The day Tony Mutabazi was adopted from the care home was a day of happiness and joy. When he was 11 years old, he was abandoned by a family. He was hopeless and desperate until he was rescued by single father, Peter Mutabazis.
At the early age of two, Tony entered the care system. Without information about his biological parents, he lived in foster homes for the next four years. When he was four, a couple in Oklahoma adopted him.
Seven years later, they decided they couldn’t and wouldn’t take care of him. They left him in hospital, told him they would not return and drove away, a decision that shocked Tony.
Peter Mutabazi was Tony’s foster parent for three years. His career Jessica Ward called him on January 16, 2018. He called his foster parents and asked if he could take Tony’s son with him for the weekend.
After hearing Tony’s story, Peter knew he couldn’t leave him in the system. He knew it was difficult for older children to be adopted. But he knew his parents had the right to send Tony home, and he knew he had to take him in.
He supported Tony for two years before the adoption papers were finally signed. Tony has been with the family since he was 13. Tony’s story touched Peter as he grew up, and he experienced it firsthand. When he was a 10-year-old boy, Peter fled his abusive parents in Uganda and was all alone.
He found a parent figure who was there for him and helped him through school. He grew up without anyone telling him what to do or dreaming of a future for him. “I grew up among the poorest of the poorest on the planet,” he claim.
When he grew up, he emigrated to the United States and now is a US citizen. In the past three years, he has supported 12 children and works with World Vision in the US to help children living in disadvantaged and difficult areas.
Love at first sight is something that exists, if at all, only once and only for a very, very, very long time.
Peter explained that when he first met Tony, he knew he wanted to be his legal father. He had the resources, the finances and the space, so he adopted Tony without hesitation. “From day one Tony’s called me Dad. He meant it because he looked up to me. He’s a nice, intelligent kid and I’ve always been there for him.” Peter told Good Morning America.
The two now live in North Carolina, where Peter helps Tony overcome his childhood trauma. Peter and Tony share a beautiful story. Both were foster children and are now a family.
Thousands of children in the American care system are not so lucky. There are 443,000 children in foster care in America at any one time of day.
Children placed in foster care are not always as young as one might expect; the average age of children first entering the system is eight years old. Children spend an average of two years in the system, but many stay for five years or more.
Every year, over 10,000 children leave foster care not because they are adopted, but because they are too old for the system. They are more likely to be homeless, unemployed or imprisoned than any other population group. While many children live in a family environment, eleven percent of them live in group homes or residential homes.
Remember that the more children we help, the more of them will be able to have a positive impact on the future of the United States and the world. There are numerous ways you can help foster children to make more children happy like Tony and Peter.