‘Banged’ is a really weird word. It almost defies the rules of English. It sounds like it should be ‘bonged’…
Anyways, I banged my head. Really badly. I have a stacking washer/dryer set and this is the first time in my life to ever have the stacking laundry system. Since I moved into this place I’ve been extra careful about ensuring I don’t stand up with the dryer door open. Well, careful until last night.
I grabbed the last two pieces of clothing out of the washing machine and stood up quickly, gesturing my hand upward to throw them into the dryer. On the way up, though, I hit the dryer door… so fucking hard. My head has been throbbing since last night. There’s actually a giant lump on the side of my head, where I hit it. It’s probably been 20 years since I’ve managed to do that to myself.
I had a really hard time sleeping last night. I’m having a really hard time focusing today. All I can really focus on is the gnawing pain… reminding me of what a dumbass I am for knowingly standing up whilst the dryer door was open. It’s like I was asking for it.
A man spit in my face once. Actually, I shouldn’t really call him a man. He was 20, exceptionally immature and generally a disgusting human being. Calling him a man seems like a disservice to men in this world. Then again, calling him a boy seems like I’m making an excuse for his behaviour. There’s no excuse for spitting on people.
It was March 2018. I was having a discussion with my friend Rob about another crazy story from his work-life. Rob was the chief of police. Though he never told me anything that was confidential, I did hear some crazy stories from the man over the years that I knew him. We’d just grabbed some coffee and we were waiting for players to return from the intermission of the game we were watching. Rob was telling me a story about how a few nights prior he was working the graveyard shift and he found himself, at 2:00 in the morning, chasing a man in his tighty-whiteys yielding a machete high off some sort of illegal substance through the courtyard of city hall. He uh, well he has no fears.
Rob is tower of a human being. He stands at 6 feet 7 inches tall. He has an extremely intimidating presence. Had he not been married to one of my coworkers, I likely would have feared him just based on his presence. Nevertheless, I digress. Cop life was a fit for him.
So, the explanation of Rob is important to the story because Rob actually plays a pretty integral role into what came from the rest of that evening.
During the third period a fight broke out. This was a bad fight. One of the players actually attempted to use a piece of his equipment to inflict dangerous, physical harm that could disable another player for life during this fight.
Typically, though a player is going to be kicked out of the game for such actions, they’re put in the penalty box while the referee reviews the play, what happened and what lead to the dangerous actions to ensure they have everything correct for expulsion from the game because they will have to file a report after.
This player was minutes from being kicked out. He was mad. He got into the penalty box and started using his equipment to try and break the penalty box. Which… physically speaking isn’t possible. But, he was angry and being an idiot, trying to inflict damage and throwing around threats to anyone he laid his eyes on.
Rob being Rob, well he stepped in. He stood in front of this player, towering at least 6 or 7 inches over him, and told him to sit down and calm down. This player didn’t.
I needed to collect some information from this player for the incident report so I asked Rob to get it for me.
Ohhhhhh, let me just say no one was prepared for what happened next.
This player got mad. He got up and in his fit of fury decided he was going to come after me. Problem was, even with all of his equipment on, he was still a lot shorter and smaller than Rob and Rob was standing between him and I. Rob was literally holding this player back from trying to jump at me and swing punches as he hurled insults my direction and shouted some pretty vulgar things.
I’ve been around sports most of my life so hearing vulgar things doesn’t really phase me. I don’t like. I don’t think it’s acceptable. But, I also can’t control the things that people say, so, I don’t let it get to me when disgusting things are said to me. Especially if it’s coming from someone like a 20 year old brat with a bad temper, no social skills and clear anger issues.
What did phase me though, was that in that moment when the player couldn’t overpower Rob, he decided to spit on me. He knew that he couldn’t get past Rob so he hocked a loogie and spit directly into my face.
It was one of the most disgusting moments of my life.
I was shocked. I was embarrassed. I was immediately scared. This idiot’s saliva had just landed in my eye and on my face.
This player does not know that the man he’s been trying to overpower to come at me is actually the Chief of Police. No one ever really knew what Rob did because it wasn’t something that Rob broadcasted to anyone outside of his circles. He just did his job and lived his life.
Well, in the moment when he spit on me, everyone knew it. Largely because everyone heard him hocking a loogie and then because everyone heard me scream in terror when the spit hit my face.
Here in Canada spitting on someone is a form of assault. This player, not realizing that he’s just committed a form of assault in front of the city’s chief of police, kept on shouting vulgar things at me as I started to cry and pull off my jacket and sweatshirt and scrape away at my skin with said clothing because I felt disgusting due to their being spit on me.
I kid you not, Rob grabbed this player by the back of his neck, walked him out of the penalty box and down the hall to the dressing room. He didn’t ask the referees, he didn’t wait for anyone, he just walked him down the hall and put him in the dressing room.
He came back to check on me. I was crying at this point in time. It was just such a disgusting feeling. I felt like I needed a shower. I felt like I’d been violated in a sense. I just felt… unclean. People say that I completely overreacted when it happened, but I really don’t think that I did. Until you’ve been spit at, in the face, you really can’t understand just how disgusting it feels. And by a stranger… someone you don’t know. It’s just… it really does leave you with this sense of feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin.
Rob’s a cop. He’d just watched this entire thing unfold. He got on his phone and he called some cops, who were on duty, to come on down and help this get sorted out. He made a statement, he vouched about what happened on the ice, and then about what happened to me when I got spat on. Because the police were there, I had to make a statement about getting spit on.
The police were waiting for this player when he came out of the dressing room. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a good sight. So Rob stayed back next to me, and the two police officers that came waited for this player to walk out of the dressing room to inform him they’d been told of what happened. This player got angry again, screaming down the hall at Rob and myself ‘You called the fucking cops on me, you pieces of shit!’
At this point the player proceeded to walk past the cops saying that everything they were told was a lie and that they were wasting their time and should go back to the donut shop. (Classy, I know)
When the two on-duty police officers pointed out that they had statements from an off-duty police officer that he witnessed the player spit on someone and that’s a form of assault, the player got angry.
‘You’re a fucking pig?’ He yelled in our direction. Then he tried to run at us again. The two on-duty police officers held him back. Like, this player has a serious anger issue. So, the police officers were holding him back and he hit one of the police officers in the face, which is a form of assault against a police officer.
So, they handcuffed him and took him off to the station.
It took three months following, but this player was actually charged with three counts of assault.
For using his equipment to inflict harm upon one of the players on the ice.
For spitting on me.
For hitting a police officer in the face.
The initial count of assault ended up being thrown out because, reviewing the video of the game, they could not prove intent to harm based on what the player had done. The crown prosecutor argued that he could have accidentally tried to use his skate blade to cut the other player’s neck. Which… was complete and utter bullshit, but whatever, I don’t control the justice system.
He was charged with assault for spitting on me and he was charged with assault for hitting the police officer when they were trying to hold him back from running at Rob and I after he learned that Rob was a police officer.
Nothing ended up going to trial. He admitted guilt. I think he realized he had no choice but to admit guilt because he knew that he spit on someone in front of the chief of police and proceed to hit a police officer in front of two other police officers and a crowd of people.
He was given a fine and probation and forced to take anger management classes.
In a weird twist of events, though the player pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, the league actually never punished him. The league said that we could not prove that the player intended to injure the other player his skate blade and that there was no video footage of me being spit on, so it could have been any one of the six people around at that moment who decided to spit on me.
The league took zero ownership of the incident that involved the police officer being hit because they said they cannot control the actions of said players once they leave the ice, and therefore he cannot be held accountable by the league for something that could’ve very well happened on a sidewalk anywhere in the city on any day of the week.
Rob kept working games after that.
I think it was good for him. He loves hockey and he has a commanding enough presence that, when players pull bullshit like what happened that night, he played an integral role in calming down situations.
I didn’t keep working games.
I wrote an angry letter to the league explaining that I went home wearing someone else’s clothing that evening because I was so disgusted and felt so unclean I couldn’t bear to wear my jacket and sweatshirt. I actually threw away that jacket and sweatshirt. I remember crying my eyes out in the arena bathroom trying to scrub my skin, to try and make myself feel clean. It wasn’t like a small spit wad. It was like… a mouth full of disgusting spit that hit my face and ran down my face onto my neck and my clothing because there was so much of it.
I told the league they shouldn’t expect people to be there if they cannot protect the people who are there. I told the league that if they don’t take hard stances on behaviour like that, they’re as culpable for the behaviour as the person who commits it. Yeah, behaviour might be learned, but that doesn’t mean it has to be accepted.
The league basically black-listed me. Which was fine. I wasn’t going back there again.
As for what happened to the player… in late 2018 he was arrested for pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of stairs.
In 2019 he was arrested again for kidnapping his child causing a nation-wide amber alert to go out and ended up ‘on the run’ for just 48 hours before they police caught up with him.
Currently he’s serving a two year jail sentence. After he was arrested for kidnapping his baby, his girlfriend came forward with allegations of continued physical assault throughout the relationship that included statements like her saying she was punched so hard she actually lost two of her teeth.
In 2019 when he went to jail the league, who had allowed him to play all throughout his troubles with the law (spitting, hitting a police officer, pushing his girlfriend down the stairs), finally made a public statement about him.
It was your standard run of the mill PR Bullshit.
‘We’re so shocked to learn of the actions of [player’s name]. We’re sending our complete support to [his ex-girlfriend] and [his child] during this troubling time and we want everyone to know that we do not condone these actions, or domestic violence of any kind.’
Now, I’m not saying this night set off a chain reaction of events in his life that led to him pushing his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs and subsequently kidnapping his baby. He clearly has anger issues and has clearly had them for a lot longer than I’ve ever bared witness to. That being said, an arena full of people watched him take his skate off of his foot and use the blade to physically try and slice someone’s neck. The chief of police watched him spit directly into my face as a form of trying to intimidate me, and two police officers had to physically hold him back, one of which ended up getting punched in the process.
If a league isn’t willing to take a stance on that behaviour, why do they get to play the ‘we had no idea it was this bad’ after this player’s behaviour makes national news.
They knew what he was like. They made excuses for it. They continued to pay him and cover his actions, that continued to the point where a pregnant woman was pushed down a flight of stairs and a baby was kidnapped.
You know that saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’? I kind of feel like this applies to people. If you’re covering up someone’s shiteous actions for years, quite literally until it makes national news and you just can’t anymore, are you not culpable? I mean, you might not have committed the actions yourself but you knew what was happening you saw hard evidence as to what was happening and heard what was going on behind the scenes… hell WE ALL HEARD. Rather than giving the player ramifications for his actions, they covered them. They swept them under the rug. They kept paying him and making him feel as though his behaviour was okay.
Quite frankly I think he got off easy only getting two years. I really hope that his ex-girlfriend has taken their child and started over somewhere new. I hope she’s not waiting for him to get out. People like that… they need more help than any one person can provide. People like that, they will likely continue to be a part of ‘the system’ for the rest of their life. People like that never seem to think they have a problem.
Anyways, that’s the story of the time someone spit in my face.
People say I overreacted. I really don’t think I did. Some people think being spit on is not a big deal, I personally think it’s one of the most disrespectful and degrading things you can do to a person. Also, it’s disgusting. It is. It makes you feel unclean. It makes you feel gross and it makes you feel less than human.
There’s a local car dealership that’s been giving me the gears for over a month now. I wanted a new(to me) car, I can afford the new(to me) car, I applied to purchase the new(to me) car.
I applied on June 27.
This dealer, something about him just made my spidey senses tingle. I was approved for an auto loan so I waited patiently. I was told that the car was mine. I was told that it would be delivered in a matter of days. I was told A LOT of things. And this man, always had an excuse as to why today wasn’t the day and tomorrow wouldn’t be either.
I asked for the Carfax. He wouldn’t provide it to me. I asked for pictures. He wouldn’t provide them to me. I asked for warranty information. He couldn’t provide it to me.
He was… I’m not too sure what he was doing. I can speculate, but I can’t speak for certain about why he kept giving me the run around.
Fed up with waiting, I decided to write him a very vexing email on my lunch break Monday. I will say, there’s a reason why I work in Marketing/PR. When I really stop to think about my words and piece them together carefully, they’re bulletproof. When you piss me off, I’m definitely not going to yell and scream. I’m going to be frank, to the point and I’m going to remind you just how low of a tolerance I have for idiocy and lack of transparency.
Anyways… I guess I scared him?
He waited all fucking day to write me back. And when he did write me back, he offered to have a driver come and pick me up so that I could come down to his dealership to ‘talk it through’.
Because I needed to be ‘handled’. Heaven forbid a woman stand up for herself.
I kindly told him that unless there was a vehicle there, ready for me to drive off in, there was no point in me coming down to his dealership because speaking to him would be a waste of time, like it had seemingly been for the last month.
I think that made him mad.
He uhhh, well he referred to me as one of ‘those women’. He said ‘I’d be nothing but trouble’. He said ‘there’s no pleasing women like that’.
Dang. I’m happy to be one of those women. Because if standing up for myself makes me one of those women, I will choose to be one of those women each and every time.
Furthermore, if I (yes, little ole’ me) possess the ability to make the earth quake beneath his feet with a single email… if I have the ability to make him that scared with a single message, then I’m pretty damn proud. I didn’t call him names. I didn’t say a single mean thing in the email. I spoke the truth. And clearly from his reaction to my email, his customers really don’t do that often. So yeah, I am proud to have put him in his place.
Do I think it’ll stop him from pulling this bullshit on other customers? No. People like that really don’t change in life. But, I do take great pride in how much discomfort I was able to provide him. And, I’m going to be even happier to purchase my car from elsewhere now. Elsewhere that’ll treat ‘those women’ as valuable customers. Elsewhere that’ll value my time. Elsewhere that’ll give me a better deal.
Until then, well… it’s a good thing that my office is working from home for the time being.
I went for a tour of my office on Thursday. I’d been putting it off for a while due to the fact that several of my coworkers and at least two of the building’s security guards tested positive for COVID. But, I was assured that professional cleaning and disinfecting was done and so I made arrangements with my boss to have a socially distant tour.
First stop on the tour? My office. That’s right, I have my own office.
It’s big. Real big. And it’s all mine. There’s a wrap-around desk, a wardrobe, cupboard storage and a table/seating area. There’s also a giant west-facing window with a view of the city skyline. Given that we’re on a high floor, I reckon the sunsets will be pretty spectacular as we head into fall and our staff actually goes back to working in the office.
It was a very surreal moment for me. I’ve never had an office before. In the decade I’ve been working, I’ve been had board-room tables, a reception desk, a desk-sized cubicle in the middle of the lobby. Never an office. Offices were always reserved for the men. And now, I have an office.I have four walls. A door. A cork board and a white board! It’s the small things but they mean so much. I wanted to cry when I sat down at my desk and spun around in my chair. I also wanted to take a bunch of pictures of every square inch of the office. Given that my boss was watching me, though, I chose to not do either.
The entire office is quite a maze. Lots of hallways, a maze of offices, a classroom for when we host professional development workshops (when there isn’t a global pandemic). There’s even a games room! A room with a pinball game and a Foosball table and a few other arcade games. The building even has a private gym for tenants… not that it’s open right now. But, it’s still a cool perk.
As I was leaving I told my boss that I was excited to get into my new office in September (COVID Permitting) and do a lot of great work in there. I said that I’d never had an office before and that I’d never worked in an office with this many amenities or luxuries before.
They smiled and said ‘Welcome to corporate, kid’.
It was a cool day for me. And, I guess I have a lot to look forward to (COVID permitting). I might like this corporate world after all…
Last year I made a post about the best things that never happened to me. Throughout the entire post I shared some stories of my life centered around the premise that perhaps the best things in our lives are those that never actually happen to us, or for us.
The stories that I shared had finished with 2018, and at the point of writing, I genuinely hadn’t had an experience that led me to believe there was anything to share with respect to 2019.
Fast forward to today.
Today, I got an intriguing email to my work inbox. Being a relatively new employee, my inbox has been rather quiet the past few weeks, mainly serving as a means for coworkers to share files with me. Today, the email I received was from someone that I’ve met before. It was from someone that I interviewed with in 2019.
In May 2019 I had a job interview with a tech company that I was really excited about. This company was ‘on their way up’ in the business world. It was new and exciting software that was unlike anything else on the market and they were poised to make an integral mark in the industry because of investments from Silicon Valley.
I made it to the final round of interviews and was one of the last two candidates being considered. Nevertheless, I was devastated when I didn’t get the job. I was so excited for the opportunity and I genuinely thought that the job was mine. It took me months to get over the fact that I didn’t get that job. I really felt like I was to blame for the missed opportunity at really stepping up my career.
The email that I got today was from the woman who interviewed me, and inevitably, did not select me to fulfill that role.
She’s looking for a job and she wanted to know if I was hiring.
A year later, someone who didn’t select me for a job was now asking me for a job. Does she know that I am relatively new to the company? Does she remember that I was the candidate she rejected to do my very role at her company last year?
I sent her an email back, reintroduced myself as the individual who interviewed with her last year and asked her what was going on, why she was looking for a new job. She seemed to have it made at the company she was with, so I just… wanted to open a conversation and see what she had to say.
‘The company went under in December 2019.” She said. Of course she went on to explain exactly what happened and she let me know that she was looking for work in January and February and then the pandemic hit and she hasn’t been able to find work since.
She actually went on to mention that she applied for the position that I now have. (Which I did not ask her, it was information she volunteered)
It was a ‘holy shit’ kind of a moment. I feel bad for her for being in a position of being unemployed. I know the feeling all too well and I don’t wish it on anyone. But also running through my head was ‘Had I been selected for that job, I literally would have worked for six months and then had to start back at square one’. Then my mind went to ‘holy shit, the woman who thought I wasn’t good enough to have this job at her company now wants me to keep her application in mind for being my assistant’.
There’s so much to unfold there. The biggest thing that I can’t seem to get past though is… had I gotten that job, I would have worked for six months and been right back to square one.
Did I dodge a metaphorical bullet, or did I dodge a metaphorical bullet?
As hard as my unemployment tenure was, and as much as I whined and complained to my friends, family and this blog, I’ve always maintained the belief that the universe guides us. And the universe clearly had better plans for me than a tech company that was soon to go belly-up.
I feel sorry for this woman. I really do. I wish I could say ‘sure I’ll keep your resume’ and give her hope. But, truthfully, I can’t give her any hope. My bosses won’t be hiring any more this year. I befriended her on LinkedIn and told her that if I hear of any similar positions that I’d pass along her name/contact information. I wish I could do more for her but dang, 2020 has been a hot mess and there’s really not much more I can do now.
Execept… I can savour the role that I have so much more today than I did yesterday. Does that make me a bad person? Her email just made me so much more thankful of the role I’m in now. I mean I’ve been appreciative of this position since they day they said ‘Will you accept our offer?’ But, today… it just seems so much sweeter…. like so much more of a win, finding a role in the industry in the middle of a pandemic.
2020 man… such a crazy year. The universe always has a plan.
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.
10 years ago, fresh out of University, I accepted a job in a city that I’d never been to and was told I needed to be moved in and ready to start in two weeks.
Scrambling to find a place to live, I settled on one of the first apartment buildings to get back to me because it was near my office and the rent was… decent. I had no one warn me about the neighbourhood, I had no one help me find a place and I made a quick decision to ensure I’d have a roof over my head in time to start work.
That apartment ended up being a nightmare. About six months after I moved in, the apartment building was actually raided by swat. Apparently, one of the tenants living at the other end of the third floor I was on was quite the drug kingpin.
I should’ve taken it as a sign to get the hell out of that apartment. But, I was only six months out of University, I was working for practical pennies and I didn’t really have the resources to move. So I stayed.
Did I mention the apartment was horrible? Because it was. It was built in the 60’s, so a lot of the structure was aging. The heating system sounded like it was going to explode each time it turned on (it was a broiler-based heating system). The upstairs neighbour lived his best life between the hours of midnight and six in the morning. One night I actually had to call 911 on him because he was beating up his girlfriend in the middle of the night and I woke up to her screaming ‘Help me, he’s going to kill me!’
I called 911. I gave a statement. She ended up being okay, from what I was told. After this fateful night, I wanted to move. Still being paid practical pennies for the work I was doing, I didn’t have the resources to move. I was barely paying my bills each month and I was worried that the psycho who lived above me knew that it was me who called the cops on him and that he’d be coming for me next.
Three weeks later, I received a summons from the Crown Prosecutor to be a witness in court at his assault trial that was scheduled for six months down the road.
I was terrified.
My upstairs neighbour didn’t know I was the one who called 911. If I had to stand up in court and say that it was me, could he come for me next? I needed to move. But I couldn’t afford it.
I remember how low I felt the day I called the Crown Prosecutor to beg him to not make me take the witness stand. He didn’t really seem to care about my fears. Apparently, he believed I was being over-dramatic about it.
I needed to move.
I ended up spending a few weeks sleeping in the basement of one of my coworkers. About two weeks after I called the Crown Prosecutor, he called me to let me know that he had a change of hard, that he was able to prosecute my upstairs neighbour without my being a witness and that he was being a bully in forcing me to be a witness when he knew that I felt it could put me at risk. Whilst he didn’t think this man would come after me, he understood that I was a single-white-female who lived alone and he would know what door to knock on the moment he saw me.
So, I didn’t have to take the witness stand and I decided to put off moving.
The man upstairs ended up getting evicted after prolonged absence from the building do to his being locked up on a drug charge.
A few months later, I got a raise at work. I thought it was an incredible moment for me because I was going to have a few hundred extra dollars each month and if I put them aside for three months then I could move.
A few days after I got my raise, the apartment building raised my rent due to ‘increased demand in the city for rental units and the prime location of our building’. I was crushed. Here I was thinking I was going to be able to save money to move an the apartment building had just given me a big ‘fuck you, sucker’.
I could go on and on about the stories that plagued me whilst in that apartment. Or other apartments I’ve lived in (I always seem to make horrible decisions with respect to living situations… refer to stories of roommate Derek from 2019 if you’re curious), The bottom line is, it wasn’t a happy place for me to go home to each night. And now that I’m looking to move and find myself an oasis in the city, I would really like to make sure that I don’t just accept the first thing that comes along because it came along.
I want to do this right.
I want to find a place that I’m happy to come home to each night.
I want to find a home that, if COVID 19 strikes in a second wave, I am content with spending a lot of time in.
I’m counting my lucky stars right now that I’ve landed a job that I am able to work from home due to this pandemic, but I would still like to move sooner, rather than later. For my sanity. For tax purposes. Because I want to be a city girl. Because this past year and a half has been really hard on my mental health and well being, and I’d really like to move onto a new chapter.
I’m loving my job, by the way. It’s been amazing so far. I know I’m still new to it, but it’s different from anything I’ve ever done before so it’s all exciting and there’s so much to learn and so many new ways to grow and get better.
The trouble with house hunting is… finding a place during a pandemic. Most places aren’t booking walk-throughs. Which I completely understand. But many places have really shitty pictures, or misleading pictures, online. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across at least three scams already. And I’ve also come across a lot of places that are really, really overpriced for what they are.
I thought I’d found a really incredible place for a really reasonable price but the landlord just does not respond. So that’s kind of a bummer. But I’m not going to let it stop me.
I’m going to do this right.
I want a place to call home. My home. A place to feel safe and welcome and like I belong. I’m not going to settle this time around.
The tectonic plates have shifted and I got a job. A really good job. Dare I say… a great job!
I just finished my first day of work. I am working remotely until COVID calms down.
I am the Marketing/Digital Marketing Coordinator for a tech company. I’m going to start their blog, ramp up their social media profiles and take control of branding and graphic design.
I’ll be looking to move in the nearish future. Once COVID calms down, I’ll join them at the office (their office is closed now and all employees are working remotely for the time being). Then, once travel is safe again, I’ll be joining their sales team as they travel around the continent so that I can help them ‘do their thing’ with professional presentations and my charming personality. Okay, I might not be serious about that personality part.
I am really excited about this job. So… here’s to new beginnings.
Yesterday I was cleaning out a desk that belonged to my brother before he moved to Denmark in 2009. This desk was filled with old homework from his university days, pictures of his friends, some random bits and bobs (including a pocket knife, some drill bits, etc) and a stash of chocolate.
I got scared when I found the chocolate.
I needed to clean out this desk so that my parents could sell it. I genuinely don’t believe anyone has touched it since my brother left for Denmark.
There was a stash of chocolate in the desk that included Kit Kat Bars. The wrappers of one of the Kit Kat Bars was open as though he’d taken a bite out of it and then never finished it. The wrapper said that the expiry for the Kit Kat was November 2010.
There was no a speck of mould on this chocolate bar. It wasn’t even dried out. I touched it thinking that it would be rock hard because of how long the package had been open. Nope. I held my fingers against it and it started to melt from the warmth of my fingers, but otherwise, it was pretty much just a regular chocolate bar, even though it had expired ten years ago.
Nothing was wrong with it.
It looked like a brand new, perfectly good chocolate bar.
I could have broken off a piece and given it to one of my family members and they could’ve easily believed I’d just gone to the store and bought it.
10 years expired and looks brand new. Think about that next time you eat chocolate.
P.s. I showed a piece of it on my Instagram story if you want to see it. lol
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: