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Stormy

Myka Stauffer of The Stauffer Life: Where's Huxley???

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Waffle Time
Stormy
Posted (edited)

Note to mods: I acknowledge some text here has been copy/pasted from another post I made in another (related) topic. I later figured it would have a better idea just to make this its own thread. I looked over the rules before posting this and didn't find anything suggesting that this wasn't allowed, but I apologize in advance in case I missed something. Please feel free to remove or augment if this violates spam guidelines. Thanks for the work you do!

Anyone familiar with Myka Stauffer/The Stauffer Life on YouTube? Myka and Jim Stauffer are lifestyle/family YouTubers who are most famous for Myka's "Clean With Me" videos, general lifestyle content, and for the adoption of their fourth child, Huxley, from China. They haven't uploaded a vlog to their family channel since January, but Myka has been uploading numerous cleaning/mom-related videos to her personal channel as per usual. Myka is also very active on Instagram and is known for her consistent engagement with her fans and followers. She is also known for being rather inconsistent concerning various other things, such as going vegan, sponsoring fish sticks, being a minimalist, going on shopping sprees, starting a juice cleanse, filming a video about how she quit her juice cleanse, conceiving children, adopting children, and so on and so forth. While she is charismatic and knows her way around video-editing and social media, she comes off as bit vapid, impulsive, and simple-minded, which is of course a great combination for her to homeschool her school-aged kids (which she does). She has recently come under fire due to rumors that she and her husband have removed their adopted child from their home, allegations which they are both strangely ignoring. A brief history under the cut:

Spoiler

 

Huxley, now around four-and-a-half, was adopted from China in October of 2017 at the age of 2. Myka documented the whole saga in the year it took to bring him home (including China's changing policies of adoption that nearly derailed the process). As it's a fascinating topic, this series netted lots more views, subscribers, and sponsorships. The Stauffers also opened a GoFundMe to subsidize the adoption, which garnered a lot of donations (and more attention). While Myka and her husband had clearly done some research and were very emotionally invested, she still appeared to have a very rosy picture of what adoption would be like. She had a grasp on attachment/cocooning and had a plan for what she was going to do for her son, but it seemed somewhat limited to the scope of her experience and what she was comfortable with. Interestingly, the Stauffers had entered the process knowing that Huxley had special needs, which was thought at the time to have been an actual brain tumor (this was found to be false upon his examination in the U.S.; he was later diagnosed with unspecified brain damage and Autism).

Unsurprisingly, Huxley had a hard time bonding with the Stauffers when they initially went to get him, as the story goes for most adoptees. Myka struggled a lot with this and found it difficult to accommodate his special needs with their lifestyle. It's unclear that she did much of what she planned to do with him as far as cocooning goes, and Huxley failed to "perform" on several occasions when filming vlogs. Myka also soon got pregnant with her fifth child, which took up much of her focus and attention. Despite this rocky start, Huxley could be seen being affectionate and playful in the vlogs he did appear in for some time afterwards, and things had appeared to improve for him once they got him in therapy.

Then, in January, Myka, Jim, and their new baby took a weeks-long trip to Bali, leaving their other kids behind (not exactly something you want to do with a kid you're trying to attach with). Since then, Huxley has dropped off the radar. Myka has made a few posts on Instagram vaguely addressing that they've been struggling with him, and the last one regarding that topic (or Huxley, at all) was back in February and was tagged #reactiveattachmentdisorder. Apparently, though, a child cannot be formally diagnosed with RAD if they also have Autism, the latter which Jim has openly doubted Huxley has in one of their last vlogs. RAD was not mentioned or addressed on YouTube at all. In April, Jim Stauffer updated their main Instagram after some silence about how they were sharing fewer vlogs of their kids due to some things "behind the scenes" that they've been dealing with as a family. The Stauffers' four biological kids still occasionally make cameos in Myka's personal videos, while Huxley remains to be seen or heard from.

 

tl;dr: The Stauffers pursue an adoption from China and milk it for views and sponsors. Their new toddler son isn't all they expected him to be and everyone suffers. After some dubious effort on the adoptive parents' part, the family vlogs go dark and Huxley is MIA entirely.

Meanwhile, Myka continues to regularly upload scripted videos to her personal channel and make glitzy, heavily-sponsored posts to her Instagram as though nothing is wrong. What's especially troubling is that she is actively deleting any and all comments asking about Huxley, which is extremely unusual for her. Most of these posts are just from fans who've followed his story (and/or donated to their GFM) and are simply curious as to how he's doing, while Myka is lamenting on her Insta stories about "trolls" and "haters". This has led to speculation that the Stauffers have rehomed Huxley, or otherwise removed him from their home. With all of the rumors swirling around, it would be very easy for one of them to go on YouTube to proclaim all of the rumors untrue and that Huxley is at home and fine (even if it's not true), but they haven't. Recently, Myka deleted an old video that showed her rejecting affection from Huxley which got a lot of flak on a different forum, which proves she's aware of the controversy. This is overall disturbing and sad, especially for a kid who had a really difficult time being uprooted from China and adjusting to his new family. His birthday is coming up next month, and I have a feeling this will come to blows rather soon.

Edited by Coconut Flan
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FiddleDD

I've been wondering when/if this would end up here. It's a truly upsetting and disturbing situation. 

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Waffle Time
Stormy
59 minutes ago, FiddleDD said:

I've been wondering when/if this would end up here. It's a truly upsetting and disturbing situation. 

I brought it up in two other threads of related subject matter, but one thread was kinda dead and the other had a lot of other interesting things going on and I didn't want to derail. I noticed other YouTubers had their own thread, so I figured it was appropriate.

Something about this feels...urgent? Logically, I know he's probably secure somewhere whether it's in a medical setting, with a new family, or with the Stauffers still and they're just being weird. But what if he's not? He very well could have been "rehomed" as opposed to legally re-adopted by another family; the suggestion that the Stauffers can't *legally* discuss Huxley at all puts this at ease, but there's no telling if that's the case. People who got invested in Huxley are starting to get upset about not knowing if he's even okay or not.

It's also frustrating that Myka is obviously trying to build up defenses for the inevitable fallout with her stupid affirmations, posts about "positive space" and "mom guilt", and routines where she's being so lovey with baby Onyx. There's also the theory that she's trying to make as much money as possible before eventually having to explain what's going on. If Huxley is no longer part of that family, she will lose most of her revenue and traction her following has gotten. It's like she's rationalized that there's a way to salvage her channel and make everything better. (That's another reason for the "urgency", in that I think some people who follow her casually don't realize she's doing this right now.)

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FiddleDD

It's definitely scary after all the things I've read about rehoming. I never even followed her before, I just stumbled onto the Huxley situation on another site and now I just keep checking back....

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katilac
11 hours ago, Stormy said:

 and routines where she's being so lovey with baby Onyx. T 

That's my cat's name 😄

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Waffle Time
Stormy
Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2020 at 12:50 AM, katilac said:

That's my cat's name 😄

And a Pokémon!

On 5/21/2020 at 12:16 AM, FiddleDD said:

It's definitely scary after all the things I've read about rehoming. I never even followed her before, I just stumbled onto the Huxley situation on another site and now I just keep checking back....

I used to unironically follow Myka since shortly before they went to go get Huxley. Something seemed a bit off from the beginning, but I figured it was just the persona that she puts on for videos not translating well to the situation. Then they brought him home and it became very clear how unprepared she was, despite all the videos she'd made about bonding and attachment and so on. Myka has a pattern of talking about things while not appearing to let them truly sink in.

Speaking of patterns, you know how YouTube (or any social media, for that matter), is usually carefully curated into a "highlight reel" of life? That makes it really telling when someone leaves something questionable in their content, because it means that they had to look at it during the hours they spent editing and say, "Yes, this is acceptable." and post it. Like the clip of Myka rejecting Huxley's hug, or even just dumb stuff she's said after years of being a public figure (like saying "decompose" when she means "decompress", or saying she *thinks* that "Kyoto" is a city in Japan but that it's definitely a nice name for a baby).

Another incident that comes to mind is when Myka decided to give Huxley an haircut very soon after bringing him home that wasn't totally necessary, and was sort of a "faux-hawk" style that involved buzzing the sides very short. James had the camera and came upon her taking him out of the bathroom; Huxley was screaming, crying, and very distressed, while Myka was smiling and beaming about how he looked "so much cuter". This was well before things started to go downhill with his potential diagnoses and their vlogging channel going dark.
(Edit: Okay, I went back to find the video where this happened and it appears to have been deleted! So that's another one.)

My point is that I think Myka doesn't look at things the same way as everyone else. It explains why she's managing her online presence the way she is, and why she manages to get so far into things like adoption without understanding them properly.

There's also this troubling screenshot taken from the post of a friend of Myka's:

Spoiler

image.png.e95e160c06cb9440fd93554dbc90c869.png

Even if it were imperative that Huxley be removed from the home for either his siblings' safety (if he was violent, etc.) or his own, Myka and James (because he's just as responsible) are still NOT handling the situation properly. Myka shouldn't be showing her other kids at all right now, and her most recent content about "being positive" and "ignoring trolls" rings hollow and is in bad taste. Having an adoption fail is a devastating thing to experience and she's making it seem like she's doing better than ever and is ready to get defensive over their choices. I get that YouTube is a job and she needs to put out content, but she can make videos cleaning or talking about fitness or something.

Edited by Stormy
Updated on anecdote

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FiddleDD
2 hours ago, Stormy said:

Even if it were imperative that Huxley be removed from the home for either his siblings' safety (if he was violent, etc.) or his own, Myka and James (because he's just as responsible) are still NOT handling the situation properly.

THIS. I know someone who many years ago adopted children from the foster Care system that I'm assuming would be diagnosed with RAD now. Things were bad, like waking up too a kid holding a knife over you in the middle of the night bad. 

But you know what they never did? Ditch their children. Those kids were cared for. I believe they both ended up institutionalized in their teens but were still visited and loved by their parents. Because you don't get to just change your mind about your child, adopted or otherwise. 

All that being said, I won't say there are never reasons for a second adoption. (Although I believe those situations should be rare, unicorn rare, it seems naive of me to say never) But you can't pretend it never happened, especially when you chose to lived your life in the public eye. I never understand why people can't just be honest. Saying "Huxley is fine, but we're unable to talk about his situation at this time" would have caused a lot less drama imo. 

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hoipolloi

One can hope that Huxley with a family -- foster or permanent -- that loves him and is willing to do what it takes for him to have a good life. That family does not seem to be the Stauffers.

One of her critics in a YouTube discussion forum put together this Tiktok video.

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llucie
13 minutes ago, hoipolloi said:

One can hope that Huxley with a family -- foster or permanent -- that loves him and is willing to do what it takes for him to have a good life. That family does not seem to be the Stauffers.

One of her critics in a YouTube discussion forum put together this Tiktok video.

Was this forum just created to discuss this topic? thats really weird. 

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hoipolloi
1 minute ago, llucie said:

Was this forum just created to discuss this topic? thats really weird. 

Have no idea -- it turned up on a google search.

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Waffle Time
Stormy
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, llucie said:

Was this forum just created to discuss this topic? thats really weird. 

Yes it was, and yeah, I agree it's kinda weird (but not unwarranted); I was on a reddit thread of the same nature and one of the users (AnaB) decided to make it. She apparently donated to the Stauffers' GoFundMe and is super concerned about where Huxley ended up. I actually commented a few times on there myself, and you can probably tell what's mine by the similar wording of stuff I've repeated here and...the wordiness. I don't typically get super-involved over someone just being problematic (a la YTMD), but I do when it could possibly be an issue involving child welfare. We won't have a good idea until we know where Huxley is.

2 hours ago, FiddleDD said:

All that being said, I won't say there are never reasons for a second adoption. (Although I believe those situations should be rare, unicorn rare, it seems naive of me to say never) But you can't pretend it never happened, especially when you chose to lived your life in the public eye. I never understand why people can't just be honest. Saying "Huxley is fine, but we're unable to talk about his situation at this time" would have caused a lot less drama imo. 

That's why there's a theory that he could be totally fine and still with them, but that Myka's letting the rumors boil over for attention. I don't personally think this is true because a) Myka's not smart enough to be that cunning, and b) even if she gets more views over this from people combing her videos for glances of Huxley, she's got way more to lose if people hate her. It's rumored that the reason her Fabletics link is gone is because she mysteriously lost her lucrative partnership with them, and people are now hounding Danimals' Instagram account (yes, seriously) that they're going to boycott the brand because they're sponsoring Myka. You know, the drinkable yogurt company aimed at kids? It's really wild.

Going back to reason a), I think Myka is convinced that she can somehow come back from this. She's used to not having to answer for her actions and it's quite possible she won't have to answer for this one, too, if she cultivates the right audience. 

Edited by Stormy
added even more words

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Waffle Time
Stormy
Spoiler

 

Yikes...

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katilac
9 hours ago, Stormy said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

Yikes...

What;s with the weird swallowing and almost slurred words? Does she always speak so oddly?

This public shaming would be cruel to any child.

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divadivine

Does her husband do vehicle detailing videos on YouTube? 

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Waffle Time
Stormy
1 hour ago, katilac said:

What;s with the weird swallowing and almost slurred words? Does she always speak so oddly?

This public shaming would be cruel to any child.

Yes! She even does it in her voiceovers for her more structured videos. I had a hunch a good while back that she was certainly drunk during much of her screentime (as per her reasoning skills), but after everything that's happened, I honestly think something's wrong with her. I would normally reserve judgement over someone with a speech difference, but any grace I had for Myka evaporated when she was so unforgiving with her disabled son.

1 hour ago, divadivine said:

Does her husband do vehicle detailing videos on YouTube? 

Yes, he runs The Stauffer Garage on YouTube. It goes with the theme of cleaning/organizing content found on his wife's channel that's satisfying to watch, but a more masculine version. I admit it's a neat concept.

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Howl

So, I  watched the little video clip on the Instagram post.  There is zero reason, zero, for clips of this little boy to be on social media. None.  

And this woman? My total exposure to her has been seconds.  She's repellent. If you're kid's having a bad day, comfort him instead of pasting his difficult time all over social media. 

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divadivine
7 minutes ago, Stormy said:

Yes, he runs The Stauffer Garage on YouTube. It goes with the theme of cleaning/organizing content found on his wife's channel that's satisfying to watch, but a more masculine version. I admit it's a neat concept.

Well, shit! Okay, not going to watch any more of his videos. 

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Waffle Time
Stormy
12 minutes ago, divadivine said:

Well, shit! Okay, not going to watch any more of his videos. 

Aw, snap! Sorry that he's ruined for you, he did have good content. But yes, he is Huxley's father.

(NSFW warning) Here, I'll make it worse:

Spoiler

image.png.f14d24ae3e625692dc009fea92629173.png

image.thumb.png.3329a1a27aba07cd04fdd7ab98687392.png

 

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katilac
33 minutes ago, Stormy said:

I had a hunch a good while back that she was certainly drunk during much of her screentime 

My guess was Xanax. 

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divadivine
9 hours ago, Stormy said:

Aw, snap! Sorry that he's ruined for you, he did have good content. But yes, he is Huxley's father.

(NSFW warning) Here, I'll make it worse:

  Reveal hidden contents

image.png.f14d24ae3e625692dc009fea92629173.png

image.thumb.png.3329a1a27aba07cd04fdd7ab98687392.png

 

I still have the good looking Canadian who posts every week & he details the cars inside & out. 

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Ozlsn
On 5/20/2020 at 10:52 AM, Stormy said:

Then, in January, Myka, Jim, and their new baby took a weeks-long trip to Bali, leaving their other kids behind

What the hell??? Seriously, who did they leave the older kids with? Who does that, particularly when they have one child they know still has attachment issues? What were they doing there? And why Bali FFS?

 

 

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llucie
On 5/24/2020 at 7:20 AM, Stormy said:
  Hide contents

 

Yikes...

What a cute boy. Hopefully he was put into foster care and is now with another, more loving, family, and is not institutionalized. She comes across as really mean in that video, cant believe her followers saw that and are still supporting her, even if the boy is still in her care, she doesnt seem like a nice person.

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AmazonGrace

Well I guess any parent can act angry and frustrated with their kids occasionally but why would you post a video of yourself doing it on the internet?

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Waffle Time
Stormy
On 5/25/2020 at 9:21 AM, AmazonGrace said:

Well I guess any parent can act angry and frustrated with their kids occasionally but why would you post a video of yourself doing it on the internet?

That's what I meant about editing; you have the chance to show the world the most idealized version of yourself and your family, so why would you show that? I think a better example of it "saying a lot about a person" who does that was this family I briefly followed who included a clip of their toddler hitting their dog really hard for several seconds, and then one of their teenage daughter calling something "retarded" (out of character for the sweet girl she was). When confronted, the mom was flabbergasted that either of these things was considered wrong. She insisted that the dog was her son's service dog, and that they "play rough all the time" and that it was okay (no), and that, with 100% seriousness, they had no idea that "[redacted]" was a slur and swore they'd never heard it used as such. Anyone want to guess if they vaccinate?

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Waffle Time
Stormy

A very important development:

Myka just posted to her Instagram stories regarding Huxley situation (and yes, she called him by name!). She disclosed that she's been swamped with comments and allegations (obviously) and emphasized that Huxley has been "going through some private things" that they've decided to deal with outside of social media. She added that there are, indeed, legal reasons that they are not posting about him at all "during this season" and mentions therapy. She also said that they have finally finished filming and editing an explanation for what's going on and that it could go out as soon as today.

Very interestingly, she says that they are reconsidering whether or not they want to continue sharing about any of their kids on YouTube, adding that we've only seen lots of Onyx because he's so little. I don't know if this truly means the vlogs only, or that she and Jim will eventually take them off social media entirely (Instagram & TikTok). I'll add that this was the most serious I've ever seen Myka, and she spoke clearly and with purpose. She was vague with her message (as she had to be), but wasn't exactly candy-coating anything either.

I feel that she was speaking as though Huxley was still with them, but the fact that there's indeed a "legal" aspect to it suggests a custody issue. So either they relocated Huxley, they considered relocating him and got at least part of the way through the process, or they got in some sort of trouble that involved social services or his agency (I don't recall if they'd finished formally adopting him). I think they were even attempting an experimental stem cell treatment for him, and there's (of course) a rumor swirling around that it went wrong, so...hopefully Myka will keep her word and we'll find out very soon. Thoughts?

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