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Choosing Hope When Life Is Bittersweet
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Choosing Hope When Life Is Bittersweet

My thoughts on adoption, parental rights, and perseverance 


Last week, I spent time in court alongside a friend of mine who’s advocating for a sibling group in his care. 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have one adopted son, Anthony, who shares the Mutabazi last name. Of course, every foster child who makes their way through my home IS part of our family! But for a long time now, I’ve wanted to add to our family in a more permanent way and adopt more children. 

Getting to watch a dear friend of mine advocate for his kids in court and then, as a result, see the bio parents’ rights terminated felt like preparation for what might be possible within my own family.

What an honor to get to see families growing through adoption! 

If you know a foster parent, you’ve probably seen them feel happy and sad at the same time, like I have with this dear friend of mine over the last week. 

As foster parents, it's an honor to be guardians of the children in our care. We’re proud to be champions, but playing that role means witnessing destruction before new life starts. Most often, there's deep loss before healing can begin. 

A series of  legal “battles” must be fought before too much celebration can happen. 

Holding two emotions, like grief and happiness, at the same time can be tricky. I’m watching as my friend is overjoyed for what this means for his growing family, but in that same moment, he feels intense sadness, seeing that a child’s birth family has chosen to no longer be a daily part of their kids’ lives. The biological  parental rights have been terminated voluntarily. This reality can be a very hard truth for any young person to accept.

In the midst of absolute JOY for a growing family, there’s tragic LOSS in another.

In my experience, most of life comes with multiple emotions—the “good” and the “bad”—together. Watching the news, I see people in Turkey and Syria reeling from what they’ve lost in the recent earthquake. What they’ve experienced is undoubtedly a tragic loss. You might be thinking, “What joy is there to be found in that situation, Peter?”

I see stories of families taking in children when theirs were lost in the disaster. I see people coming together, leaders taking charge, and changes being made to improve living conditions going forward. Many times in this world, we see destruction and new life happen side by side. 

The termination of parental rights leads to adoption.

A tragedy has led to great celebration for my dear friend’s new forever family. 

Disasters lead us to reprioritize and refocus on what really matters. When life brings difficult circumstances your way, is this an opportunity? Are you able to slow down and take a closer look at the beauty around you? Can you see the sunbeams through the rain clouds? 

The possibility of giving our kids a new story—one filled with hope—motivates me to keep going, even on the days that feel like a war. As foster parents, loving the children in our care means fighting tough court battles sometimes. And lots of times —like today with my friend in court—it’s an all-out war to fight for a child’s best outcome. 

Nevertheless, I’m living proof that tragedy and loss can bring forth new beginnings.

My entire life hinges on receiving undeserved kindness, and I want to give what I thought I never deserved: love without strings. 

When you look at the tragic losses in your life—can you see the sweetness there, too? 

How can you choose to step into redemption today?

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