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White Couple Adopts Record Number of Children From Africa

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Hayley and Mike Jones adopt eight children from Sierra Leone.

Hayley and Mike Jones with their family

Reported by Andrew Scot Bolsinger

A Tennessee couple with two young boys who added eight more children in one adoption, say every aspect of their lives have changed but their family now feels “complete.”

Though official records don’t exist, officials believe Mike and Hayley Jones completed the biggest single adoption in history. 

The children were from Sierra Leone, with ages ranging from five to 16, and lived in an orphanage after their father died and their mother couldn’t support them. Now they keep in touch with their mom via Skype, according to their new adoptive mother. 

The Jones’ wanted a bigger family but chose to adopt when both of Hayley’s pregnancies ended with emergency C-sections.

Hayley Jones, 31, says that her life has now changed dramatically but she wouldn’t change it for the world.

“Not a second goes by when I don’t need to be cleaning, cooking, teaching, washing or just listening. But I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “Now we have eight new mouths to feed, we have to be careful with money, but we find the most joy from just being together as a family – we don’t have to buy expensive clothes or toys to be happy.”

The former teacher was inspired to visit the African country in 2010, after discovering one of her students was from Sierra Leone and had been adopted by an American family, according to a story on the Daily Mail.

Alongside husband, Mike, 34, who works for the water board, they interviewed to become adoptive parents.

Initially open to adopting one of two children, the Jones’ decided to take all eight children from one family: Michael, 16, Samuel, 15, Gabrielle, 12, Levi, 11, Malachi, nine, Judah, eight, Isaiah, seven and Zion, five.

“But God was telling us both separately to keep going for more and more – it was just brought up that there was a sibling group of six and eight,” Mike Jones said. “They were just names on a piece of paper and we didn’t know anything about them. It’s like I got hit in the head with a hammer, I didn’t know anything about them but I knew we were meant to adopt them. When Hayley went over there and was able to spend time with them, she just knew straight away they were our kids.”

Using the crowdsourcing website, the family was able to raise more than $16,000, which enabled them to extend their four bedroom home. They were able to turn the cellar of the house into a number of bedrooms, as well as an extra bathroom and a laundry room.

“Now we are complete,” Mike Jones said.


Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at and can be followed @CriminalUniv on Twitter.