tony's story while spending time with him and decided to be his father. "By that time, I was crying. I thought, 'Who would do that?'" Mutabazi said. "Once I knew the parents' rights were signed off and he had nowhere to go, I [knew] I had to take him," he said.
The father and son have been happy together ever since then. In 2019, they moved to Charlotte North Carolina and Peter had to register to be a foster parent all over again in the state. They used to live in Oklahoma previously.
He got approved just as North Carolina and many other states went into lockdown. "I knew the chances of placement or respite were close to none. All offices were closed and every family had been in lockdown for almost two weeks," Peter recalled, as per Scary Mommy. And yet, he received a call that there was a boy who needs a home.
"Would you be willing to take in a 7-year-old boy during quarantine?" asked the new social worker. They told him about the 7-year old boy's past and hoped that Peter would be able to take him in. However, the single dad was worried given that they were in the middle of a pandemic. "I was a little shocked, but listened to why they needed me to take him in during this lockdown," he said.
When he received the call, they were more than two weeks into the quarantine. "I could not imagine taking someone in. We had no clue where he had been or who he had been in contact with," he said. The devoted father had taken precautions for himself and his son but struggled with doubt about what was the right thing to do when it came to the 7-year-old.
In the end, he relented and decided to take the boy in because as worried as he was about his son's safety, he cared about what would happen to the young boy if social workers were unable to place him in a home. So, he consulted with his teen son about the right course of action and also to gauge his reaction.
Tony wanted to know his age and when he found out he was seven, he said, "Well, he's probably going to be annoying and nagging, but he can play games with me." This eased Peter and he was pleasantly surprised that his son was already planning activities together. He wanted to go biking with the younger boy when he came.
"It was heartwarming to know he was thrilled to share all he had with him. I knew we had to risk it all so we could provide a safe and loving home for this little one," said Peter.
The young boy arrived just a few hours later and it was a pleasant experience from there. "I didn't realize how tiny and unsure he would look. I'm not sure he had ever stayed at a Black man's home before," Peter said. The young boy took his new home in and when he saw Tony, he was all smiles. They found old pieces of Lego and started playing together. The single dad knew this was the right decision.
"A house is not a blessing unless it can be shared, even in the toughest times," he said. The world needs more humans like him!