The Single Mom of 11 Still Needs Your Help

You can provide it here. A golden opportunity for prolife folk to step up to the plate and do a work of mercy!

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A reader asks for help for her friend
The Toy Smuggler of Aleppo
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Please help Samantha Salmonson
  • Sus_1

    Kristin is a well known Catholic mommy blogger. This isn’t a scam.

    • Sus_1

      She’s mentioned her past a few times in her blog postings.

      • Sus_1

        I don’t really care. It’s not my business. She’s has a ton of kids and having trouble feeding them. That’s all I care about.

        • Sus_1

          Yeah, not wanting hungry children is the key reason that the intact family is in decline.

          • em

            Does she say anything about getting government assistance? I can definitely understand a need for some extra money for living/car expenses or her continuing education, but otherwise the state is there providing in cases so that families in actual need do not literally go hungry and cold.

            • Kate

              On her blog she’s talked a lot about her efforts to get assistance. The only reason she’s able to ask for so little (1200 a month to support such a sizable family!) is because they do receive foods stamps and, I think, some utility assistance.

              On the other hand, the state consistently attempts to downgrade these benefits because of the amount of child support she’s supposed to be receiving (she’s posted some of these letters). Apparently the state can’t garnish her ex-husband’s wages because he has stopped working under his social security number and does not have an address or phone number listed under his name at present. This stuff has been most of what the blog has documented over the last couple years that I’ve been reading it.

            • JustAnotherGuy

              no, you’re not being nice, as Pope Francis requested. Instead, you’re being an asshole, which is not what Pope Francis requested. The point of the article was that, Catholics aren’t living their faith if they are only doing so when it doesn’t require effort, money, or real love; if they’re doing it ‘just for show’, so to speak. In summary, it is asking for a leap of faith in which we really go all the way to fulfill our duty as Catholics; including helping our neighbors when they reach out to us.

              • Kelly Seppy

                Amen.

          • Kate

            The courts grant custody, and generally to the primary caregiver so that children face the least disruption to the most important attachment bond. It makes sense to me that both parents should continue their primary roles after divorce if possible, that often means that the ex husband is primary provider while the ex wife is primary caregiver (ie, has primary custody). This is to ensure that the children lose as little of the advantages of having two parents as possible, because the time spent parenting is as valuable as the time spent earning money to support the children.

            Granting both responsibilities to one parent puts the children at a disadvantage, since the effort to support them is at odds with the time needed to parent them. Placing the children with their father would either affect his ability to support them or their right to be parented; denying support to the mother has, sadly, the same effect.

            • Kate

              Your analogy fails because the obligations are to the children, not the spouse. The children. Who are people. Not prizes.

              And Kristin is interested in nursing because it is one of the most flexible careers available to women. It’s making the best of a crappy situation, since the ex husband is not stepping up to support them.

              • Kate

                Don’t you get it? There’s no poster child, there’s no agenda. There’s just real kids with real needs.

            • Kate

              Control control control. You have a very strange concept of child raising, and it’s starting to disturb me.

              • Kate

                You continue to characterize the role of primary caregiver as being a matter of ‘control’ and ‘authority’. I’ve never heard anything even remotely close to that from Kristin, nor any sniff of any attitude resembling that. Without any other evidence other than Kristin’s desire to feed, educate, shelter, and parent her children, I’m not likely to assume that your characterisation speaks to anything but your habits of thought.

                • Kate

                  Now I’m sure there’s sock puppeting or collusion going on here. You’ve already made that ridiculously misogynistic comment as ‘7man’, remember?

                  • Kate

                    What’s misogynistic is to suggest that any woman who disagrees with you on an individual case must be part of some marriage-hating conspiracy.

                    As both you and 7man use the same, insultingly ad hominem line, it does appear that either you are in collusion or that somewhere there is some intellectual cesspool breeding that kind of attitude towards other human beings.

                    I had once been inclined to be open to men’s rights concerns, but egad, you two make it look as poisonous as radical feminism, and similarily uncaring about children or individual persons.

                    • Kate

                      Does it matter? Was the woman at the well not deserving of water? Obviously this woman has made bad choices, as did her husbands. But, you see, I don’t think that’s a good reason to blockade her attempts to do the right thing by her children now. Nor does it seem at all in question as to whether she is in fact primary parent to 8 children now, or that she is raising them without financial support from her ex, or that she is taking classes to improve their situation. Nothing else seem really relevant.

                    • Kate

                      7man, do you know the father? Are you Kristin’s ex? because if you do/are, you could end all of this right here by simply giving his current address and employment publicly, here, to prove he isn’t hiding from Child Support enforcement.

                      Go ahead. That would be a lovely happy ending to this, and save everyone a lot of trouble.

                    • Kate

                      What about a twice divorced man? Does his previous divorce diminish his credibility too? I assume from your emotional attachment to this issue that you are divorced-should I regard you as having no credibility because of that?

                      Men and women screw up. Sin screws things up. Christianity is the religion of redemption, mercy, charity. Marriage being a sacrament does not protect men and women from each other’s sins, nor does it protect their children from the consequences. And the call to love Christ by caring for each other doesn’t have a clause requiring that we first ensure that the person we help is not suffering because of their own faults.

                      As for child support… check your history books. The Church *invented* child support. That’s why the Church started officiating at weddings in the first place, so that no one could later deny his marriage and responsibility for a woman and her children. The Church pushed for civilly recognized marriages for the same reason – so that the state could enforce the responsibility of a man to his children. The duty of the community to support women and children without other means of support is even older, and the Church has even had religious orders dedicated to caring for ex-prostitutes and their children.

                      So, no, there isn’t anything remotely Catholic about your attitude and arguments here.

                  • Kate

                    Nope, no delusions. No evil patriarchy. But I think it is similarly unbalanced and delusional to think there’s a grand female conspiracy to ’emasculate’ men.

          • JustAnotherGuy

            you seem to be a bit of a fool, so i will be remedial with you.

            Men were meant to be fathers and provide for their families-up until about 1920. At that point, a number of intelligent individuals realized that women were just as capable as men in raising and caring for a family, including working a job or attending a university for a degree in a professional occupation. I’ve known these guys for a long time. You don’t seem to be quite grasping the salient point that this is a family which needs support, so that it can eat and meet financial needs. Give the kids to the father? If he’s leaving them like this, without providing even a minimum of support, how much can he honestly care about them? I don’t know; he’s the one member of the family I’ve never seen hide nor hair of. Ever.

            And one more thing: why are you spending so much of your time on this page being so negative? If helping people isn’t your thing, so be it: I can’t convince you to be a good person. But I can give you some advice: get a life- it’ll probably do you some good.

      • Kate

        Of course her exhusband is responsible for all of the children. I assume he took responsibility for them when he married her; they presumably lived a common family life, the courts would have granted him visitation to all of the children, not merely his biological ones, and if their marriage, such as it was, was predicated on a division of labors in which he supported the family financially while she supported the family practically as the primary caregiver, then he remains obligated to that same support after ending the marriage, because that is how we understand the contractual obligations of marriage as they pertain to children.

        Again, it’s hard to wrap my mind around the kind of mind that would differentiate between children and step children that way. :-(

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      If we had a just society, the ex would have been arrested and forced to work for his children. Sometimes justice trumps mercy.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        If they had sex with her, yes. A man owes a living to the mother of his children, regardless of how crazy she is. That is justice, and the reason to be very careful when choosing a mate.

    • http://coucoumelle.blogspot.com/ Jeanne Chabot-Baril

      She already has… she’s been very clear about that. We all know her story… and we support her… A person’s past isn’t important, what is important is what she’s doing NOW. Trying to undermine someone’s good efforts is what YOU are doing now…

  • Kate

    Hmm. Less than two months of ‘refuting’ Kristin, under a psuedonym, three years ago.

    I don’t think Kristin is an innocent, or is really at all inclined to be charitable to her husband. On the other hand, whatever may have happened during the time they were married, the current situation seems to be pretty verifiable: Kristin is raising 11 children on her own, and their father is not paying any child support. While every failed marriage has two sides to the story, there’s no reason I can see in this to punish Kristin’s children by refraining from helping their mother train for a viable career.

    That said…I have been reading Kristin’s blog for two years. She’s never really tried to monetize any of the sympathy she’s received during that time except by selling things (clothes, books, other personal possessions, her daughter’s dolls), keeping a paypal button on the blog (as most bloggers do), and writing a book, which was not very actively promoted. Kristin feels sorry for herself sometimes and she’s certainly angry with her ex-husband, but the blog seems like a place to vent far more than an attempt to polish her image or fish for material help. I’ve witnessed real catfishing, and this doesn’t smell like it.

    More relevant still though is where the older children fall in all of this. I’ve known a few large families that fell apart when the oldest were teens or young adults, and I’ve got to tell you, the older kids do not stick around when they sense hypocrisy. They’ll strike out on their own and take the younger kids with them if they can, but they don’t stay living at home and chipping in with their own wages unless their observations jive with that parent.

    Certainly, it is more comfortable to give our money to help perfectly virtuous men and women, who are kind and charitable even to those who have hurt them, and entirely blameless in their own attitudes and conduct. Of course, then we would rarely help anyone at all, because who on earth fits that description?

    • Kate

      I don’t need to dismiss it, it just doesn’t seem relevant. Nor does it appear that Kristin is at all attempting to hide her past, or pretend any kind of perfection.

      It’s really hard to think anything matters except that she isn’t receiving any child support, or parenting support, and wants to be able to provide better for her children. The suggestion that a mother should hand over complete custody of her children to a man who is not even willing to take fiduciary responsibility for them is pretty strange.

      • Kate

        It’s odd, again, that you talk about parenting and caregiving in terms of ‘authority’, rather than recognizing the humongous responsibility it involves. I’d be slow to grant custody to any parent who viewed the caregiving role that way, as though children ‘belong to’ their caregiving parent, rather than the parent’s time, energy, and love ‘belonging to’ the children.

        The children have a right to both material and emotional/formational support. Both. Loving parents don’t skimp or devalue one or another as being too burdensome. They just step up and meet whichever of the children’s needs they are available to, within whatever legal or practical constraints there are.

        So, no. I don’t think Kristin is ‘not being held responsible’ when she wakes up every morning to the cares and needs of the children she birthed. I’m pretty sure that is a responsibility, and pretty important one.

        • Kate

          Do you always talk about yourself in third person? or did you forget to put on your sock puppet?

        • Kate

          Nope, still looks like you talking about yourself.

  • 11onmyown

    What is absolutely disgusting and disturbing and downright WRONG is for a “man” to abandon 10 children and do everything in his power to NOT SUPPORT them. What is EVIL is for a “man” to do everything in his power to make sure that they aren’t supported any other way. EVIL.

  • 11onmyown

    7man and “Lena” are both my ex-husband. I’m sorry everyone – he’s truly evil.

    • Kate

      I dunno about evil, but it is pretty messed up. But hey, maybe he’ll give his address out to show how eager he is to support his kids, since he’s determined to make you out to be a liar. Then you wouldn’t need to humble yourself to fundraising (which is pretty humbling, I know!!), and your kids’ needs would be met.

    • Helen

      Coward. You will pay for what you are doing. May God the Father have Mercy on your soul.

  • Mary

    ‘m really glad to see Kristin’s abusive ex husband posting here. If anyone can stomach it they will get a glimpse into the hell that was her life when she was married to him. I thank God that the younger children are no longer required to attend “supervised visitation” with him and he is out of their lives. I attended a family wedding recently where the Bothur children attended and given what they have suffered at that hands of their father I could not be more impressed. What a wonderful, group of kids and they really do Kristin credit. I am happy that they have such a good mother and if anyone has any doubts about Kristin feel free to email me. I vouch for her 100%. They are a lovely group of children and I have never known Kristin to complain about them. They are a joy to her. It is a shame how she has been wronged by the courts and her ex. But that is the misogyny our culture is offering women today. If a woman is stupid enough to marry and have children the courts will not require the father to support them. I think this is really going to help the fundraising effort- go Kristin! “Illegitimi non carborunndum

  • Helen

    Amen! I have also known Kristen and she is an awesome Mother and friend. Her ex-husband is a very demonic person. If he spent his time working and supporting his family he wouldn’t have time to stalk Kristen with hatred. He is a coward. Kristen keeps her focus on God. Where is the ex focusing? Not on God.

  • Mary

    Good job Someone just gave $300 Anonymously. Keep the comments coming! LOL

  • Kelly Seppy

    Sorry if this is a repeat comment. Kristin and her lovely kids deserve all the help they can get. Most other people would have crumbled under the weight that she carries.

    That the ex goes so far as to troll the internet trying to intercept and discourage any help for HIS KIDS is frankly unbelievable. He posted an anonymous comment on my blog trying to warn me about helping her. I only wish I could help her more!

    I admire her faith and fortitude. She will make one hell of a nurse!

    • Mary

      I think if you can bear to read through the comments it becomes pretty obvious. Then if you google his name and the situation there is plenty of evidence out there.

      • Kelly Seppy

        I, by God’s grace, am doing everything I can before Him to care for my children and amend my life. I air my past to reach out to others that need to know that great grace too. I know all about temporal consequences. Do you think you need to help God by mounding more temporal consequences on to Kristen and your children? I think He has that covered, thank you very much. You have aired your hatred for her out all over the internet. If you aren’t going to help them, then why don’t you at least get out of the way? You are failing in love for you own children. God’s grace is there for you too, if you will humble yourself enough to receive it.

    • http://coucoumelle.blogspot.com/ Jeanne Chabot-Baril

      It’s not hard to get on three or four different computers and post as 3 or 4 different people… I think it’s time to close (and delete) the comments Mark Shea….

  • Kelly Seppy

    I wish it were made up–it’s one of those stories about which people say, “you can’t make this stuff up!” It is not a con on the mom’s part and she does not need any more detractors, what with her crazy ex stalking every attempt at help for her. I know this because I posted ONE post in her behalf, and, boom, there he was, send nutty comments to my blog. Geez, people. People ask for help all the time. If you care about her kids just give the mom a chance to make a decent living for them.

    • Kelly Seppy

      oh for heavens sake. If you don’t feel like doing your homework on the situation, why would you want to undermine the attempt to help her and the kids? I know her. She has done everything in her power to work herself to the bone to provide for the kids. Not only without help, but with active opposition. What kind of man not only shirks his responsibility, but tries to block any help that comes her way? She is not asking for handouts, but going to nursing school, for cryin out loud. If you keep wanting proof spoon fed to you, you will begin to resemble the ex and cray-cray rants.

      • Kelly Seppy

        Okay so don’t donate then, if you are wary. But why try to detract if YOU have no stake in it? What if her story is true, as I know it to be, having done my homework? If, as you say, you feel for the children, but think you are being taken for a ride, just leave it alone? If you had been following it for a long time, as I have, you would know better. If she could get an education any other way, she would. She has tried. And guess who always manages to pop up and try to be negative? I am certainly not her, but I have walked in shoes similar to hers, therefore I feel for her and wish the best for them. How do we know you are not HIM if You are so invested in throwing doubts?

        • Kelly Seppy

          Did I say don’t question? I said why nay say something just because you don’t personally believe the story, that’s all. I am simply frustrated for this poor lady and her kids. I have had enough dialogue with her know she is telling the truth. Can you say that? I have also been through a situation with my own children to know what is is like to struggle as a single mom to keep them fed, clothed and a roof over their heads. Can you say that? To everything I say, you simply say I have not properly responded. You can say that until the cows come home. What frightens me is that you are so willing to go to bat AGAINST the kids involved. And, yes, I am willing to go to bat for this sister in Christ, because I remember what it was like not to have that. I can’t offer her monetary support, but I can let her know the world isn’t as cold-hearted as it seems on these boards. And if by some wild stretch, it is all a ruse, and all the evidence to the contrary is proved wrong, then God can judge me on my intentions.

          I think I will go my way now, and just write a post on my own blog.
          I don’t really believe you are he, by the way. God Bless and Peace be with you.

  • Rona

    More then halfway to goal! People are truly wonderful and generous I have more than 2000 followers and will continue to share and promote the cause.

  • http://awomansplaceis.blogspot.com/ Cam

    After reading her blog for several years I’d say that it is one of those cases where one person is at fault. Honestly the husband in this case is frightening. I feel horribly for all that Kristin has gone through. And horrible that her husband, who is likely mentally ill from his comments, has continued to make every attempt to torture her while ignoring his children and trying to destroy her attempts to support them.

  • Lady M

    What a beautiful example of the Corporal Works of Mercy! The kindness and generosity coming from those who have donated is such an inspiration. I’m a long-time reader of Kristin’s blog and just wanted to say thank you and God bless you all!

  • Nancy

    I wish I could give more to Kristin and her family! My hat goes off to her…she is an excellent mother and is doing everything she can to keep it together. I have a hard time with 3 children (and I have a husband!). I’m not sure how she manages the way she does. Thank you to all those that have supported her! If you don’t feel comfortable giving a donation…then don’t. But no one has walked in her shoes. Her ex has been dodging the authorities and his responsibilities for years. Why is it so hard to believe that he would be trying to sabotage her efforts?

  • Lena S.

    Wow. You women are nuts. I’m at a loss for what to say here, and I find Mark Shea’s silence rather cowardly as well.

    • Mary

      No woman says “you women are nuts”. The misogyny comes through loud, clear and consistently in every post- Lena S., 7man and hornorsilk. You are not fooling anyone.

      • Lena S.

        This one does. Questioning this does not make one a misogynist either. Is this all you’ve got? I don’t know who HornOrSilk is, but he has certainly made some fine points here.

        Nevertheless, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to believe that I am a woman, since I do not kowtow to other women simply for being women and that frightens you. Accusations of being a man are common too, when a woman does not unquestioningly go to bat for Team Woman. Feelings do not determine facts.

        Since ‘you women’ are all saying the same thing, perhaps you are sock puppets for Kristin!

  • HornOrSilk

    Mark, the one-sided deletion of comments on your part is disgraceful. There are all kinds of accusations against her ex-husband being made which have not been proven, and indeed, read quite like “she’s a woman, believe her, don’t believe him, he’s a man.” That there might be more to the story and should be investigated so people don’t fall for a con should be a reasonable remark, especially with the kinds of scams on the net!

    • chezami

      When I post a request for prayer and a work of mercy I do not like it when assholes show up in my combox to create a star chamber and sit in judgement of the person in need. If you have have a problem with that, tough shit. Comprende?

      • Eleanor

        Mark, be super careful. Unless you know this woman personally and have an inside you track you do *not* know the whole story. It is really risky to get involved in internet advocacy and fund raising for people who don’t know and in situations where you don’t know the whole story. So very many people have been burned over the past few years. I really don’t know if you want to be responsible for encouraging people to give their hard earned money to a situation where there are *any* questions or ambiguities.

        • Margie

          “…I reserve the right to delete and/or ban commenters as I please. Conduct yourself as you would in my living room and you’ll generally be just fine.” -Mark Shea

          Mark can do whatever the hell he wants in his internet “living room.” We’re all adults and can discern our choice of action regarding donations to whomever Mark brings attention. You’ve asked people to do their research. Fine. Now pack it up and allow us to make our own decisions in regards to the destination of our money. The end.

        • 11onmyown

          It’s Sybil all over again! Mark has met me in person, by the way, everyone – at a writer’s conference in Pennsylvania.

      • Kate

        Glad to see you deal with this, Mark. I’m sorry that load of garbage was waiting for you after your weekend away though!

    • Lynn

      Hard to imagine any “con” going on when we’re looking at a woman raising 11 children on her own, and dad is nowhere in the picture. Doesn’t matter if he’s awful or gone because he’s dead. She raising. eleven. kids. on. her. own. Count me in!

  • Francine Maide

    I just look at the facts:
    This is a single mom, raising multiple children with no help from the father. Where do I push donate? Done deal.

  • http://www.patronsaintofpoopydiapers.wordpress.com Jeni

    Wow I can’t imagine what you had to delete Mark. Some of the comments that remain are pretty cray-cray. God bless you Kristin. You have my prayers and encouragement. <3

  • Guest

    11 on my own needs help again. She has *3* semesters of nursing school left, and needs help with heat and electric. If you can afford to help her, go to http://WWW.gofundme.com/598o


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