The very reliable, professor approved and endorsed website called Wikipedia (sarcasm--as a college professor myself, I say professors actually hate Wikipedia) defines “trolling” as “the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose.” It would seem that I have a group of trolls who regularly visit my blog with no “apparent purpose” other than to mock and criticize me and my family. This blog is not for trolls. It is designed to keep family, friends and other adoptive families all over the globe abreast on the happenings of our family. It is designed to give a clear picture of any difficulties of life after adoption and to show our family and friends how best to pray for us. I am very candid on this blog while trying not to embarrass any of my children or publicly ridicule them. It is so other parents going through similar situations know it’s normal to feel this way or that. The behavior of adopted children and how we must respond to adoptive children is sometimes completely different than bio-children. Ultimately I hope this blog challenges and encourages its readers.
These trolls and websites have somehow tagged our family as evil child abusers who do every, single thing wrong as parents. After a little digging I found out that my trolls go by the fake online names like “Astrin” and “Amom” and "Christie M" and a few other names. They have a reputation of criticizing not only me, but lots of people to include the Duggar Family and several other adoptive families. I’m actually a bit flattered by the fact that I’m placed in the same category as the Duggar family. Thank you for that. I happen to think that the Duggars are an exceptional family with wonderful, respectful and beautiful children and an awesome marriage. Rather than accusing of them of “breeding like rats,” perhaps we should thank them for raising their children in such a way that they love God and other human beings. The Duggars and their children are generous and kind in every action. They are wonderful contributors in society and I doubt you will find any of their children doing drugs, getting in trouble with police or murdering mankind. Trolls, I’m humbled that not only do you trolls take the time to read every post of this blog, but also critique it when you could easily be doing other things with your time such as working a real job, or taking care of your own family because obviously you are the best father or mother in the whole wide world. The fact that my blog is worthy of your scarce time is truly humbling.
These particular trolls find it emotionally abusive if adoptive parents laugh or joke with their adopted children, even though they have no clue that these adoptive children thrive with laughter. It’s amazing that these cowards think that with 2 master’s degrees under our belts and 13+ years of parental experience that we do not have enough common sense or “emotional maturity” to tell if a child is emotionally ready for teasing. The idea of picking on a child with alleged no understanding of humor is ridiculous, but thank you for caring for our children’s emotions.
The trolls and gossips criticize adoptive parents with “child collection” for the sake of winning praise or favor from onlookers. They feel adoptive parents get some kind of rush. I can see how someone with a misconstrued worldview would draw that kind of conclusion of an ulterior motive of joy because children really are a blessing and a lot of fun. However, most of the families being criticized are not caring for orphans in this world for a rush. They are serving these children because they love the Lord and they love other human beings on the planet and they genuinely want to change the world, one life at a time. Every orphaned child deserves a family. Not only are these adoptive families doing the best they can, but the majority of the ones I’ve seen you trolls criticize are actually exceptionally elite families, gifted in love and compassion which is so rare in our world today. They are precious and some of the most generous families in our entire country. I appreciate being compared to these fine folks. I have no doubt when they get to heaven if they are born-again believers, God will tell them, “Well done, you good and faithful servants.” Adoptive families, keep up the good work! Trolls, what will God say to you about vicious hateful words online? Don’t believe in God? I will tell you what you’ll hear: “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity.”
My lovely trolls are convinced that we are going to disrupt or “re-home” Matthew. I am absolutely 100% against disrupting and rehoming thriving adoptive kids, so thank you for that concern, but you can stop spreading that lie now: We will not be disrupting Matthew.
I will say, though, there are many adoptive parents with very unique situations where the child is not thriving. This idea of disruption in unique situations is NOT my own opinion or idea based on emotions or your perceived stupidity on my part. It is a viewpoint based on many books I’ve read and it has been formed only after speaking with child counselors, therapists, case workers and other experts who deal with adopted kids and those children with any kind of trauma. If a child is posing a DANGER to a family such as sexually abusing other bio or adopted children in the home, if a child is setting the house on fire or trying to kill others in the home, if a child is obsessed with knives and threatening to murder themselves or other individuals in the home, if the child has raped another member of the family, if a child is psychologically tormenting other children in the home or anything along these lines, and the child is not responding to professional help, the child needs to go—according to the expert advice of adoption therapists and case workers.
It is about setting down pride and doing what is best and safest for ALL THE MEMBERS of the family. Obviously it is NOT IDEAL for a family to rehome an adopted child. It is definitely NOT a first choice the minute an adopted child has a bad day. However, when a case worker says to a family, “Either this ONE dangerous child goes, or I am removing ALL of your children from the home because it is not safe due to this one child,” that advice MUST be heeded. Along those lines, if a choice given by a case worker is “Either this child can go into foster care with complete strangers, he/she can go to a group home or you can try to find another family willing to adopt this child,” the obvious choice is to find another family willing and able to adopt and handle the child. It is not best for the child to be passed around in foster care. Stability is best. It is best to screen out new families very well to see if they can meet that child’s needs. Perhaps a child is sexually abusive to younger children. That child needs to be placed in a home with NO SMALL children on which they can prey upon. Finding a new home for a child like this is not “flippantly passing around a child like a pet.” It is a decision bathed in prayer and it is genuinely seeking to care for a child with unique needs while not harming other children in the process. A new environment with a fresh new slate in many cases will cause most children like this thrive.
I personally know two children who did not do well in the first adoptive home for one reason or another and both of these had legitimate safety concerns as mentioned above. Every single day was a battle in these families for protection and healing. The entire families were headed off a cliff. These two families finally came to the conclusion after professional counsel that they should set aside their pride of thinking they can fix this child, and rather try to find another family where the children could thrive. Both children found another family and have absolutely thrived in the second home. Love is not clinging to a child with a death grip thinking you are some sort of awesome savior who can just love a child enough. Love is about doing what is best for that child, even when the decision is not one you would prefer. Trolls, what makes you think that you know better than professionals or those families actually living out the circumstances? Trolls, what makes you think you know more than God? You are out of line and exceptionally arrogant.
As far as abuse, I cannot find any reason any troll would think we beat or otherwise abuse our children. No child has ever been beaten in our home with rods. I have not read any book called “To Train Up a Child” and certainly do not endorse any anger-based, barbaric behavior described on your troll sites. We do not believe in beating children. They are not cattle. They are little human beings with very tender feelings. We have never bruised our children, ever. We do not verbally abuse our children. We do not call our children names. We do not tell our children they are stupid or otherwise ridicule their persons. We do our best to model in our marriage respect for one another and do not call each other names. We do not tell our children to “shut up.” We do not neglect our kids. We treat our children how we would like to be treated. We do not curse. We do not drink or smoke. We make these choices intentionally because we believe our home should be a haven from the outside world seeking to destroy them. We are not perfect parents, but we do our best to love each of them individually and how they prefer to be loved. We hug on them and praise them far more than we discipline them. By they way, in our home discipline does NOT equal barbaric beating. We lead by example and direct with love. We meet them where they are emotionally and physically. We help them in the areas they need help. We will stop at nothing to bend over backwards to place any and every resource we can in their hands if we feel it will help them. We encourage them in the areas they are strong and we challenge them where they are weaker. We pray for them every day. We provide every basic need and even go above that to give them things they want as the budget allows. These kids, who have been through a lot in their young lives, are happy and thriving and we owe that to the Lord. Anyone that knows our family personally would agree. We are doing the best we can with the children God has given us and I don't mean to brag, but our kids are pretty amazing people!
So trolls, thank you for your time and concern, but really you can let it go now. Anger, bitterness and destructive criticism is not good for your health, so maybe you could use your spare time more effectively dealing with your own emotional issues for your own sake. Again, this blog is not for trolls, or usually written to trolls, but if you have a problem with me and would like to speak with me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org is where you can find me. Blogspot does not have a way for me to answer Anonymous comments. Fake screen names and deceptive gossip for the purpose of making our family look bad is really cowardly and disrespectful. Good luck with giving up the gossip. Bad habits are sometimes hard to break. I'm sure deep down somewhere you legitimately care about orphans and mankind, but you're going about it all wrong. Speaking positively and encouraging people will make you feel better about yourself. Try it, you may just smile and find a sense of humor along the way.