Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's National Adoption Month: And We Were Scammed

Hi Friends,

It has been awhile (3 months to be exact) since I checked in with you.  Life got overwhelming, and unfortunately, blogging, which is one of the things I enjoy and find relaxing, just seemed like too much of a task when the whirlwind of life swept in.  I should have checked in and told you that I'd be back in a bit, but it really wasn't an intentional break. It just happened.

Here's why life became a bit overwhelming:

  1. It all began with the absence of the hubs.  He was gone for 3 1/2 weeks visiting his parents and family.  
  2. The hubby's absence spanned the timeframe of Hurricane Irene's visitation.  We all thought the storm was going to be detrimental to Hampton Roads.  It took a lot of prep work to get the house ready before I camped out at my parents house for a few days.  Luckily, there was no damage and the storm didn't live up to the anticipation (thank goodness!)
  3. Work! For two months, I was the busiest I have ever been at work. In October, CBN celebrated their 50th broadcast anniversary and I was very involved in that celebratory weekend... in addition to my normal producing schedule. 
  4. Brandon got into Physician Assistant school.  He begins school the first week of January 2012... so that means BIG changes for The Cozy Cape Couple. I'll be back later this week with those details. 
And Adoption...
Now for the main reason for this post.  As if ALL of that wasn't enough to overwhelm even the strongest of people, we went through a pretty devastating and trying time regarding a potential adoption last month.

The short of the situation was that we were promised this baby through a private adoption...

but we never got him.  In fact, baby Jeremiah doesn't exist.

The birth mother, who at the time used the name DeAmber Dotson (we later found out her real name is DaVanna Dotson), told our attorney that she lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  DaVanna said that her aunt in Oklahoma had helped her set up a private adoption with another couple.... but when she got to Oklahoma to visit her aunt and give  up Jeremiah, she wasn't happy with the potential adoptive parents.  It was at that point that she said she needed some money for gas, formula, diapers, and a car seat so she could return to Virginia Beach and give us custody of Jeremiah when we went through the adoption process.  At first, none of this raised any red flags in our minds because it is fairly normal protocol to cover travel expenses when a private adoption arrangements are being made.

Well, after a crazy two days of texts with DaVanna and friends ripping apart our guest room to make way for a nursery, I began to get suspicious. DaVanna avoided contact with my attorney... the same attorney DaVanna had contacted originally to set up the adoption; Davanna asked for more money, which I refused to give to her; and DaVanna avoided answering specifics on her location even though she claimed she was in the midst of the long drive from Oklahoma to Virginia.

In the end, there was no baby, no private adoption potential and DaVanna had never left the state of Oklahoma.  I knew that if she had pulled the scam on us, she must be preying on the emotions of other couples wanting a child, so I went to the Oklahoma News Channel 6 in hopes that other couples would come forward.  Well, the story aired and 7 other couples, plus us, came forward and are willing to testify.  DaVanna was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Here is DaVanna being arrested:

And here is her mugshot:

Authorities believe there are many more couples that have been scammed by Davanna so CBN News told our story in hopes that the national exposure will build an even stronger case.

Here's the CBN News story:

If you or anyone you know has been scammed by DaVanna, please contact Detective Lynn Hamlin at 918-680-3114.  November is National Adoption Month.  Please help spread the word so authorities can build a very strong case.

I have amazing friends that were with me every step of the way.  They got angry with me... they got sad with me... and they tracked this girl down with me.  Most people aren't that lucky, so I say thank you to my friends... you know who you are!

We will be parents one day.  I'm just sitting back and waiting to see what God has in store for us.

P.S. If you want to see the News Channel Six story that helped put DaVanna behind bars, follow this Adoption Fraud link (the embed code isn't working).


  1. I am so very sorry that this has happened to you. I can't even imagine how hurt and angry and sad you must be. What an evil lady. So thankful she was caught and hopefully is put away so she can't hurt anyone else.

  2. I am sorry too. I cant pretend to know your pain.I will pray that the desires of your heart the lord will provide and allow healing in your heart.

  3. Oh Heather,
    I cried when I read your post. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this, but I'm thankful that you had the resources and sense to track down the truth and help prevent others from being taken advantage of.
    You will be a mom one day and I can't wait to make a quilt for your first child.

  4. Heather, I'm so sorry! This is such a disappointment. I'm late getting the news and catching up on your blog after you reached out to me. But I am adding you to our Mama prayer list. We have a list of loved ones with empty arms that the children and I pray for every night. And our list gets shorter and shorter as God answers the prayers. You are going to be a wonderful Mama.