Adoption Made Me An Entrepreneur?

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Entrepreneurship has been art of my heart and soul since I was a kid.  It recently crossed my mind that maybe adoption prepared me for entrepreneurship in some way.  Maybe it prepared me for the adversity?  Maybe it gave me a hunger for doing things differently?  Maybe it made me more able to face rejection?

I thought about it a bit and shared my thoughts on America Adopts!  Check it out here.  Share with anyone you think might relate and please give me your thoughts!  Can being an adopted kid really influence your career choice?

And remember to support That Adopted Girl in creating self-worth empowerment events for girls in the foster care system by sharing on social media and making donations (100% of which go towards the organization) at thatadoptedgirl.com/donate.

All the best,

J

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6 Year Old Helps other kids by Donating to Awareness Campaign

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A little girl named Jade, 6 years old, painted these pictures in her art therapy session and donated them to the That Adopted Girl National Adoption Month awareness art gallery show. She really wanted to help the cause and we were MORE than happy to add her pieces to the show heart emoticon. Jade unfortunately lost a parent to illness a couple of years ago so when she heard what foster kids experience she connected to it on some level. She said that she could be in foster care if she had lost both parents, which she really hopes never happens. Both of Jade’s paintings sold today!!! Imagine, 6 years old with a huge heart wanting to help raise awareness for other kids, and now also having sold her first art pieces!

Thank you SO much Jade for your contribution!

YOU can join Jade by making a contribution to the awareness campaigns, empower hours and other life changing programs at www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com.

(* Name has been changed to protect identity)

Have You Seen This Amazing National Adoption Month Awareness Project?

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The That Adopted Girl ‘ Forgotten Futures’ gallery opening last night held at EDEN Art Studio and Gallery in The Arts Factory was awesome! We are immensely proud of this awareness campaign during National Adoption Month. The campaign and the opening night manifested almost exactly as we envisioned! The vibe was just right with music by Vertex, wine from Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits , gourmet popcorn from Popped and incredible people from across the Las Vegas Valley.

The pieces in Forgotten Futures were created from the hearts, minds and experiences of foster youth, former foster youth and local Las Vegas artists. They are inspiring and powerful, and they speak volumes about the kids in the foster care system and of adopted kids across the U.S.

Guests were looking at the paintings, reading the stories that went with each painting and raising their social consciousness. More than once we heard “I didn’t know that kind of thing happened” and “WOW.”

A BIG thank you to everyone who came and showed support, made generous donations and purchased some of the art pieces. We had so much fun and are excited for the next 2 weeks of the show! Take some time this week to experience Forgotten Futures by That Adopted Girl.

– The team at That Adopted Girl
Learn more and contribute at www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com

PS
You can visit the gallery anytime between now and December 4th at EDEN Gallery at 107 E. Charleston Blvd.
Also on closing night December 4th the whole team will be at the gallery 6-10!

For more information contact coordinator@thatadoptedgirl.com

To learn more about That Adopted Girl and to make a donation to the cause, visit http://www.ThatAdoptedGirl.com

If you would like to visit the gallery show, it is up until December 4th (First Friday) at the EDEN gallery at 107 E. Charleston Blvd!

 

What Are You Supposed To Say During National Adoption Month?

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It is National Adoption Month – an entire month dedicated to the population that That Adopted Girl Inc. serves and I have been struggling.  I have been struggling with determining the way to powerfully get the message about foster care and adoption across to the general population this month.  Truly I have been struggling with what in the world “the message” actually is or what it should be.

Is “the message” that we need more foster parents in the U.S.?  Is it that we need more people to adopt children from the U.S.?  Is it that we as a society need to look out for these kids and care for the kids while they are in the system, whether we are foster parents or not?

OR

Is “the message” about the effect adoption has on kids?  Is it about the effect that foster care has on kids?  Is it to focus on WHY there are so many kids in the system each year and how the root of the problem can be dealt with?  Is it shining a light on the stats about adoption/foster care and mental health, suicide, eating disorders, learning difficulties, addiction and attachment issues…?

OR

Is it about the issues within the foster care system?  Is it about the experiences of children within the foster care system?  Is it about the experiences of adopted kids?

Do any of these messages have power without the others?  Is there one in particular that would get more people to really care?  Most causes have one strong message, and everyone who cares deeply about the cause stands together and perpetuates that one message.  Then, over time that message becomes well-known among the general population.

When it comes to foster care and adoption there are so many issues to focus on. Everyone who cares about foster care and adoption recognizes each of the issues within the cause, but do not all agree on which issue is most important.  Therefore, unlike many other worthy causes, this cause lacks a solid single message.   Then, is it possible that it is difficult to get people to act because they are not sure what they can do to help?  They don’t know where to focus and they believe that if they aren’t going to foster or adopt that there isn’t much they can do?  Are foster child advocates confusing people by having so many different issues within one cause?  Is it overwhelming?  Is that why we are struggling to get more people to care? I’m talking autism awareness/breast cancer research/animal rescue – level caring.

HOW do we get people to care?  How do we get people to do more than say “oh that’s so sad” when they hear about foster kids?  How do we get people to DO something, to take action, to pay attention?  Or at the very least to donate so other people can do something about the issues?

WHAT do people need to hear in order to realize that it is really important to our society as a whole that we collectively give a $#!+ about our kids in the foster care system?

Have foster kids been written off as a First World problem?  Are they not important enough to care about?  Or is it that when people donate to care for orphans in Third World countries, the people pitied are “others” – separated from the great U.S.A?  Is it that if people were to focus on our foster kids they would have to pity their own, and admit that there are some Third World status issues happening within our First World, family values oriented country?

PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.  I think it is crazy that there are hundreds of thousands of children without permanent families.  Seriously.  As a child, isn’t having parents a natural-born right?  A human right?  What is it about the kids in the system that makes them unworthy of that human right?

Children are our future.  Right?  How can we as a society justify forgetting hundreds of thousands of futures every year?  How do child advocates raise social awareness to remind everyone about the large population of forgotten futures?

We should be doing EVERYTHING possible to help these kids while they are in the system and to help these kids get out of the system.  Focus on their personal development and self-worth while they are in the system like That Adopted Girl Inc. does.  Pair kids with supportive families like the Dave Thomas Foundation does.  Provide some dignity by replacing garbage bags with duffel bags for carrying belongings from home to home like Together We Rise does.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, how do we get people to realize that this is a HOPEFUL cause?

How do we explain the dichotomy of intense struggles with an immense desire and potential for light, growth and success?

How do we enlighten people to the fact that foster parenting is not the only way to make a positive impact in the lives of these children?  Yes, there is an immense need for more quality foster homes.  But, if you are not able or prepared to foster a child, there are other ways to help!

Our overall goal with any cause is for people to act, donate and care.  If we can reach people and get them to act, donate and care…then those people can tell other people and the movement to improve the lives of America’s children will grow exponentially.

What is “the message?” 

Any ideas?

I guess, take whichever issue that you think is most important and compelling within the cause and frame your message with “Act. Donate.Care.” in mind.

For newcomers, choose whichever issue you think is most important and compelling within the cause and stick to that for now.

The That Adopted Girl Inc message this year will be: There are some great kids in the foster care system.  It is really important to our society as a whole that we collectively give a $#!+ about these kids.  Let’s join together to raise social awareness and improve the lives of America’s children!

Make a donation at ThatAdoptedGirl.com

xoxo

Juliana Whitney

Founder & President

That Adopted Girl Inc.

2 Indisputable FACTS about Foster Care

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Share and learn more at ThatAdoptedGirl.com

  

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,

TAG

 

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How To Choose Between a Domestic Abuse Addict and a Corrupt Filipino Politician (Mayweather v. Pacquiao)

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Tonight Mayweather fights Pacquiao in my hometown!

Who will win?!  I have no idea.  I don’t really care.

BUT I live in Vegas so people keep asking me who I want to win.

I had to make a decision so I could have an answer for this question! Continue reading