After adopting 7 kids, this lesbian couple is advocating for unconditional love.
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Judy Mitchell and Robyn Moreland are the kind of couple that should never have problems becoming parents.

Marriage has been a major roadblock for same-sex couples looking to adopt in the U.S., and the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage isn't the be-all and end-all solution to their problems. This family is no exception.

Both women knew they wanted to have kids, and they found someone to share that with in each other.

Judy and Robyn met at a school they both taught at and have been together for roughly 13 years. When Judy failed to get pregnant via in-vitro fertilization, they looked to adoption to build their family.


Pictured: cuties. All GIFs and images via Ziniu Chen/Vimeo.

They now have seven adorable children. Most of them are young enough that they don't have memories of their lives before being adopted, but the couple's oldest children do.

Chase and Saydai were adopted when they were 10 and 8 years old, respectively. The brother-sister pair had been in foster care since they were 5 and 3, after someone discovered them behind a warehouse by themselves. They had been wandering the streets for a week in the July heat with no shoes, no food, and no water.

Judy and Robyn have an infinite amount of unconditional love for their children.

Don't just take my word for it, take Chase's:

He dreams of dodging his younger brother's wicked fastball.

Plus, being out of the foster care system will make it much easier for Chase and his siblings find jobs and pursue higher education in the future:

"I personally have friends who are still in group homes right now, and I know it is a lot more difficult for them to get a job or to get the financial aid to go to college," says Chase. "When I moved in with Judy and Robyn, there's more likelihood that I will be able to access those resources that are available to me."

Even though Chase, Saydai, and their adopted siblings were able to get out of the foster care system, their family faced legal challenges in the process.

One of the biggest challenges of all?

Robyn is the only legal guardian of all seven children, meaning Judy's rights as a parent are few to none.

What would happen if Robyn, who ended up applying as the guardian, became seriously ill? What if something happened to one of the kids and Judy was barred from coming to their aid because she isn't their legal guardian?

Robyn describes the extra precautions they had to take to protect their children:

"We had to go and get wills, have everything set out legally so that if something were to happen to me, the kids would be able to stay with Judy because otherwise the state would take them."

This summer's marriage equality ruling was historic. But gay couples are still fighting for their right to adopt.

Some recent (and pretty eye-opening) challenges include:

Yet, over 400,000 children were in the U.S. foster care system as recently as 2013.

Judy and Robyn's kids found their family, and their family should be recognized as such.

Watch them tell their story here:

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.