Discovery Channel featured John and Jeannette Murphy who, in addition to raising four kids of their own have adopted a staggering 23 children, all of whom have special needs, from blindness to several with Downs syndrome. Like most families fo this kinds, they live of welfare and subsidies and the older kids help care for the younger (something one blogger found very offensive.) They felt "called" to help children with disabilities.
I was intrigued and found their home life not at all institutionalized, or run like little military camps, as many families so large tend to be, including the Duggars.
An adoptive mother blogger also began with intrigue but she became turned off due to the chores the kids did and the home schooling that focused more on self care and practical issues like shopping more than academics.
Interestingly, she did mention the two things that bothered me:
First was the moderator calling the children "unwanted" and mentioning a couple of times that they were children "no one wanted."
The second issue is particularly disturbing and makes the "unwanted" label glaringly wrong!
Nor did this blogger mention the controversy mentioned: The Murphy's fought Cody's grandparents for custody for fourteen months! The case received nationwide attention and became the subject of a 1993 made-for-TV movie starring Patty Duke called “No Child of Mine.”
Cody’s grandparents vehemently fought for custody even though it was the dying mother’s wish that John and Jeanette raise the baby when she no longer could, although this is not mentioned on the Discovery documentary but it is included in this report on Points North. Instead their explanation for the prolonged fight is that they made commitment and could not go back on that. They never said that they felt the child would be better cared for by them or that his grandparents were in any way inferior as care givers. The audacity and arrogance of this is glaringly in opposition to the Christian giving they do. Why on God's green earth would you keep a child from family who were willing to devote their life to their grandson and get him in private school, do anything and everything for him?
"We're trying to be servants," John Murphy said. "We're not trying to be the Messiah."
Points North also reports that the case also stirred up an angry social worker who attempted to remove all the children, claiming they were unfit caregivers. City officials stepped in and stood up for the family, calling the charges ridiculous.