A North Carolina couple is accused of sending away their 5 foster children after the "Extreme Makeover" show built them a new home.
“[They] threw us all out,” said Chris Friday, referring to his foster parents Devonda and James Friday, of Lincolnton.
Chris and Kamaya Friday, who are now adults, told WSOC Charlotte, “I know it was all about the money. From the first day, it was all about the money.”
In 2011, the Fridays wrote to the "Extreme Makeover" show saying they "desperately" needed a home makeover for their 7 children, including 5 foster kids.
The Fridays portrayed themselves as evangelists who operated a nonprofit organization called House of Hope.
The Extreme Makeover producers rebuilt their modest home into a 3,900 sq. ft. house with eight bedrooms.
The show also leased a store in a nearby strip mall for the couple's House of Hope charity and filled it with thousands of dollars worth of items -- including Sears gift cards.
“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 told WSOC Charlotte.
But Chris and Kamaya say the good times ended when the cameras stopped rolling.
“I just didn’t understand it," he said, recalling how Devonda and James sent the kids away just a few months later, citing bad behavior.
“Why did I have to leave?” Chris asked. “It made me feel not wanted, you know?”
“I felt like they were my mom and dad. I loved them like they were my real parents. I did,” Chris explained.
The Fridays also sent the 3 younger foster children to separate group homes.
Chris says the couple realized their error and tried to get the kids back in 2015.
“They went to court trying to get us all back, but I think it was about the money, too,” Chris told WSOC.
Kamaya added, “The judge, he gets upset and is like, ‘You leave these kids’ life for a whole year, then try to come back a year later and say you want them back. It doesn’t work like that.'”
“That's all she's about, money," Kamaya said. “It's money with her."
Chris and Kamaya say they took the Fridays last name but now they plan to change their last names.
“You gave me away,” fumed Kamaya. “Parents don’t do that.”