Pine Belt teens adopted from Congo

Purvis family adopts children from Congo.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 11:54 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Purvis running back, Moses Cummings is used to powering through defenders on the way to the end zone.

That can be used as an example of the perseverance he developed as a child.

Moses and his sister, Mercy, grew up as orphans in Goma, Congo, during a devastating time.

“Around the orphanage, there was war happening and everything,” Moses Cummings said. “Every day, it was just hoping to live the next day.”

When Moses was seven and Mercy was five, they met Amanda Cummings, who was on a mission trip to Africa.

“You go down the streets and there’s kids everywhere that have been left orphaned because of the wars going on,” Amanda said.

After several return visits with her husband, Ray, the couple discussed the idea of adoption and began the process in 2012.

“Amanda went to the orphanage,” Ray said. “She had to say bye to them, because we didn’t have everything ready. It was almost nine months later before we got to go and bring them home.”

The adoption would be made official in 2013.

Mercy has a distinct memory of the plane ride to the states.

“Eating the plane food,” Mercy said. “My parents said me and Moses were the only one who liked the plane food.”

The family joined the Cummings’ two sons, Camron and Carter.

Camron says he was excited to have new playmates, but quickly learned to be grateful for what he had.

“We had a bunk bed, and I remember looking and seeing piles of food,” he said. “I was like, ‘Moses, what is that?’ He was like, ‘This is my stores in case I don’t get to eat again.’”

Carter says his biggest adjustment came outside of the home, where he became frustrated with stares toward his now mixed-race family.

“I was kind of a hothead, so I was always getting mad at people,” he said. “Everywhere you went, at least once a week, you were getting somebody that couldn’t help themselves. They just couldn’t stop staring.”

A decade later, Moses is a junior at Purvis High School and Mercy a freshman.

Ray says his family is thankful for this life-changing decision.

“They’ve been a much bigger blessing to us than we’ve ever been to them.,” Ray Cummings said.

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