A boy has finally found his “forever dad,” a single man that is the kind of person who would take in a stranger during their time of greatest need.
Tony Mutabazi’s childhood hasn’t been easy. After his birth parents gave him up for adoption, he spent a few years in the foster care system before being adopted at age 4. But those parents left him in a Charlotte, North Carolina hospital when he was 11, and never returned.
A few days later, Peter Mutabazi received a call from foster care worker Jessica Ward requesting that he take Tony for the weekend. Peter, who had already been a foster parent for three years, knew he had to do more after hearing Tony’s story.
“By that time, I was crying,” Peter told Good Morning America. “I thought, ‘Who would do that?’”
“Once I knew the parents’ rights were signed off and he had nowhere to go, I [knew] I had to take him. . . I had the room, the resources, so I had no reason to let him go.”
Peter has been cheering up Tony ever since—watching movies, playing board games, reading and taking him cycling. In November, 2019, he made it official, adopting the young teen to become his dad.
“He’s the nicest, smartest kid I’ve ever had,” Peter said.
“From day one, he’s always called me ‘dad.’ He truly meant it and he looks up to me. He’s proud to show me at school and say, ‘Hey, he’s my dad.’ That’s something that I love about him.”
The story of the fun-loving father and son went viral this year, and 72,000 followers are now fans of the dynamic duo on dad’s Instagram account—and they are just so adorable together.
Peter’s urge to be there for Tony and for other kids in the foster care system dates back to his own childhood experiences. Growing up in Uganda, he ran away from his abusive home at age 10.
Thankfully, a parental figure in the area took Peter under his wing and made sure he finished school. Now, he sees his adoption of Tony as a way of paying it forward, to honor the person who saved his own young life.