In 2013, three days after her 19th birthday, Sam was tricked into taking a trip to Dallas that changed her life. A man she did not know well convinced her to travel from her small town to Dallas to make money in strip clubs. He promised Sam, “A couple days and you will return with enough money to buy a new car.” In reality, he had been paid by a pimp to lure her into a violent human-trafficking ring. For three months, Sam was enslaved by drugs, sexual assault, and violence. When she discovered she was pregnant, the pimp told her she would be forced to undergo an abortion the next day. Sam knew there was Life inside her, and she knew at that moment that she had to run.
When Sam was left alone for a short time with a cell phone, she finally found the courage to call her mom. Sam’s mother, Michelle, says, “That’s the moment her courage overcame her fears.” She said simply, “Mom? Mom? It’s me, Sam….I want to come home.” Michelle quickly understood what was happening and urged her daughter to run while she had the chance. Sam ran into a convenience store. The owners hid her when the pimp came looking for her, then kept her safe until police arrived. Sam was taken into police protection and reunited with her mother.
Once they returned to their hometown, Sam and her mom went to a local pregnancy resource center and discovered she was pregnant with twins. Michelle had told the volunteers at the center about the situation beforehand and the staff was very gentle. When they performed the sonogram and discovered twins, Michelle says Sam’s eyes “immediately lit up” and she exclaimed with a smile, “Two babies!” Two weeks later, Sam and her mother had another surprise when they discovered at the ultrasound in her doctor’s office that there were not just twins, but triplets: identical boys and a girl.
While Sam had been enslaved in the human trafficking ring, a couple in her home town struggled with infertility. After a long and difficult journey, they were overjoyed to be expecting triplets, but tragically lost the three babies to miscarriage. Sam chose to place her three precious babies in the loving adoptive home of that couple, though she did not know at the time about the triplets they had lost. Discovering that the adoptive parents had lost triplets confirmed for Sam that this was God’s plan. She made a photo album of sonogram pictures and presented the images to the adoptive parents saying, “Here, these are your babies.”
Sam went in to labor prematurely at 26 weeks, and all three babies, Ellis, Elizabeth, and Eli weighed less than two pounds at birth. Their adoptive mother was present at their birth and Sam was able to witness how her courageous choice for Life made a couple a family. Because the babies arrived so prematurely, their adoptive parents received triplets on the due date of the babies they had lost to miscarriage. Sadly, Ellis unexpectedly passed away 17 days after birth. His identical brother and his sister are now three-and-a-half and thriving.
Many people have been deeply touched by the events, and the story continues to unfold. Sam is still on a difficult path to healing. She suffers from episodes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and regret for believing someone she did not know. Her choice to love her children and bring them into the world is something she has never regretted. Recently, Sam started horse therapy, and she is able to visit her horse, named Truce, every week. She hopes spending time with Truce will bring healing. So far, the experience has been promising, and Sam says of her horse, “He’s a good listener.”
Michelle says her miraculous grandchildren are the reason Sam is alive today. “There is no doubt these babies had a purpose even before they were born. I will always credit them for saving my daughter’s Life. Had she not been threatened with an abortion, I don’t know that I would have her here with me today. But against all odds she’s here and a childless couple is now a family.”
Sam and Michelle are writing their story in a book called “The Tapestry.” They expect to finish their book by the end of this year and hope their publication helps people in their ministry to victims of human trafficking. For updates on the forthcoming book, follow The Tapestry Book Facebook page.
Sam made the difficult decision to share her story because she sincerely hopes her message helps other people believe in God more. As part of the ministry Michelle started, Sam shares her testimony on The Tapestry Book Facebook page and to ministry teams to warn them of the dangers of human trafficking. In 2013, 25,000 people were victims of human trafficking in the United States. Sadly, many victims are also victims of forced abortions, as Sam and her babies so nearly were.
For information about human trafficking and for a list of warning signs to identify possible victims, visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline website. If you are a victim or you have substantial evidence of human trafficking in your community, call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
To learn more about Michelle and Sam’s ministry, follow them on Facebook or email [email protected].