Couple accused of kicking out adopted children after winning home makeover

By: Paul Boyd , WSOC-TV

Updated:

A family from the Charlotte area was featured five years ago on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," a hit reality TV show that aired for nine seasons on ABC.

But questions are being raised about the family after the discovery that the five adopted children featured on the broadcast are no longer in the home.

The show focused on helping families in need by renovating their homes. Crowds would famously chant "Move that bus" when it was time to reveal the renovation project.

The “Friday Family" from Lincolnton was featured in 2011. Devonda and James Friday had seven children, five of whom had just been adopted.

The broadcast included interviews with the parents.

"'Extreme Makeover,' we desperately need you," James Friday said at the time.

"We desperately need you to come and help us,” Devonda Friday said.

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One of their adopted children was Kamaya, who was 14 years old.

"It was exciting. We got in a limo and were just riding up and then hearing, ‘Move that bus,' and then seeing this big house. It was fun," Kamaya said.

Channel 9 covered the story as the small family home was renovated into an eight-bedroom mansion.

The five adopted children, who are biological siblings, even changed their last name to Friday. Kamaya and her brother, Chris, are now adults.

"I just felt like I was home," Chris said.

The children thought they had found a permanent family, and the parents confirmed their commitment to the adopted children during the television broadcast.

"We made a vow to keep the family together," James Friday said.

"I felt like they were my mom and dad. I loved them like they were my real parents. I did," Chris told Channel 9's Paul Boyd.

But Chris and Kamaya said everything changed after the TV cameras left town.

"What they did to us was just wrong. (They) threw us all out," Chris said.

Chris said he was sent to a group home because of a "bad attitude" a few months after recording the show, but said he was told that it was only temporary.

"Why did I have to leave? I just didn't understand it. And it made me feel not wanted, you know?" Chris said.

Kamaya said she was sent to a different group home a few months later and was told the same thing.

"You gave me away. Parents don't do that. No," Kamaya said.

Within a year, they said all five adopted children were gone from the house.

"My brother and sisters were 5 years old. How can they get that much trouble where they have to kick them out?" Chris said.

They believe that their adoptive parents were motivated by just one thing.

"I know it was all about the money. From the first day, it was all about the money," Chris said.

"That's all she's about, money. It's money with her,” Kamaya said.

The Fridays ran a nonprofit organization called House of Hope, and the makeover show created a store for them to operate.

Producers paid the rent for the store and gave the nonprofit thousands of dollars’ worth of donated items, including Sears gift cards.

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