A loving family who adopted a Ugandan orphan thought they were positively changing the girl's life - but what she revealed to the family after learning to speak English is horrifying.

Jessica and Adam Davis decided they wanted to open their home to a fifth child in search of making a difference for a child in need.

The Ohio couple investigated adoption and discovered Uganda was one of the countries with the highest rate of orphaned children.

Following a year of formalities and NZ$93,000 worth of expenses, the family finally meet their new daughter, a six-year-old Ugandan girl named Namata.

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In 2015, Namata joined her new family in their US home, but nothing could prepare the Davises for what happened next.

Namata's English began to improve drastically, and with it came a dramatic truth bomb that rocked the family.

THE TRUTH:

The family was told by authorities that Namata was an orphan. They were informed there was no father in her life and that her mother was neglectful. The family was led to believe she was abused and abandoned, starved and rarely taken to school.

However, the adoption notes didn't add up to Namata's description and recollection of her time back in Uganda.

Namata, now seven years old, spoke fondly of her biological mother, telling the Davises they'd cook together, went to church together and how her mother walked her to school.

Namata said the stories the adoption agencies told the family were all lies. In that moment the Davises broke down.

"Everything … she unraveled to be a lie," Jessica told CNN.

Jessica soon realised her family didn't participate in an adoption, but instead they "unwittingly participated" in a child trafficking scheme.

Following the revelations, Jessica knew what she had to do: return Namata to her mother.

They soon sought to remedy the heartbreaking situation. The Davises worked to arrange a reunion between Namata and her mother.

On August 29 2016, Jessica called Namata's real mother on Skype.

When they told Namata she could get to speak to her mother again, the young girl burst into giggles, all smiles, so happy because "I get to talk to my mother again!"

Not only were the Davises lied to, but Namata's real mother was conned into giving up her daughter.

By the time the call ended, Namata's radiant smile had turned to tears. "My mum was tricked," she says. "My mom was tricked."

She had been approached with an opportunity to provide a great education for her daughter and had no idea she was signing away her rights as a parent.

Namata's mother was told the Davises would just be sponsoring her daughter's education for one or two years only.

After sharing their story with CNN, the news agency found an alleged trafficking scheme that takes children from their homes in Uganda on the promise of better schooling.

Children's parents are unknowingly signing their parental rights away and their children are taken away where can be sold for as much as $21,000 to unsuspecting American families.

CNN's investigation discovered that multiple families were duped this way.

Traffickers can include police, lawyers, teachers and local leaders. There is no word for "adoption" in the Ugandan language so many mothers are deceived.

SAYING GOODBYE:

Adam and Jessica Davis thought they were doing good by adopting little Namata from Uganda. Little did they know the shocking truth that would emerge one year later. Photo: CNN / Screenshot
Adam and Jessica Davis thought they were doing good by adopting little Namata from Uganda. Little did they know the shocking truth that would emerge one year later. Photo: CNN / Screenshot

The family opened their home and their hearts, only to suffer the crushing blow of what really transpired.

After learning the truth, the family said they felt they had to do the right thing - send her home.

The family threw her a goodbye party before leaving America last year. The Davises told their four other children to put on happy faces — and try not to cry in front of Namata.

The first thing she'll do when she sees her mum, she says, is "hug her."

Returning her was not only the right thing to do — in the Davises' mind, it was the only thing to do.

Namata and her American father Adam touched down in Uganda after a 14-hour flight.

As the pair approached Namata's village, Adam told her he loved her and was proud to have been her father for the past year.

They pulled up to her village where Namata saw her mother for the first time in more than a year.

Her mother rushed towards Namata, picking her up in both arms as they laughed and cried.

"I've never seen anything like it," Adam told CNN.

Namata was home.

The Davises still talk to Namata every couple of months via Skype.

The young girl is back in school and now has a new little sister.

Namata's mother is over the moon to have her girl home. After a year of heartache and lies, both families can now be put at ease.

Namata is home where she belongs, going to church with her mother, being a loving sister and turning a year of heartbreak into a reunion that they'll remember fondly for years to come.