When Quiverull Mothers Are Overwhelmed the Children Suffer

When Quiverull Mothers Are Overwhelmed the Children Suffer December 13, 2017

Yesterday one of our writers  – Mel of When Cows and Kids Collide – reminded us in a comment about a certain Quiverfull family we’ve written about in the past, the family of Susanna Musser from the blog Blessing of Verity.

This is what Mel said:

Well, the Musser family reached levels of having 11 biological children – one of whom had Down Syndrome and three of whom were younger than 6 – when they decided to start adopting severely medically and nutritionally neglected children from Bulgaria. They adopted one girl who was 9 years old and was the size of a 9 month old baby. Right around the time that the reality of their situation was setting in, the mother got pregnant again – and they adopted a boy who was a teenager and the size of a toddler while they had that young infant at home. A year later, the four oldest kids were out on a day trip and the mom was home alone with 8 kids with a chronological or mental age of under 8 when the boy they adopted from Bulgaria drowned while unsupervised during a bath. Two years after Tommy’s death, they have guardianship of a re-homed teenager with moderate CP and another biological infant. Oh, and a home expansion paid for by blog readers. The adopted kids – Katie, Tommy and Josie – all went to public school for the school day. The daughter with Down was steadily losing ground while being home schooled; her mom in one amazingly self-serving post found a not-real-medical professional who diagnosed Verity with both Downs and autism. That diagnosis was eventually shot down by every real medical and educational professional who came in contact with Verity – at which point the Mussers felt Verity was “ready” to begin public schooling. (About damn time, in my opinion. She would have qualified easily for early intervention or special education as an infant for free through the public schools – but Susanna had more fun undermining any therapist who came in the house rather than working with her.)

If you’re just tuning in and do not know who the Mussers are and why they do not mention the death by parental neglect of Tommy Musser you can read about the tragedy here, here and here.

After Mel spoke out on the Mussers and others chimed in that the death of Tommy has changed Susanna Musser not for the better I went into Susanna Musser’s blog ‘The Blessings of Verity”. I hadn’t been there in ages. The latest post is to me a serious of red flags of possible child neglect in Susanna’s sad list of how they’ve changed in a post titled “Life on the Far Side of Crazy”. Here are a few that gave me serious pause.

Saddest statement of all time considering how many of these foreign adoptions by Evangelicals end up with the child being rehomed.


When families start to fall apart or implode from the sheer pressure of the demands of raising large numbers of children in Quiverfull most mothers will try harder, keeping swimming in the deepening floodwaters of their lives without ever admitting to anyone else how exhausted and overwhelmed they are. Sadly living like this means something, or someone, collapses and the children suffer the most.


Overwhelmed and everything else starts to go by the wayside except basic needs.


In so many cases where children in Quiverfull’s needs aren’t routinely met the staggering amount of work needed to maintain the family combined with the overwhelmed mother, and sometimes father, seems to be the biggest contributing factor.

So sad because so much of this is self-inflicted wounds on everyone in the family.

There is more I could quote from the Musser family blog but this entire long post as the latest one is about how toss most everything in order to try and cope with the hideous demands of having an extremely large family with adopted children who are special needs. I hope Susanna and all the other overwhelmed, time-swamped mothers in Quiverfull take advantage with whatever help is available in their communities.

You’re not Superwoman. It’s normal to feel pressured when you have all of that going on. It’s not okay to put kids at risk because of a Biblical belief.

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