Any parent will know what it’s like the moment you lay eyes on your child for the first time. Though what about when the child sees their parents for the first time?
One boy who was sent to live with a foster parent for just one weekend, walked into the house and asked to call the man ‘dad’ there and then after feeling an instant connection.
However, despite their relationship blossoming from the moment they met, the pair very nearly didn’t meet at all.
Foster dad Peter Mutabazi had already looked after nine children over three years, and was very strict in taking breaks after each child left and before another arrived so that he could be emotionally ready for the next young person to walk through his doors.
However, one evening, Peter received a call from the foster agency about Anthony, an 11-year-old boy who urgently needed a place to stay.
Peter explained: “It had only been three days since the last child had left, so I said, ‘No, I need at least two months.’
“But then they told me that this was an exceptional case, a tragic case, and they just needed to house him for the weekend until they could come up with a solution.”
Despite Peter’s reservations, the next thing he knew, a tall, pale boy with curly brown hair is dropped off at his home at 3am.
The next morning over breakfast, when Peter said to the boy, “You can call me Peter,” Anthony replied, “Can I call you dad?”
The pair clicked instantly and within moments they felt connected, spending the weekend cooking, talking and shopping so that Peter could buy Anthony some clothes.
It was only on the following Monday, when the care worker came over, that Peter learned about what had happened to Anthony – he had been abandoned by his adoptive parents who had left him at a hospital despite taking him in from the age of four.
Anthony’s story resonated with Peter, who had also struggled with his family and ran away at the tender age of 10 on the streets of Kampala, Uganda.
Growing up in poverty, sleeping on the floor of a two-bedroom hut and surrounded by violence and alcoholism, young Peter eventually escaped with nowhere else to go.
A chance meeting with a kind man named Jacques Masiko, Peter was asked if he would like to be educated at a local school to which he jumped at the chance.
It was not long before Mr Masiko extended the invitation and asked Peter if he would like to live with him, offering him the loving, stable family that Peter had longed for.
Now, Peter, who resides in North Carolina, is delighted to do the same for struggling kids.
Speaking to the BBC, Peter said he was surprised to see the first child he was matched with was a five-year-old white boy.
He explained: “This was when I realised all children needed a home, and colour should not be a factor. I had two spare bedrooms, and I should home anyone who needed it.
“Just like Mr Masiko gave me a chance, I wanted to do this for other children.”
Peter has now adopted Anthony and the dream team have welcomed another little foster boy, aged seven.
While the trio make up a happy transracial family, they do endure prejudice from others and one lady even accused Peter of kidnapping the children and called the police.
He said: “We don’t live in an equal society, I want to be visible to break down stereotypes. There are stereotypes of black men as absent fathers, as criminals, all this plays a part.
“So, that is why I have been open about my parenting, and regularly post photos of me and the boys on Facebook and Instagram.”
Peter has now surpassed 100,000 Insta followers, sharing snippets of their life to show the adoption journey and that every child deserves a good home.
To follow Peter and his family, click here: FosterDadFlipper.