Parents Made a Hard Choice for Their Adopted Special Needs Son
More than 110,000 children with special needs are waiting to find perfect loving homes to be adopted into. These children born with mental or physical disabilities are considerably harder to place in a home. When an influencer couple Myka and James Stauffer adopted a Chinese child, certain realities hit them harder than expected, forcing them to make truly painful choices that received global criticism.
Meet Myka and James
Myka and James, a married couple in Ohio, have been YouTube personalities since 2014. The bulk of their content focused on sharing their parenting journey with their children. It seemed as though the family was complete. Except the two were missing a tiny piece to their almost perfect puzzle.
Myka The Mother
Myka, who we can fairly deem the face of the couple, had for a long time branded herself as an advocate for international and special needs adoption. This stance had landed her, and by extension her family, major sponsorships and interviews with the most recognizable magazines on the globe such as Parade and US Magazine. But this wasn't always her, or James's opinion at first.
The Special Adoption Problem
Myka told Parade. "...at first, we couldn’t wrap our heads around special needs adoption.". But a change of heart came after some mediation (pondering) between the two. At the time, they only had 3 of their now 4 biological children. They then chose to look at any type of adoption, whether simple or special, to add to their collection.
A Change Of Heart
With their change of heart came a much wider pool of hopeful children the parents could give care to. Prepared to take on the challenge of the blessing of a fourth child, adoption was always a dream for Myka. It wasn't long until they chose where to go to find the child whose life they wanted to change.
The Adoption on Takes To China
Their extensive search would consistently lead them back to square one, which was China. China was an attractive choice as it had no restrictions on families in the US adopting special needs children. After a considered approach, the couple's search took an immediate stop. Not due to any complications, though. In an interview with Parade, Myka said that she "...saw a little face that I couldn’t walk away from." Whose, exactly?
The Little Face That Stole Their Heart
Determined to meet the loveable boy from China with bright eyes, the couple leaped at the chance to get his profile from the agency where they spotted him. They couldn't move quicker if they tried. The prospect of having him in their family lit up their lives in a beautiful and honestly pure way. There were, however, minor obstacles that prevented them from viewing his profile immediately. The first of many issues as they found out.
The Complications Commence
To view the boy's file, they had to pay a $500 fee to the agency who kept it. The agency helping them find a child did not have him on their record, and some negotiations had to take place. Once the transaction between the agency holding his file was completed, it revealed a detail that seemed unsurprising at first, but still played a major role in their heartbreaking choice down the line.
The Defining Details
The boy was diagnosed with a brain condition as a result of a tumor. As an oncology nurse, Myka was nervous but determined. Despite encouragement from doctors, who presided over his condition, telling her to avoid adoption, this detail did not stop them. The defining detail discovered in the file was that his birthday was a day before Myka's. This was something of a calling, and with such an attachment, they began their process of adoption for their future son and even named him.
The boy who had stolen their hearts was given the name Huxley! A kind-eyed and heart-melting boy from Asia was about to be welcomed into a new home. Not immediately, of course, but the Stauffers did everything they could to make him their own. This taxing process took more time than they had anticipated.
The Long Haul
10 months to be exact. To bring their loving boy back home, the Stauffers went through a vigorous process before it was completed. Understanding that this was a special adoption, there was far more preparation than painting the bedroom when it came to bringing little Huxley to the States.
Training For The Brain
There was a lot more to prepare for when it came to the Huxley. The 10-month preparation was geared to prepare strictly for brain-related issues that would disrupt or threaten Huxley's life and health. This singular focus became one of the downfalls of the adoption that was already edging towards its irreversible completion.
During the 10-month haul, Myka and James documented their turbulent journey to adopt little Huxley in 2017. More than 27 content videos were produced from their page documenting the process and its aftermath. And when they had completed, their entire stable traveled to China for the "...unreal & surreal..." feeling of meeting Huxley for the first time. One of the few sweet experiences that came with the adoption.
Huxley's homecoming was a warm one. As he integrated within the family, no time was spared when it came to the Stauffers showing the world how Huxley was living and loving his new life. With the wholesome content the entire family provided, more fans and brands such as Fabeletics and Dannon loved the essence the family brought. Sadly, the energy projected on social media was different from what was happening back at home. The Stauffers were living with a discovery made soon after Huxley's arrival which presented issues the couple hadn't prepared for at all.
The Daunting Discovery
Myka discussed the complicating discovery they made about Huxley in 2020. What they had learned about his diagnosis wasn't the full proxy necessary to help them adequately treat and care for Huxley. They had initially been given the wrong information. After suffering some damage in-utero, they discovered other conditions that made his life even more complicated. This "curveball" as Myka referred to it, led to a tragically painful decision that the two undertook to give Huxley the best care possible.
Conceding that they were no longer able to take adequate care for their adopted autistic son, James and Myka announced, via their YouTube page, that it was in his best interest to "rehome" him to a "perfect match home". Myka stated: “After multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit in his medical needs. He needed more,” in the heartfelt video. Myke assured viewers that: "he is happy, he is thriving and he is doing very well." Which, for the moment, is what matters most to everyone.
The couple received some intense backlash when the story, with many views and opinions, shared over their motives and methods of parenting their autistic son. A lot will likely be revealed over the painful story. But, what's most important is that Huxley is receiving the adequate care and love he deserves at this time.