Adopting a child is one of the noblest decisions a person can make. Not only does it drastically improve the child’s well-being, but it also enriches the family who welcomes them into their home.
But like anything else, adoption is not without its dark side. When this all-American family took in a young African girl, they never suspected she had such a complicated past. What she told them next revealed one of the vilest and corrupt schemes you can imagine.
When Adam and Jessica Davis first met Namata in 2015, it was like love at first sight. They were so caught up in their idea of the perfect family, that they had no idea something was terribly wrong.
Adam and Jessica had been considering adopting a child for quite some time. Like most other prospective parents, they had nothing but good intentions and put their complete trust in the system.
They already had four children of their own. With those kids getting older, however, the couple felt that they were ready for another. But having their own didn’t make the most sense to them.
Especially with the staggering number of needy kids around the world, Jessica and Paul figured that adoption was the most ethical option. So, they started to look around…
They began their search with an Ohio-based agency that was called, strangely enough, European Adoption Consultants. Before long, they informed the Davises that they located the perfect match.
A Ugandan girl named Namata was in dire need of a good family. They told Adam and Jessica that her father died, that her abusive mother didn’t want her, and that she had no future in her small village.
It was a hefty adoption fee of $15,000, but that didn’t matter to the Davises. They knew what they had to do. As soon as they could, they flew over to Uganda to pick up their new daughter.
Namata was everything the Davises could have hoped for, though she was living in a decrepit facility called God’s Mercy Orphanage. They were relieved to get her out of such a horrible place.
Flickr / Fulvio Romiti
Adam and Jessica finalized the adoption process and introduced Namata — who they nicknamed ‘Mata’ — to the rest of the family. It seemed like a perfect fit!
Even though she came from a world away, Mata took to American life quite quickly. She enjoyed school and had a ton of new experiences. Her English got quite good as well.
After about a year, once Mata’s language skills improved and she got very close to her family, she opened up more and more about her past life. Some of the details she mentioned, though, didn’t quite add up.
She talked about her village, her mother, her siblings, and how happy all of those things made her. Mata’s account totally contradicted her adoption file. A bombshell realization then dawned upon Adam and Jessica.
Mata wasn’t an orphan. She already had a loving family, one that certainly was not interested in giving her away. So how did she end up in that dingy orphanage?
Adam and Jessica contacted Keren Riley, an activist who helps reunite trafficked children with their mothers. Riley surmised there was something illegal about Namata’s adoption, and that her birth family was still out there looking for her.
But Keren also had good news: she found Namata’s mother. They set up a Skype call between the States and Uganda, allowing the mother to speak to her daughter again. She also filled in her side of the story.
The adoption agency came to her village and offered to match kids with sponsors for an American education. Many parents participated. What they didn’t realize was that the agency was seizing custody and selling the children to families in the U.S.
As much as they loved having Mata in their family, Adam and Jessica knew the best place for her was back in her village. They soon prepared to take her back home.
It was a joyful reunion in Uganda. Namata’s family felt elated to have her back, and they were so grateful to meet the American strangers who took such good care of their daughter and sister.
Namata was certainly lucky. However, the Davises learned a troubling fact in Uganda: European Adoption Consultants sent away other children from the village. A couple others had returned, but some had not.
Of course, the agency denied any wrongdoing in the matter. But that didn’t stop the FBI from raiding their office and stripping them of the ability to transfer child guardianships.
However, there are still many children out there who were stolen from their families and shipped overseas. We can only hope there are more families out there like the Davises willing to step in and return the children to their rightful homes.
It’s a miracle that Adam and Jessica reunited Namata with her family back home. But their experience just goes to show that for some, the road to parenthood can be downright painful.
Another family from Tulsa, Oklahoma learned this when they tried to start a family of their own. Sarah and Andy Justice had been married three-and-a-half years when their doctor sent them to a fertility specialist in St. Louis — nearly 400 miles away.
Andy-Sarah Justice / Facebook
The Justices made the drive without hesitating; after all, they’d been trying futilely for a baby boy or girl since they finally tied the knot in the early 2010s. They knew they needed a little professional guidance.
The fertility specialist suggested in-vitro fertilization: for somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000, the Justices had about a 10 percent chance of getting pregnant. Yikes.
“We took that as a ‘no,'”Andy said. So, he and Sarah considered other options for starting the family they prayed for before ultimately settling on adoption. But that, too, proved difficult.
The Justices created a “Life Book,” which served as a sort of resume for expecting women looking to put their newborns up for adoption. A few mothers reached out to the Justices, hoping to interview them.
But then? “Then they changed their minds,” Sarah said. “It was very hard to get our hopes up like that and then be disappointed and have to start all over.” Nevertheless, the Justices kept hoping.
Eventually, though, a birth mother selected them as the perfect parents for her newborn baby! Sarah and Andy heaved sighs of relief — until they took the birth mother for the ultrasound.
The birth mother would deliver not one, not two, but THREE babies. Triplets! But the adopting parents kept cool heads. A big family was what they wanted, right?
The triplets, named Elizabeth, Hannah, and Joel, were born two months premature in 2013. They each weighed just three pounds and were placed immediately into neonatal care.
While doctors and nurses attended to the triplets, though, Sarah visited her own doctor. There, she and Andy received their second big surprise of the year…
Perhaps knowing they had triplets on the way squashed any stresses or anxieties in the Justice household because, despite the earlier odds, Sarah was pregnant! But then she went for a sonogram.
There, the technician told Sarah she was due to birth twins! Another two babies on top of the three she and Andy had just adopted! “I was shocked and a bit overwhelmed,” Sarah said.
She continued, “I got to thinking, added it up and I’m like, wow, if they go to term we’re about five babies in eight months. But we were really excited because it was something we’ve been dreaming of and longing for for years.”
Andy, on the other hand, could only laugh. When he learned Sarah was pregnant, he’d joked that it would be with twins. “That’ll teach me to keep my mouth shut,” he said, once realizing they’d be adding onto the triplets.
So that was how Andy and Sarah ended up bringing five newborn babies — Abigail, Andrew, Joel, Hannah, and Elizabeth — back to their modest, ranch-style home in east Tulsa. Though there were some interesting difficulties…
They couldn’t tell their kids apart! At first, they painted their toenails different colors, but when winter arrived and their socks went on, they devised other methods to tell who was who.
Andy-Sarah Justice / Facebook
Sarah and Andy outfitted their kids with unique clothes. Hannah and Elizabeth, for instance, wear different bows in their hair. But telling their kids apart wasn’t the only struggle…
Those kids could really use the bathroom. The five of them soiled over 300 diapers a week between them. With the price of diapers, that makes $30,000 for IVF not seem so bad!
But Sarah and Andy wouldn’t change a thing: “It was something we’ve wanted so badly that we love it,” Sarah said, and their family photos definitely make that clear!
Sarah doesn’t claim that their life is easy, but, she adds: “It’s not to say it’s not a lot of work and we’re not tired a lot, but it’s great. We just really love having these children.”