Creating Genius Magazine: That Adopted Girl, Juliana Whitney Founding Something #ThatsWorthy

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Thank you to Creating Genius Magazine for this great write up about That Adopted girl and #ThatsWorthy!

Original Article at:  http://cgeniuslife.com/that-adopted-girl-juliana-whitney-founding-something-thatsworthy/

Through the most tragic of situations, a miracle can occur. Like a rose blossoming from the rubble of an urban setting, Juliana Whitney understands all too well how to persevere in the most difficult of scenarios. In her case, only to end up a beacon of hope for so many others. An adoption can be a heartbreaking and unimaginable experience for many children. For Juliana Whitney, however, being adopted was her catalyst to becoming a guiding light of inspiration for so many girls in her shoes.

Feelings of not good enough or “less than” can be a debilitating emotion that can render harm far beyond a physical wound. For Juliana, this difficult situation bloomed into a business that has helped so many in her situation. That Adopted Girl, Inc. was founded in December of 2014 as a 501c3. “Our goal is to help adopted kids and foster kids learn about their self-worth and life lessons. More than anything, I want to create happy childhood experiences,” said Whitney.

Founding That Adopted Girl to help others on a mass scale

Adopted as a newborn in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Whitney struggled as a teenager finding her own way. “When I was 12-years old, I had an identity crisis. My parents put me in therapy, which helped me work through and understand everything that I was experiencing.” Surviving her teenage years with the help of her adopted parents as well as her biological father, she arrived at a greater sense of purpose. “My birth dad and I are very close today, he has been a big influence for That Adopted Girl and was the one who really encouraged me to pursue it,” she said.

There are a multitude of adopted children across the country and especially the world, who do not feel a sense of family. There are over 100,000 foster children in America alone. Whitney and the rest of her team at That Adopted Girl are raising awareness to help educate adopted children about their self-worth while also informing the public of this very real social enigma.

“I always talk about self-worth because that is something that everyone can relate to – not just adopted people. In a way, it inspires advocacy around this topic,” she says. “I have been working on building an audience through social media and reaching to people everywhere. We are constantly trying to get donations and build an audience around this cause.” She is even reaching out to musicians and poets, who write short pieces about foster care and adoptions for That Adopted Girl.

Entrepreneurial drive means innovative ways to gain exposure

Whitney’s creative genius and entrepreneurial spirit have driven her to take action. Interestingly, she devised an innovative way to help That Adopted Girl gain exposure during National Adopted Month this past November. “I hid 5,000 bookmarks that I made with our website http://www.thatadoptedgirl.com, in books throughout Barnes & Noble and Target,” she told us. “We received a bunch of publicity and traffic as a result of this.”

Being adopted herself, Whitney is aware that adoptions can affect the adoptee well into adulthood. This mindful thought has helped spark an added purpose for That Adopted Girl. Ignited by Whitney’s passion for educating and gaining advocacy, she is reaching out to adults who were in foster care or who were adopted. Her interviews with them provide deep insight for others. “Getting their stories and perspectives as adults bring the issues into a whole new light,” she said.

That Adopted Girl, Juliana Whitney - Creating Genius

Living to serve others can give one a greater sense of purpose beyond the traditional means of business and industry. Her willingness to think selflessly and to utilize the experiences she has gone through allows Whitney to help so many people that are following in her footsteps as adoptees themselves. “The kids’ feedback makes it all worth it. Being told, ‘Thank you for all that you’re doing and making me feel less alone.’ That is why I do, what I do.” This sense of civic duty, is beginning to gain momentum beyond the Las Vegas community. Whitney will be speaking at the Adoption Exchange Conference in Colorado about her story and her growing non-profit.

Not making an impact is not an option

Juliana Whitney and her team at That Adopted Girl recognize that there is a divide in our country amongst those going through foster care and those who are not. Putting emphasis on the children being our future is not enough for this organization and its founder – and rightfully so. Through their campaign, a monsoon of understanding and warmth will overcome these children who feel abandoned and empty. For more information on how you can donate or become involved with That Adopted Girl, please visit http://www.thatadoptedgirl.com or #thatsworthy or @thatadoptedgirl.

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Thank You Guys For Not Giving Me Daddy Issues

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Yes, I am posting about Father’s Day the day after Father’s Day.  This speaks only to my tendency to disregard oncoming holidays until the day of, and then, oops, they pass.

Since it is the day after I will make this quick and then simply share a video with you .  I couldn’t let the day pass without at least showing some gratitude to the Universe for the story it has created for me.

Universe, I am grateful for the abundance of fathering you have granted me.

I have my dad who worries like crazy but only because he loves me and wants to make sure that everything is good, as it should be, at all times.

Then, I have my birth dad.  So many times in adoptions the birth dad is unknown, much less present throughout the life of the adopted child.  My birth dad did not want to raise a child but he says that from the very beginning he knew he would be part of my life.  Hence the open adoption arrangement.

Together, I thank them both.  For whatever other issues I may have, at least I don’t have daddy issues and I have them to credit for that.

Best Adoption Story Ever.

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This adoption story was presented to me as the best adoption story ever.  “Ya, right,” I thought. “How many times have  I heard that?”

After binge watching all 4 seasons of ONCE I was pretty certain I had seen the best adoption story ever. 

I was wrong.

This is the best adoption story ever.  

Really, most adoption stories are pretty great.  This one simply stands out due to it’s actual uniqueness among adoption stories.

It speaks to human rights on more than one level.  Not only the right to family, but the right to love.

It lacks the magic of an orphan child finding a home with loving parents.  Instead it shows that there is magic in adoption beyond bonding parent and child. It shows that the magic of adoption is really all about creating family against all odds.

Macklemore says,”When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless.  Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen” in his song Same Love.

It turns out that adoption is kind of a rebellious badass because while everyone was more comfortable remaining voiceless about gay marriage, adoption was standing up for humans who had their rights stolen.  Adoption was standing up for the human right to LOVE.   Not just a human right, but a human necessity.

THE STORY
FROM FATHER & SON TO MARRIED COUPLE

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Norman MacArthur, left, and Bill Novak were married on Sunday after spending more than a decade as father and son. (Photo: Matt slocum/AP Photo) 

A couple who were legally father and son for the last fifteen years had their adoption vacated and were married this week after 52 years together.

Norman MacArthur, 74, and Bill Novak, 76, were married in Pennsylvania on Sunday. The couple, who has been together since their 20s, registered as domestic partners in New York City in 1994, but in 2000 they moved to Erwinna, Penn., where domestic partnerships are not legally recognized. “When we moved to Pennsylvania, we had both retired and we were of the age where one begins to do estate planning,” MacArthur tells Yahoo Parenting. “We went to a lawyer who told us Pennsylvania was never going to allow same-sex marriage, so the only legal avenue we had in order to be afforded any rights was adoption.”

MacArthur says he thought the suggestion was strange at first. “It struck me as fairly unusual, but we looked into it and discovered that other couples had done it. [Without the adoption] we would be legally strangers.” An adoption would grant the couple certain legal rights they felt compelled to secure. “Most importantly, it would allow us visitation rights in a hospital, and gaining of knowledge if one of us was in the hospital,” he says. “With new HIPAA privacy laws, hospitals are very constrained in what they can say to other people. If we were legally related, I would be allowed into the ER and entitled to know what Bill’s condition was if anything should happen.”

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Bill Novak, left, adopted Norman MacArthur in 2000 in order to secure legal rights. Today, the two are married. (Photo: Matt slocum/AP Photo)

So in 2000, the two went through with a legal adoption. Since both men’s parents were dead, the adoption proceeding was fairly easy. “It wasn’t as though I was replacing one parent with another,” MacArthur says. “I was the son and Bill was the father. Bill is two years older than I am, so that was the only reason.”

Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director at Lambda Legal, says that while adoptions like these aren’t common, they aren’t unheard of, either. “It reflects people’s deep need to protect each other as family, and the attempt to use law that obviously isn’t a perfect fit to their situation to protect each other,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “While we’ve had a patchwork nation and people have been desperate to take care of each other in some basic way legally, people have sometimes gotten creative to do what they need to do to protect each other as a family. It’s entirely understandable.”

But when Pennsylvania’s marriage laws, which prohibited same-sex marriage, were declared unconstitutional last year, MacArthur and Novak wanted to marry. “As marriage equality, which we’ve fought so hard for, is becoming more available, it makes sense that people would pursue the legal option that more closely explains who they are to each other,” Gorenberg says. “Marriage is the better fit, and if it was available without discrimination, it is what they would have chosen originally.”

The couple’s original lawyer told them that no court would dissolve an adoption unless another person adopted MacArthur. “I said, ‘that makes no sense to me,’ so we began to look around for other options,” he says. Terry Clemons, a lawyer MacArthur knew through volunteer work on the township’s land preservation movement, suggested that the courts might look favorably on a petition to vacate an adoption if it was made clear that the only reason for the original adoption was to give a legal underpinning to the relationship.

The couple went to court on May 14 in hopes the judge would sign the petition to vacate their adoption so they could get legally married. “When we went to court my knees were knocking, but at the end of the hearing Terry said, ‘we’re hoping you will sign the order to vacate the adoption from the bench,’ and the judge said ‘I will happily do that,’” MacArthur says. “We had 30 friends in court to show that this case was out of the ordinary — though the judge knew that — and when the judge signed the order our friends burst into applause and I burst into tears.”

The case is the first time in Pennsylvania that an adoption between a same-sex couple has been vacated in order to allow the couple to marry, according to a statement from Clemons.

Ten days later, the two went from father and son to married couple. “We wanted to get the marriage done fairly quickly after the court vacated the adoption,” MacArthur says. “At that point we didn’t have any legal protection so we wanted to get it taken care of.”

The wedding was a small private ceremony conducted by an old friend of the couple’s who is an Episcopalian priest. “I feel incredibly happy. It’s the only way I can describe it – just enormously happy,” MacArthur says. “It was very much worth the wait.”

Original Story

xoxo

LOVE always and forever,

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5 Things Adopted Guys Need To Know Before They Date

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There are certain issues that often come with being an adopted kid. Adopted guys, just like many other men, tend to take much longer to admit that they have issues and to deal with them.   I guess they don’t think people would be very understanding of them having issues because their mommy left them. It’s really much more complex than that. But if you really want to marginalize the issues….”mommy issues” does the trick.  
5 Things Adopted Guys Need to Know Before They Date. 

1 – You are super difficult to deal with when you react out of your adoption issues whilst insisting that you do not have adoption issues. 

If you don’t want to admit you have adoption issues, then at least admit that you have issues. It is ok to have emotions. We all have them. Work through your issues. If you don’t, you’ll be super stressful to date and those adoption issues you claim not to have will successfully destroy every relationship you are in. Take control, work through your issues and successful relationships are yours for the taking!

Continue reading

The 7 Best and Worst Things About Being an Only Child

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1 – You get your way. Simply because you have no competition.

1 – You don’t have anyone to compete with. Competition is a good skill to have!

2 – You get your own bedroom. Continue reading