The company that I work for has secondary offices in Texas. While our primary office, and most of the employees work here in Canada, there are quite a few who work in Dallas.
The company as a whole has been working from home since March 9th. That’s everyone. Those here in Canada and those down in Texas. While Canada’s cases of COVID has been serious, it’s not nearly been as bad as what the United States has seen and what Texas alone has seen.
So we’re all working from home and will likely be until September or later. While there are less than 1,000 active cases in this province right now, everyone is still being hyper-vigilant about COVID. You don’t go anywhere without a mask. Large events aren’t happening. People, for the most part, are trying to keep the spread at bay.
Texas, on the other hand, we keep hearing stories about how there’s been a surge in cases lately and that the state may have to do some form of ‘shut down’ once again due to the public health risk of so many people being out and spreading the virus.
For reference, there are presently 65,000 more COVID cases in Texas than there are in all of Canada.
So this morning we’re on a call with the Dallas team and one of them asks ‘So how was your Canada day? What did ya’ll do?’
Each of us responded with different variations of ‘absolutely nothing’ because we’re still very much not in the public event planning stage here in Canada.
Anyways, she says ‘I’m so excited for the fourth!’
‘Oh yeah?’ I asked.
‘My girlfriends and I are renting a house down in Galveston and we’re going to have a giant party on the beach. It’s going to be four straight days of barbecues and bar-hopping.’ She laughs.
‘You’re not worried about Corona Virus?’ My boss asked, cautiously.
‘Nah. That’s not that big of a deal.’ She said.
‘It is a big deal’, my boss said. ‘Please be safe and social distance with your friends!’
My boss said it in a very concerned, but very professional manner. He wasn’t trying to lecture here, but more just trying to state the obvious. Well, she didn’t like that. Her response?
‘I ain’t going to let no imaginary disease ruin my 4th of July. We only get one 4th every year and I’m going to make the best of it’.
I was trying to hide my face at this point so that I didn’t say anything condescending. I honestly wanted to. People on the video call kind of… looked away. She was like ‘Hey, if I get sick I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. And if it’s my time to go, I guess it’s my time to go. Nothing is going to ruin my fourth of July.’
How do you have discussions with her? How do you explain to her that it’s not just herself whom she’s putting in harms way?
You really can’t.
We’re living in two completely different worlds.
Our office is avoiding the human race, and each other, at all costs. Seven people have been diagnosed and they’ve all shared some very scary stories about what they refer to as the worst sickness they’ve ever experienced. And this girl? Her response is ‘If I get it, oh well!’
Paid sick leave, right?
Our countries might be right next door to one another but we’re living in two completely different worlds.
As of 9:00 this morning a total of seven people from my office have tested positive Corona Virus. This morning the building staff said that two of the security staff have tested positive. I’m speculating here but that’s likely how they got it? I mean… it’s not like any of the people from my office have been near one another. They all popped into the office at different points in time and their paths never crossed (we literally have a calendar dedicated to when someone needs to go to the office so we can ensure we’re not getting too many people there at once), but all of them had to pass the security desk/check in to get to the elevator to go to our office.
Anyone who’s been to the office in the past two weeks now has to go get a test as a precautionary measure. Glad I’m not one of those people who’s been to the office. Funny thing was, I was supposed to go for a tour because no one is/was around. I ended up making an excuse to cancel the tour because I had anxiety about going right downtown the city.
Stay safe, sane and healthy and be careful who you go near. Wash your hands and be diligent in looking after your health. You really don’t know who has or hasn’t caught this.
This story caught my attention on Christmas Day, 2019 and I’ve been absolutely consumed by the twists and turn it has taken ever since.
Last week, the remains of seven year old JJ and eighteen year old Tylee were found, charred, in the back yard of their step-father’s home in Rexburg, Idaho. The saddest possible ending to the most deep, dark and twisted story I’ve heard in (quite possibly) my lifetime.
If you’re unfamiliar, JJ and Tylee have been missing since September 2019. They weren’t publicly reported as missing until Christmas 2019, though. How that happened? Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how any of this string of events happened. While their mother and step-father have not been officially charged with their deaths, I have no doubt in my mind that it’s coming. The police are likely just making sure they have an iron-clad case prior to filing charges.
This case has left me with a lot of questions, though.
How are kids missing for three months without anyone knowing about it?
What is the magic number of suspicious deaths in one’s past that would cause police to actually consider that person’s involvement?
What kind of gall does a person have to show up for the court hearing of his wife, knowing full well he was the one who burned the bodies of the children that she was on trial for desertion of?
How did NO ONE put this string of events together, chronologically, until January of 2020 if two children went missing in September of 2019?
Why were two kids left in the custody of two deeply-disturbed individuals who had a trail of dead-bodies in their recent pasts?
I have so many questions and I’m almost certain that we’ll never get answers to any of those questions. Unless someone decides to make a movie about this, I’ll likely spend my lifetime confused and wondering.
This story is such a doozey. Here’s some brief details:
2006 – Lori Vallow married her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, and together they were raising her daughter from her previous marriage, Tylee Ryan. Lori also had a much older son named Colby Ryan who was not in her custody.
2014 – Lori Vallow and Charles Vallow legally adopted JJ Vallow and began raising him. JJ was an extended family member of Charles Vallow and required consistent care due to several special needs including severe autism. The couple were raising their children in Arizona.
2018 – Summer – Joseph Ryan, Lori’s third husband and Colby/Tylee’s father, mysteriously passed away of a heart attack in the summer. At the time his death was not considered suspicious, but now that everything has unfolded this year, an investigation into his death is now being re-opened. Lori was still emergency contact for Joseph Ryan at the time of his passing and, thought she was beneficiary of his life insurance policy. When she learned she wasn’t the beneficiary of his life insurance policy she told her son, Colby Ryan, that his father had passed away via text message and that’s all she was going to say and she refused to speak of it any farther. She also refused to give Joseph a proper funeral.
2018 – Fall – Whilst married to Charles Vallow, Lori Vallow meets doomsday cult follower/rumoured cult leader and author, Chad Daybell.
2019 – February – Charles Vallow files for divorce from Lori after proclaiming to multiple people, including authorities, that she was making concerning statements about zombies, the end of the world and threatening to end his life.
2019 – July – In Arizona, Lori’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed her soon-to-be ex-husband Charles Vallow in front of Tylee Ryan, in what Alex claimed was self-defense. Following the death of Charles Vallow in Arizona, Lori high-tails it out of Arizona and moves her and her children, abruptly, to Rexburg, Idaho. (Home of Chad Daybell) JJ was pulled from his school for special needs children, causing the school’s faculty to report the abrupt move to police, due to his severe autism and the move happening less than two weeks after the death of his father, they were worried for his well being.
2019 – September – September 9th was the last time Tylee was seen and September 23 was the last time that JJ was seen.
2019 – October – Chad Daybell’s wife of more than a decade, Tammy, died in her sleep. The death was deemed a suspicious circumstance as she was a healthy year old woman, but with Chad being her husband he ordered there be no-autopsy to find cause of death rushed to have her buried within less than a week of her death.
2019 – November – Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow got married only two weeks after the death of Tammy Daybell, in Hawaii. The pair married using wedding rings that were purchased with the credit card of Lori’s now-deceased former husband Charles Vallow. This marriage makes Chad Daybell Lori’s fifth husband.
2019 – November – JJ Vallow’s grandparents asked for police to do a welfare check on the family as they had not been able to speak to their grandson in eight weeks, and they were worried that Lori’s excuses each time they had tried to speak with him, were becoming more than excuses. Police perform a welfare check and Lori says the children are visiting their Aunt Melanie. The police said they would return to check on the children when they came back from their aunt’s house. The next day Chad Daybell and Lori high-tail it out of Rexburg and are gone. No one knows where they went, they didn’t leave a forwarding address and no one knows where JJ and Tylee are.
2019 – November – Police learn that JJ and Tylee were never at their aunt’s house and that their aunt is going through a tumultuous divorce with her soon-to-be ex-husband Brandon. Brandon was shot at, in an attempted murder, by someone who was driving Tylee’s car. Police now believe that Brandon was shot at by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, who had used Tylee’s car.
2019 – December – Lori’s brother Alex Cox was murdered. The death, at the time, was deemed to be of ‘natural causes’ but has since been reopened.
2019 – December – Police go public with their investigation into the whereabouts of JJ and Tylee. The public goes wild. Are they being held in some underground bunker? Their mom and step-dad are in a doomsday cult. Anything could be possible, right? People begin to hope that’s where they are because that would mean they were still alive and people just wanted to believe these kids were okay. Still, no one knows where Chad and Lori are.
2020 – January – Chad and Lori are found in Hawaii, ‘living their best lives’ at the beach. JJ and Tylee are nowhere to be found, though. What is found with them in Hawaii is Tylee’s cell phone. Tylee’s cell phone had been making regular text messages to her older brother Colby long after the time in which she’d actually been declared missing.
2020 – February – After failing to produce the whereabouts of her children to Kauai police, Lori Vallow-Daybell is taken into custody and extradited back to Rexburg, Idaho.
2020 – February – Colby Ryan, Lori’s oldest child, makes an appearance on the Dr. Phil show, pleading for anyone who might have seen his mother in Hawaii to share what they saw and if they ever saw his siblings with her.
2020 – March – Lori Vallow-Daybell makes her first court appearance in Rexburg, Idaho where the judge lessens her bail from 5 million to 1 million dollars due to their being no legal precedence on the case and his feeling as though 5 million dollars was an excessive bond when people couldn’t even prove where these kids were. Chad Daybell was in court, supporting Lori that day as she smugly sat and laughed at the prosecutor making his case for why she needed to stay in jail and should be required to turn over her kids.
2020 – March – Lori’s next court date was postponed from mid-March to July 2020 due to the Corona Virus outbreak. People, at this point, have lost any hope that JJ and Tylee are still alive.
2020 – June – The charred remains of JJ and Tylee’s bodies are found on the property of their step-father, Chad Daybell. Chad has been arrested and charged with destroying/concealing evidence.
So. Why no murder charges? Neighbours of Chad Daybell report a suspicious bonfire being held in his yard in October 2019 that was very out of character for him. Also, in the past week, court documents have been released publicly stating that it was actually the cell phone records of Chad Daybell and Alex Cox that lead police to Chad Daybell’s back yard where they inevitably found the remains of JJ and Tylee.
Also in the court records are transcripts of Lori proclaiming that her children, JJ and Tylee had been consumed by demons and that they would no longer be able to live and breathe as human beings because the demon spirits were within them. She claims that the demon spirits only die when the human body dies.
Now, Aunt Melanie is making her media tour, proclaiming that she knew Chad and Lori were bad all along and that she just needed time to process it. This a personal opinion here, but I think he’s highly culpable in this too. I think the fact that she knew as much information as she did about all of these suspicious events and how they strung together.
There’s so much to unpack with this story.
How is this going to be tried in a court of law? Two kids lost their lives and were mutilated. Four adults are also dead, all of suspicious circumstance. $75,000 went missing, and all of the evidence tying Chad and Lori to any of this was destroyed. Literally, they went so far as to burning JJ and Tylee’s bodies to try and destroy evidence.
How did no one in Chad Daybell’s neighbourhood smell the burning flesh? Why did no one listen to JJ’s grandparents or Tylee’s older brother for three months before they started actually taking the investigation seriously? How many mysterious deaths have to be in a person’s past before they’re considered a serial killer?
WHY DID NO ONE TAKES THESE KIDS AWAY from Lori and (by proxy) Chad? Will any of the people who lost their lives in this story get justice?
Chad and Lori believe that the end of the world is coming on July 14, 2020. So, when they’re still sitting in a jail cell on July 15th, are they going to be pissed off? Are they going to think it was all for nothing? Or, now that bodies have been found and details have been released about what actually happened to those kids, will someone in jail ‘take care’ of each of them? I’ve never been to jail but I’ve heard rumours that even people in jail live by a code.
Whatever happens, I hope there’s some justice for everyone who lost their lives in the path of the hurricane that is Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell. Authorities dropped the ball big time
Joseph Ryan’s death… okay that could be chalked up to chance. But the moment Charles Vallow was killed, in front of Tylee no less, that’s when police should have intervened and removed those kids from her custody. Your brother murdering your ex-husband in front of your kid, to me, doesn’t seem like a fit place for a child to be living…
Every day more comes out about this story. Every day it gets more and more twisted. Those two kids deserved so much more in this life. I hope that Chad and Lori go to jail for a long time. And I hope that Tammy Daybell’s death, Charles Vallow’s death, Alex Cox’s death and Joseph Ryan’s death are all investigated as having ties to this story now. Because, this is a totally personal opinion here, these are all related.
It’s been four weeks now that I’ve been at my new job. What a difference finding a decent place to work makes in one’s life. Four weeks into this job I’ve been treated better, and with more trust then I ever found in the last decade of my professional career.
I know, I know, I know: ‘Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, Vee’.
I won’t, I promise.
I’m just grateful. Grateful for the opportunity. Grateful for something to look forward too. Grateful that they’ve put faith in me.
In four weeks I’ve taken part in presentations with companies from three different continents, had an article published on an international governing-body’s website, dove head first into a brand new industry and not drown, and… had my first performance review. Spoiler alert: they like me!
In my first performance review (I have to do them every three weeks until I pass the employee probationary period), my boss said that she thinks I am intelligent, articulate, talented and am fitting in really well with everyone on staff. That last one meant a lot to me because, coming in to the company in a ‘work from home’ situation posed a unique challenge for me to try and get to know my new coworkers.
My boss went on to say that she’s so thankful she hired me and that she’s so grateful I didn’t get swooped up for another position between February when I started the interview process and May when they officially hired me.
I’ve been taking a course in software development this week. As much as I hate ‘school’ this course has actually opened my eyes to a whole new subject matter that I think will really benefit me down the line. It’s made for some long days, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Here’s to hoping they continue to like me moving forward and that I’ve got a long, fruitful career ahead of me in tech!
Speculation is circulating the web that the Stauffer’s are getting prepared to make their triumphant return to YouTube.
Three and a half weeks after finally acknowledging they ‘rehomed’ their adopted, autistic son from China, a lot has unfolded.
Developments (since my exceptionally long story about them):
The Stauffer’s have been copyright claiming the YouTube videos of other users who are commenting on their clips, videos and content. To those of you who do not know, a copyright claim on YouTube, allows the person who makes the claim to take the ad revenue from the creator who is commenting on them. Myka and James are claiming revenue of those who have been criticizing them.
The date of May 26th (the very day they posted their ‘We rehomed our son’ YouTube video) James Stauffer filed paperwork in the state of Ohio to turn his YouTube channel into an LLC, separating it from his wife’s channel and making it its own legal entity that could not be touched should anything come to blows with his wife’s channel or legal action be filed against them
Speaking of the ‘We rehomed our son’ video… after monetizing the video to make ad revenue off of it, the Stauffer’s have now made that video private as of June 11. It’s worth noting that they have not deleted the video. The video reached more than 5,000,000 views, and deleting it would skew the analytics of Myka’s channel. Clearly she still cares about maintaining this channel because rather then deleting videos about her abandoned son, she’s been making them private as to not lose ‘views count’ for potential future revenue. Making it private just means people cannot watch it without a link.
Myka has created a separate channel called ‘Cash Crush’ that she’s now made Instagram and Twitter accounts for. The channel aims to teach people to make money online. (Perhaps she might make a video about telling people they should adopt children for clout).
James has posted to his YouTube channel that he was ‘taking some time to be with family’ and that new videos on his newly legally separate entity ‘Stauffer Garage’ channel would be back soon.
Allegedly (this is speculative as I have not seen proof) James is also not responding to businesses who’s products he’s used on his channel before that are asking him to stop using the products because they do not wish to be associated wit him or his family any longer.
I’m honestly not sure if this family is crazy enough to think that after ‘rehoming’ (abandoning) their special needs adopted son after exploiting him for three years that they can just bounce back to be the influencers they once were. Neither of them have held jobs outside of YouTube for several years, which leads me to believe they might try.
It’s scary to think about because as much as I believe these two do not deserve a platform from which to influence the masses, and as much as I think they are still exploiting their former son by continuing to keep videos of him online, part of me worries for their remaining four children now.
I seriously hope this couple saved a lot of money during the past six months that they’ve been avoiding the questions about their adopted son. Because honestly, they’re technically unemployable at this point. And I don’t just mean that as they’ve been ‘cancelled’ on a worldwide scale. I mean that as in both of their educational backgrounds are in industries that require you to update your licensing annually to maintain an ability to work, and both have let their licensing lapse for several years now.
Two parents are out of a job.
Four kids are still in that home.
I sincerely hope that they’ve saved some of their money and didn’t spend it all. Otherwise, those other four kids are about to have a really hard road ahead of them.
Quick and important point: I’ve seen some blogs, YouTube channels and other sources online sharing this family’s home address in posts, on videos and in articles. DON’T DO THAT. It’s not okay. It’s not safe. You don’t know who’s going to read that address and possibly do something really fucking stupid and unsafe. Doxing people is not okay. And there are still four young children in that home. Don’t put their lives in danger because their parents are idiots.
If you missed the first time I spoke of this family, that post can be seen by clicking here. It’s a long one, but there’s a lot to this family and their poor decisions.
Also, there’s another YouTube mom who’s been clickbaiting adoption a lot lately. She’s actually a lot like Myka. Exploits her kids, posts a lot of questionable things online and tries to hide behind her religion. She also has two biological daughters and one biological son just like Myka had when her and her husband started clickbaiting adoption. I want to talk about it but I also don’t want to give her attention because I genuinely believe this could be a part of her plan to gain attention. I’m so torn…
There may be quite a few posts coming to this blog this weekend. I have a couple of days off from work and so much has happened and there’s soo much I want to talk about (BLM, Racism, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, Corona Virus, my new house, my new job, life…). I am apologizing in advance for all of the notifications you could possibly be getting this weekend.
Disclaimer: This is bare-bones explanation of this story. Honestly, there could probably be a novel written about all of the skeletons in this family’s closet, but the most important pieces are here. For the purpose of this story, I have not shared the name of the child which I speak. He is no longer legally their child and thus, being a minor, I did not want to post the child’s name on this blog.
I’ve long since had issues with ‘family vloggers’ and people who use their children to make them money on YouTube. It’s one thing to call yourself an influencer and use YouTube to broadcast every aspect of your own life, but it’s a completely separate thing to do that to your child.
A child doesn’t get a say in the matter. A child doesn’t have the frame of reference to understand the ramifications of a digital footprint when they’re eight, for example. Children also (largely) aren’t paid for the work they’re doing to make their parents wealthy via YouTube. Because, if we’re being completely honest, these parents, without the adorable kids doing funny things, would be rather boring and no one would tune in. Parents know their children are click-bait to the masses and they take advantage of that, subsequently not giving their children a dime in the process.
Insert the Stauffer Family.
Myka and James Stauffer have come under fire recently for FINALLY acknowledging to the world that they have ‘unadopted’ their adopted special needs son from China. The phrase they used was ‘rehoming’. But let’s be real here, this isn’t a pet. This is a living, breathing human child who has now been abandoned again. Yeah, the term abandoned is a much better term for it.
It’s estimated that dissolution of adoption happens in roughly 10% of adoptive cases in the United States (Source: Children’s Welfare Information Gateway) So, an adoption not working out is not a new concept. Why then, have the Stauffer’s made international headlines?
After being relatively anonymous in the YouTube spectrum for nearly a decade, The Stauffer’s adopted a special needs child from China and brought him to the United States in 2017. They proceeded to film every aspect of their lives with new adopted son and upload videos to YouTube for profit ever since. These videos of their adoptive child have made them rich. Rich, rich, rich, rich, rich. They skyrocketed from 4,000 subscribers to millions of subscribers amassed from five different YouTube channels. They found a ‘niche’ that people couldn’t help but tune in for, and they exploited it. That niche being a little orphan boy with a beautiful smile and rambunctious personality. People genuinely fell in love with their son and they knew that… and they took advantage of that.
At best, what you could call this is child exploitation. At worst, this story really borderlines on child trafficking, if we’re being totally honest. They built a wealthy empire upon the likes of this child for three years and then, when they decided he was no longer profitable, they put him into foster care.
Backtracking a little bit here, Myka has been trying to become famous through YouTube for more than a decade. She tried fitting into the ‘hot girl with the amazing diet tips’ niche and that didn’t work. She tried fitting into the ‘I’m going to teach you how to cook’ niche and that didn’t take either. She also had her go at the ‘Single Mom, doing it on my own’ niche, but quickly pivoted when she met and married her now husband in a rather swift time frame.
After marrying her husband and quickly having her second child, Myka and James began documenting every step of their lives and their children’s lives on Youtube in 2013. They lead a very modest life, went on to have a third child and documented every single step of it on YouTube, amassing only 4,000 subscribers between 2013 and late 2016.
In late 2016, Myka started an adoption series on her YouTube channel. She had decided that she wanted to adopt and that she wanted to adopt right away. Apparently god had called her to adopt and she needed another child in her life immediately.
Because she had no issues with fertility, three young children and she and her husband were unwilling to adopt an older child, they sought to adopt from overseas. She is on video stating that she specifically chose China as the country to adopt a child from because it would allow her to adopt a child the fastest.
Prior to even adopting her son, she made a 13 part series all about him, how she literally picked him from a catalogue and how he was now her son who she’d ‘birthed in her heart’. It was all very sweet, very hertfelt, very saviouristic.
She took the thirteen part series to explain that the child that her and her husband wished to adopt was one with special needs. He was living in an Orphanage in China, was nearly two years old and (they were told) he had a brain tumor.
Myka also took the thirteen part series to explain that she had this child’s medical records reviewed by doctors in the United States and that the doctors here had warned her about adopting him because his prognosis was quite severe and could cause for around the clock care.
Myka, again on video, said ‘I used to be a nurse before becoming a stay at home mom, so whatever it is, we can handle it’.
Myka and James subsequently used a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to adopt their son from China. Though they did not need the money for the adoption, they were happy to essentially ‘crowdfund’ to pay for the process because… why not? The GoFundMe actually garnered the family a lot of attention and the couple were touted as incredible saviours for rescuing this boy from life in a Chinese orphanage.
While the adoption process was still going through, they were already showing photos and video footage of their to-be son for the world to see. And, when they brought him home, their YouTube channel skyrocketed.
Their ‘Gotcha Day’ video they uploaded of the day they picked their son up and he legally became theirs garnered more than 5,000,000 views and was monetized up the whazoo.
And, after they brought him home, they filmed his every move. His every struggle with adopting to a new life in the USA, his trauma from being torn from his home country, his adapting to a new family he didn’t know, they put it all out there. They did it because it got them attention, it got them views and it grew the balance of their bank account.
Keep in mind here, Myka had three biological children and this adopted child from China was responsible for the majority of the content on her YouTube channel. She wrote articles for Bump Magazine, was featured in People Magazine and got a lot of national attention because she was this incredible mom who rescued this boy from China, knowing he had a brain tumor, to give him a better life.
Along the way, Myka and James learned that it wasn’t a brain tumor their son was suffering from. Rather, once reaching the United States, he was diagnosed with Autism. Myka quickly took the opportunity to become the ‘autism mom’ and ‘autism advocate for youtube’ despite the fact that she clearly knew nothing about autism.
People started to notice a change in this family. While everyone were tuning in to see this adorable little boy, the family took to exploiting him for each diagnosis he was given, for every struggle that he had. At one point he was seen on one of their YouTube videos with his thumbs duct taped. Myka later explained in a comment that she did that because they were annoyed that he would not stop sucking his thumb. The channel became more about this little boy and less about the family.
Don’t get me wrong, if you look at her YouTube channel, she did upload other content from time to time… including ‘What I eat in a day to stay skinny’ and ‘Cleaning the whole house because it’s a disaster’, but none of those videos ever garnered the views that her adopted son was getting. So, she continued exploiting him.
Adoption updates. Autism updates. [Son’s Name] first therapy session. Celebrating Chinese New Year for [Sons’s Name]. All of these videos were centered around him. Why? Because people tuned into her channel to see him. They wanted to see him grow, flourish and become his own person. They wanted the best for him. The views turned into big bucks for this family.
Between 2017 and 2020, the Stauffer’s also proclaimed they were going to adopt another child from China because they loved their son so much and wanted to rescue another boy. Also during this time, they went on to have another biological child, meaning that they had four biological children and one adopted child.
Between 2017 to 2020, Myka’s channel grew from 4,000 subscribers to more than 700,000 subscribers. The family vlog channel grew to 350,000 subscribers and her husband’s YouTube channel grew to nearly a million YouTube subscribers. They bought a 6,4000 square foot million dollar hom and multiple $90,000 SUVs, took vacations to California and Flordia, Myrtle Beach, London and more… staying in swanky hotels along the way. They were ‘living the life’ all because they were the saviours of this adorable little boy.
It’s worth noting here that after seeing doctors in the United States, their son was diagnosed as being non-verbal autistic. So he largely did not speak. That didn’t stop the family from click-baiting multiple videos with titles like [Son’s Name] Finally Speaks, we’re so happy! and so on and so forth.
They knew what was making their money, so they kept it up for clicks.
All of the sudden in January 2020, this little boy seemingly disappeared. For a woman who’d been exploiting his every move, every tantrum, every struggle, every doctor’s appointment, every piece to his life since 2017, it was odd… to say the least.
Where did he go?
People asked for months.
People asked and comments were deleted.
People emailed and were hit with responses from the Stauffer’s lawyers.
People commented on their YouTube channel and they got blocked.
Where was their son?
The couple went on a luxury several week long vacation in February to Indonesia and boasted on social media about staying in a room that cost $9,000 a night.
But where was their little boy?
All of their biological children were still appearing in videos, but their adopted son was… gone?
No one knew. Every time someone kept asking, they would get blocked.
Screenshots started to circulate of the Stauffer’s complaining about their adopted son on adoption forums. (Probably wasn’t the wisest thing for them to use their real names to complain about their adopted son given the YouTube fame they’d skyrocketed into)
Footed started to circulate of Myka being really sinister towards their adopted son and people who were sharing them were getting letters/dms and emails from the Stauffer’s lawyers.
Where was this little boy?
Well, his birthday is June 1. And, as the majority of their following really started to realize he was missing and had been for a long time, getting closer to his birthday the questions started ramping up. They were getting so frequent that the couple couldn’t possibly delete/block everyone fast enough.
On May 26 the Stauffer’s uploaded a video to Myka’s channel explaining that they had ‘rehomed’ their adopted son. They fake cried throughout the video, had disingenuous jump-cuts and proclaimed that they couldn’t tell anyone they abandoned their son because of his privacy. They also proclaimed that they were lied to by the adoption agency and the Chinese government about the extent of their son’s special needs and that numerous doctors had told them to put their son up for adoption.
The whole video was incredibly contrived. Nothing about it was genuine.
Let’s keep in mind here that ‘god called on her’ to adopt a child with special needs. Let’s also remember that doctors warned her about the severity of this boy’s special needs and she is on video stating that it ‘went in one ear and out the other’ because she was a nurse and she could handle it.
Let’s also keep in mind here that they were on video proclaiming that they couldn’t afford the cost of his therapy, whilst also bragging on Instagram about staying in a $9,000 a night hotel room in Indonesia and living in a multi-million dollar home wearing a $10,000 watch on her hand…
Everything about this story just disheartens and disappoints me to my core.
Honestly, people struggle for years to try and adopt. They have to go through home studies and family vetting, have every aspect of their lives combed through to ensure they’re a safe fit and a good family to care for the child they’re adopting. And rightfully so. But there are so many people who try so hard to adopt a child and hit continuous roadblocks. Somehow, this couple, with a criminal past, managed to jump through all of the hoops of an international adoption within a matter of a few months to bring home a little boy from China.
The crowdfunded his adoption, exploited his life every step of the way and, when he was no longer profitable to them, they ‘rehomed’ him.
Imagine what it would feel like, psychologically speaking, to be one of the other four siblings in that home who this year just watched their parents give away one of their children. They’re all under the age of ten, and probably so young that they could be wondering if they screw up next, will their mom and did abandon them…
Knowing that the announcement of their ‘rehoming’ their son was going to get them a lot of views, they selected to have the video monetized on YouTube. It was quickly demonetized, I’m not sure if that was a YouTube choice or if someone reported their video as content that should not be monetized. It’s just telling of the parents that, after abandoning their son, they’re still choosing to profit from his story.
Myka Stauffer has also been filing copyright claims against people who’ve been using her video announcing the ‘rehoming’ of their son, as a measure to further profit from the story from content creators/people who are telling her story in a light that she might not like.
The adoption community is worried about whether or not China will penalize future adoptive parents who genuinely want to adopt because of the actions of the Stauffers.
The autism community is angry after all of her videos are being re-watched and scrutinized for her lack of empathy, acceptance of her child’s autism and willingness to help, care for or treat his needs
The general public (30,0000+) who enjoys watching family YouTube videos signed a ‘Change.Org’ petition to have her remove all images and videos of this little boy, since he is no longer legally their child and she has been still profiting off of videos and Instagram ads about him since abandoning him.
Myka has, since the video where she says she ‘rehomed’ her son, gone on to proclaim that the little boy, who is now five (was four at the time), expressed to them that he no longer wished to be a part of their family. She says that they unadopted him as per his wishes. When people called bullshit for that comment, she deleted it and had her lawyers send a statement regarding the child to major news outlets stating that the couple would no longer be speaking of this child.
Because when a non-verbal, autistic child says ‘Mommy I don’t like you I want a new mommy’ the obvious choice to make is to put your child up for adoption.
From my perspective, I can’t understand how a couple specifically seek out to adopt a child with special needs and then proclaim to millions of people that they unadopted your child because he had special needs. Those old videos still exist… the ones where they proclaim they specifically wanted a child with special needs. The videos where they proclaimed any and all special needs that could arise were fine with them because they could give a little boy a better life. With the sheer vastness of wealth they accrued in recent years, they could easily afford any and all treatments and therapy that would/could help the boy. (For reference, they’re on video bragging about making $47,000 for one YouTube video… so do the math there)
This whole situation just saddens me.
This little boy has now been abandoned three times in his short life. I can’t imagine the horror that must feel like. While he might just be better off without the Stauffers, I can’t help but feel sad because they did him so wrong.
I wanted to link to a few articles about this story, but the majority of articles use this little boys name and photos in their articles. If you want to read more about this story and this couple and why they’ve come under fire, please google ‘Myka and James Stauffer’.
They story hasn’t just made it all over national headlines in the USA, but it’s also made it to Chinese News Outlets, Australian news outlets, The Netherlands news outlets and more.
Honestly, after a decade of lying to the internet, there’s a pretty huge digital footprint from this family. One quick google search and you’ll start to realize that not everything is adding up about what they say on the matter.
One thing that I hope continues after self-quarantine is over is birthday parades. Watching oodles of people parade down the street with balloons and stuffed animals and birthday signs all over their vehicles with a steady stream of honks and waves and strangers screaming ‘Happy Birthday’ just to put a smile on neighbours faces, to celebrate kids birthday’s who cannot have a party, to make loved ones smile, that is a true indication of the human spirit.
In a local town there’s actually a ‘Parade Group’ online. For people that have wanted birthday parades the past couple of months, if they posted on the local community webpage, not just the friends and family show up, but sometimes 20 or 30 extra cars of people show up with their cars decorated to the max. It’s just been a past time for some people to deck out their cars and take part in birthday parades. All you have to do is post the date, time and location of the parade and everyone shows up to make the parade that much longer and that much louder.
Picture this: a beautiful August night in a deep amidst the skyscrapers of a major Canadian city. Myself and a few delegates from across the country had just wrapped up one of the ‘booziest’ business meetings I’d ever sat through and the plan was to head back to the hotel, change and meet at the hotel restaurant for a nice dinner in one hour’s time.
Sounds great, right?
The meeting was the equivalent of five city blocks from the hotel.
Five city blocks isn’t far. All of these men had been drinking, a lot. (Oh the joys of working for a company that’s sponsored by a major international alcohol distributor) They’re just going to walk. Right? Right?
The thing about arrogance is that it leads people to believe they’re invincible. It leads people to believe they can do no wrong and that no harm will ever come to them for the choices they make. Even if that choice includes being five drinks deep and asking the valet to bring your car.
I don’t know why the valet didn’t stop them that night.
I tried to stop them that night. And, after being physically shoved into the front door of the building with great force, one of the building’s workers came over to check if I was alright. The master manipulator looked at me and told me, with some serious snark to her tone, that I should mind my own damn business and that if they were going to drive, they were going to drive.
The man who worked at the meeting space was very kind. He sat me down, calmed me down and asked me if I’d like the police called due to the physical altercation that had just taken place with one of the other delegates.
You want to know the definition of being between a rock and a hard place? When people you have to work with decide they’re going to get behind the wheel while drunk and your boss leads you to believe that your job could be at risk if you dare try to stop them. That’s an impossible situation that no person should ever have to be put in.
The man who worked there and saw that they were getting into their vehicles drunk ended up calling the police. Not because I told him to but because he knew these four were drunk and he didn’t want them hurting anyone. He asked me what hotel everyone was staying at to tell the police where they were headed. And I, I set off on my way… walking.
I walked particularly slow back to the hotel… on purpose. I’ll admit to that. After what had just happened, I didn’t want to get there in a hurry. I was upset, I was angry and I really didn’t want to be at dinner with any of these people after I’d been physically shoved into a door for trying to stop them from driving drunk.
As I approached the hotel I could see there were police cars at the front of the hotel with their lights flashing. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on, but it had been more than 15 minutes since the man at the meeting space had told me he was going to call the police, so I presumed this was why.
Upon reaching the front door, I noticed that there was something amiss with the front of the hotel….
One of the vehicles I’d just watched the delegates leave in, it was parked under the covered area drop-off zone next to the front door and it was damaged. It had a giant dent in it. I’m talking GIANT dent. This was a rented Tahoe (basically the SUV equivalent of a tank) so seeing such major damage got me scared that these guys had hit someone, or something between the meeting space and our hotel. I ran closer to the door and I noticed there was a giant chunk missing out of the pillar at the edge of the covered drop-off area.
These fucking idiots had ran into the structural pillars that were holding up the covered car-port area at the front of the hotel. They’d hit it so hard that they wrecked the Tahoe and taken a giant chunk out of the pillar.
I walked into the building to see what was happening and they were lined up in the lobby talking to the police officers.
The master manipulator was there, of course. She always has a hand in everything.
I watched her blatantly outright lie to the police officers and tell them that no one had been drinking that afternoon. I watched her tell the police officers that it was an honest mistake, that none of them had ever driven a Tahoe before, or a vehicle quite so large, so they didn’t realize where the edge of the vehicle was. Then I watched her start to flirt with the police officers.
She actually tried to give two of the police officers her phone number. While they didn’t take it, you could tell that they were quite engaged with her and what she was ‘putting out’. Her fiancee wasn’t there at this point. I’m honestly not sure what he would have done had he been watching her manipulate these cops into not doing anything.
The cops asked the hotel manager if he wanted to press charges against them for destruction of property and almost instantaneously, the master manipulator turned around and started flirting with the hotel manager. Honestly, she was rubbing his back, patting him on the shoulder ensuring him this was just a big misunderstanding and that she’d write a cheque that would cover all of the damages. And the manager fell for it.
The manager told the cops that everything was fine. And the cops left. They fucking left. They left the scene of an incident where four individuals who’d been drinking drove two vehicles back to a hotel, one crashing into a pillar at the front door of the hotel. They’d been told by the man at the meeting space who called them that drinking was involved. And they left.
They left because the master manipulator is that fucking good at what she does.
She’s like a scorpion that poisons men with her manipulation tactics.
I skipped dinner that night. I didn’t feel like being around a bunch of wealthy men and the master manipulator after they’d talked their way out of any repercussions for drunk driving and destruction of hotel property. When I asked the master manipulator what she wanted to do about the rental, she said ‘That’s an issue for tomorrow. Just have the valet get it away from the front door’.
YEAH. They fucking wrecked a rental Tahoe and decided that it was a problem for tomorrow and they were going to go to the hotel restaurant and continue their drinking and laugh the night away over an expensive dinner being charged to the company.
I sat in my hotel room cooled down for about two hours and then I wrote a very thorough, poignant email to our CEO explaining what happened and how the master manipulator acted, as well as that there was a Tahoe seemingly parked under the hotel right now that was going to need to be explained to the rental company.
I wasn’t there the next day when the master manipulator had the Tahoe towed back to the rental place. I opted to go to the airport on an earlier shuttle. (Told her that I wanted to use the airport gym ahead of the flight) In reality, I just figured she was going to do something fucking stupid and I didn’t want to bear witness. And realistically, she did. If you wreck a fucking rental car, don’t tow it back and put it in the front of their business door. Phone them and tell them so that they don’t have a wrecked vehicle on display for the world to see that day.
I took a shuttle to the airport early. We got on the same flight but thankfully wound up seated in completely separate rows. The other four idiots got back on flights to their home provinces.
So how did this all end?
Our company took the blame for the accident.
Our CEO wrote a cheque for $72,000 to the hotel to fix the pillar outside their front door.
Our CEO had to pay the deductible on the rental and the rental company told us they would no longer rent to our employees. They threatened legal action but the CEO did something that made them back off. (Discussions that I wasn’t privy too)
A police report was made because the police showed up to the scene so they were required to report what happened by law.
None of the four individuals in those vehicles drunk got any repercussions for what happened. Not our CEO nor the master manipulator sought any sort of financial compensation to help cover for the damages our company was now paying for.
They drove drunk and got off scott-free. And it was five blocks. Five fucking blocks that they couldn’t walk. Or call a cab. Or call an uber. Or let someone sober drive.
One day, a few weeks after this all went down, the master manipulator brought me with her into the CEO’s office. We had a sit down chat and I was told that I was never to bring up this incident again. I was told that the public was never to find out a police report was made because if they did it could mean serious ramifications for our company. I was also told that I was no longer invited to these meetings. And I was reprimanded for 1) Not being of assistance to the master manipulator when she was trying to deal with the police and 2) Not attending the dinner and making our organization look bad after everything happened.
She let them drive our rental whilst drunk. She told them it was fine. She never once said anything wrong was done on their part. Somehow I got in trouble at work for the situation. Apparently I’m a poor ‘team player’. Because if you really want to fit in at work what you’re supposed to do is let people drive drunk…
This story is a part of an ongoing series about work-life and the truth about what goes on behind the scenes. Read parts one and two by clicking on either of the following links:
The company that I worked for effectively had two branches – the for-profit business and the not-for-profit foundation. Each branch operated with very different business practices due to the fact that there are so many more stipulations required to be followed to maintain not-for-profit status with the Canadian government.
The master manipulator liked to spend money. She especially liked to spend money that wasn’t her own. And, knowing just how closely the fondation’s financials were tracked, the master manipulator had a plan to skirt the system so that she always had money to spend.
Each month she would invoice the foundation, on behalf of the for-profit branch for various ‘fees and expenses’. These fees and expenses were different each month, so the invoice would be for a different total dollar amount every time. The invoice would also be dated for different date each month. This way, if the totals were different and the dates were different, it would be less likely to look as though it was a recurring fee the foundation was paying that she would need an excuse for.
She even took it a step further as to deposit the funds into different company bank accounts each month to ensure that no department noticed regular funds incoming from the foundation.
Now, all not-for-profit foundation’s have expenses. It’s just a fact of life. Even if it’s as simple as banking fees, there are always expenses. That being said, what should not be happening with a foundation is excess expenses. The bulk of donations that a foundation is accepting should be being turned around to be distributed to those in need, right? Right.
Every month, the master manipulator was hiding an expense. Every month. And because she’d manipulated all of the men in the office into believing she could do no wrong, it was easy for her.
Here’s an example of how she did it:
Every July the company hosted a banquet to raise money for the foundation. Every rich friend or acquaintance of the company would be invited in hopes they would open their wallets and donate large sums of money to the foundation.
One July our guest speaker was a famous Canadian television actor. This actor’s agent let us know that his speaking fees was $7,500 for a regular event by a for-profit company, but if the event was to raise funds for the foundation (which ours was) he would speak at the event for $2,500. This was his way of helping to keep the foundation’s expenses as low as possible so that more money could be given to those in need.
The master manipulator signed contracts agreeing to pay the actor $2,500 for speaking at our event. Then, the master manipulator went to the CEO and told him that the fee for this actor to speak was $7,500. And, because she’d been manipulating the CEO for years and he believed everything she said, he didn’t even blink an eye.
Then she would invoice the foundation on behalf of the company for $7,500. Because foundation policy stated she was not allowed to sign-off on her own invoices, she would then use her management powers to force me into signing off on the $7,500 invoice, knowing that I well knew exactly what we were actually paying this actor.
$7,500 would be transferred out of the foundation’s bank account and into a company bank account under the guise that she was paying the actor $7,500. She would then e-transfer the actor’s agent $2,500 and put $5,000 onto her company credit card, thus increasing the balance of her company credit card by $5,000 for that month.
With an extra $5,000 on her company credit card, she could do whatever the fuck she wanted. Working lunch, every damn day? Sure. A penthouse suite at the hotel they were hosting the banquet at… rather than a regular hotel room? No problem. A new dress for the banquet because, as the hostess she needed to make the best impression? Get it girl.
If anyone ever noticed how much she was spending, or how she always seemed to be spending more than the limit provided to managers of the company, she would simply… buy them something too. I remember with respect to this particular banquet that this particular actor spoke at, another manager questioned her purchase of a $1,000 Alexander Wang dress ‘for the event’. Suddenly, that manager was invited to the banquet, and she’d bought him a new suit for the event because, as a representative of the company, he needed to make the best of impressions with her.
That’s how she worked. She manipulated everyone.
Some months it was a couple hundred dollars. Some months it was $10,000 plus dollars. Every month, though… every month she had a reason why money needed to be transferred out of the foundation and into company bank accounts where she knew it wasn’t subject to audit. Because, when the money wasn’t monitored with a fine tooth comb, when it wasn’t subject to annual audit, she could do what she wanted with it, and at worst, would be subject to coming up with a haphazard excuse to give to a CEO who already believed everything that she said.
I wish it weren’t true but I’m not even kidding. My dad is not a very fearful man. I’ve seen him fend off someone with a knife and not blink twice. Right now, though… he’s a little on edge.
A couple of days ago my dad took his dog on a walk through some of the trails around here. The trails themselves are provincial parks that have just had walking paths cleared for people to hike in the non-snowy months.
Leading up to the trails you have to walk past a house with a rather yappy little fur ball in the back yard. If you so much as step foot within eye-line of the fence the dog will bark until you’re long out of sight.
A couple of days ago when my dad was walking with his dog past this house the dog started yapping at them. His dog, naturally, started barking back. The man that owns this house came out and started screaming at my dad. My dad says that he called the man an idiot for complaining about a barking dog because dogs bark when they see each other, it’s a fact of life. Then he says that he kept on walking leaving the man to yell into the abyss of his backyard.
A few hours later, bylaws enforcement showed up at our house and had us come out to the driveway so that, from a distance, they could tell us that someone had reported we were out with our dog, not on leash, and that we were not following social distancing guidelines and had gone into someone’s yard and made them fear for their safety.
There’s a fence. A FUCKING FENCE. There was no going into anyone’s yard.
Should my dad have pissed this man off my calling him an idiot and walking away? Probably not. But that’s how my dad rolls. I guarantee you, with how worried he’s been about this COVID stuff as of late, he ain’t going near anyone who doesn’t live in his house.
Anyways, bylaws enforcement left and my dad was like ‘Well, I guess we won’t walk that trail anymore’. And he told each of us to avoid that trail, whether or not we had the dog with us.
Today this grumpy asshole brings his yippy dog down our road. Naturally, when my dad’s dog sees this dog on the street it starts barking.
This man gets so angry that my dad’s dog is barking from the window, inside of the house, that he walks up to our front door, pounds on it and starts screaming ‘Get out here you asshole, and bring that fucking piece of shit you call a dog too’.
My dad went over to the fence and started yelling at the man to get out of our yard and leave us alone and this guy just went off. He was screaming and yelling about how my dad’s dog is a menace to society and she bites small children (which, by the way, I don’t think my dad’s dog has ever bitten anyone or anything… she’s the dog equivalent of a teddy bear) and she annoys the whole damn town and on and on AND ON… My dad, not being afraid of pretty much anyone, just called him an idiot and told him to keep on walking.
The man told my dad to ‘man up’ and come out and fight him. When my dad refused this guy got angrier. Finally my dad said ‘If you don’t leave my yard I’m going to call the police’.
The man says ‘You want to play that game? You want to hide behind the fucking cops? Okay, we can play that game. Better watch that nobody puts drain cleaner in your dog’s water bowl because we’d all be pretty fucking happy if that thing dropped dead’.
This all unfolded in the space of maybe 2-3 minutes. My dad ended up coming in the house and phoning the police. He did so to let them know that this guy had just threatened to kill our dog. And now, I tell you, I haven’t seen him this afraid of anything in a long time.
I don’t think he’s going to let the dog out of his sight. I mean, he’s told us we’re not allowed to give her food or drink outside anymore and that if we let her outside we need to watch her. He’s just really scared right now. And rightfully so, I think. That dog is his best friend.
What kind of a human being threatens to poison someone’s dog?
Honestly, if a man comes that unhinged at another dog barking at his dog, he’s lost his marbles. There are 20 dogs on this road, all of which are a chorus of barking the majority of each day. Is he just going to start going around poisoning the whole neighbourhood?