Samoan Adoptions: Faiupu Family
Fa'anunu and Tafiau Faiupu sent three of their 13 children to be adopted by two American families through Utah-based adoption agency Focus on Children. The couple believed the children would be educated in the U.S. and cared for by families who shared their Mormon faith, then returned to Samoa.
The paralegal for the agency's barrister explained they would not see their children again, Fa'anunu said. But he said he put his trust in descriptions of how the adoptions would work from Dan Wakefield, a fellow member of the LDS Church and a recruiter for the agency.
Tafiau Faiupu and her husband say they would love to have their adopted son and two daughters back, but know the children now have opportunities they could not provide on a farmer's salary in their village of Faleasiu-uta.
Tafiau Faiupu talks about the decision to place three of her children for adoption in America.
A photo of the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: worldwide leader Gordon B. Hinckley, (center)Thomas S. Monson (left) and James E. Faust (right) hangs prominently in the Faiupu home.
Children of Fa'anunu and Tafiau Faiupu in their home in the Samoan village of Faleasiu-uta. Three of their siblings live with families in America.
Faanunu Faiupu (right) holds his granddaughter Mata Marjorie, named for the late Marjorie Pay Hinckley, the wife of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Faanunu Faiupu talks about the decision to place three of her children for adoption in America.
The Faiupu's daughter, Tepatasi Notoa, holds her son, Naisali Jr., at the entrance to the Faiupu home. Notoa lives next door with her husband Jimmy Notoa, and raises crops like her father.
The Faiupu's daughter, Tepatasi Notoa, (left), her husband Jimmy Notoa (center) live next door to her father Faanunu Faiupu (right).
Omeka Faanunu, 9, holds his neice Mata Marjorie, named for the late Marjorie Pay Hinckley, the wife of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, in the family's living room.
Alafati Faiupu, 15, (right) and his sister Tepatasi Faiupu Notoa cut coconuts for a cool drink in the family's kitchen.
Tepatasi Faiupu Notoa cuts coconuts surrounded by her three brothers and her niece and nephew in the family's kitchen.
(Left to right) Alafati Faiupu, nephew Hinckley and brother Alefa run from their sister's home to their home in the rain. Hinckley is named for LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.
(Left to right) Alafati Faiupu, brother Omeka and their nephew Hinckley splash in the cold collected rain water.
Omeka Faiupu (left) and his twin brother Alefa splash in the cold collected rain water in front of their home.
The Faiupu home in the village of Faleasiu-uta, Samoa. Someday, the family hopes, the boy they sent to America at age 8 will return to the island with his sisters, reuniting them.