It takes a special person to be a foster parent, one calling that Peter Mutabazi says he feels deep in his soul.
Mutabazi says he grew up the “poorest of the poor” in his home country of Uganda. He was born to an abusive father, and at the young age of 10, he ran away to escape that life. For some time, he struggled on the streets, but eventually Good Samaritan took him in and gave him a slightly more stable childhood.
While many people would expect that sort of upbringing to harden a person, it had a different effect on Mutabazi.
Peter Mutabazi. Credit: Pinterest.
“My childhood was difficult, but somehow it gave me empathy,” he says.
In 2017, he opened his home to children in need of a foster home. Since then, he has fostered 13 children. Though he says “no one ever prepared [him] to say goodbye,” he knows the work he does for these children is important.
In 2018, Peter Mutabazi met Anthony, an 11-year-old who had been abandoned by his adoptive parents. Quickly, he knew he wanted to adopt Anthony, and Anthony wanted the same.
“Anthony would always ask me, ‘Hey Dad, when will I be officially adopted?'” Mutabazi said. “And of course, with foster care you never know when.”
That dream finally became a reality on November 12, 2019. After two sleepless nights in anticipation, Anthony was officially adopted. With Mutabazi’s childhood, Anthony says he truly feels supportive and understood.
Peter Mutabazi’s story.
When 2020 reared its ugly head around the corner and the country shut down due to coronavirus concerns, the same was said for foster-homes. In order to keep their families safe, many parents stepped back from fostering. Mutabazi, however, rose to the occasion.
“With foster care, they are overloaded with kids and I could not imagine a kid wanting a safe place to be loved in the midst of this. … I could not say no,” Mutabazi says. “I had to find a way to give him a safe place, a safe home.”
In March of 2020, the Mutabazi family gained another foster child. As the months went on, Mutabazi opened his home to two more children, including his first daughter. He has even gone on to adopt the furry variety—his children now have two dogs to play with.
Peter Mutabazi’s house is full of life and love now, something he plans to give children for as long as he can.
“…That’s my goal: to lift up those who have been forgotten and to say ‘you’re special, you matter, you’re known.’”
Peter Mutabazi and his family. Credit: Peter Mutabazi.