+
upworthy
Family

'She just needed somebody to help her'—principal adopts student after she's suspended

An unlikely family will celebrate their ninth Christmas together this year.

principal adopts student adoption, adoption stories, foster care
Canva

Girl sitting in detention

Get ready folks, this story is a bit of a tearjerker.

Back in 2015, Jason Smith, a school principal, met a sixth-grade girl sitting outside his office, waiting to be reprimanded for throwing yogurt at a classmate during lunch.

That girl, Raven Whitaker, would later become his daughter.

Smith recalled with Good Morning America that the 11-year-old looked like a “sweet,” “innocent” child as she admitted to him what she had done.

Trying to reason with her, Smith asked, "Well, if you were out at a restaurant, would you do that there?'"

And that was when Raven told him that she had never really been to a restaurant. As she explained to WTHR, she had spent most of her life in the foster care system, suffering under terrible conditions, and was currently living in a group home.

This immediately touched Smith. "At that point, I had felt like she just needed a hand, needed help," he told GMA. "I recognized that she needed something to go in her favor, maybe for once, that it hadn't gone in her favor in the past, but she just needed somebody to help her."

Smith went home to explore the idea of fostering Raven with his wife Marybeth. This was, understandably, a touchy subject, as the couple had wanted children of their own and not only struggled through infertility treatments, but also already had fostered kids.

But Marybeth knew her husband must have felt “passionate” about it, so they gave it some thought. And eventually they reached out to begin the fostering process. Raven ended up moving into their home in June 2015. And on Nov. 3, 2017, as Raven entered high school, the Smiths formally adopted her.

Despite it seeming strange at first, Raven noted that the Smiths made her “feel extremely welcome, like I was already in the family. They got everything that I needed without even knowing that I would be there forever. They just did it."

She even looks back and says she “always knew” that the Smiths would end up being her permanent family. And with that support system in place, Raven Whitaker (make that Raven Whitaker-Smith) overcame the odds. Now 20, Raven is in college studying social work and sharing her story to offer some hope to others in similar situations.

It’s amazing what miracles can happen for kids when they are placed in a loving environment. As principal-turned-dad Jason Smith told GMA, “there are no bad children…given the right opportunity, given the proper support, love and affection, all children can be successful."

Watch the full story below.

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

Keep ReadingShow less
Meta/Cristina Martinez

Cristina Martinez

In the age of artificial intelligence and virtual reality it’s easy to assume that original art is in jeopardy of being replaced by technology. But Cristina Martinez, an Afro-Latina contemporary artist known for her fine art content on Instagram, sharing the often-untold stories of Black and Brown people, is an example of how technological innovations can enhance the artistic process and help bring voices to often underserved communities.

Herdandez recently took part in the Meta Sonic Listening Party in Miami, an event that brought together artists from various disciplines to collaborate in unique ways as part of Meta’s “It’s Your World” campaign, designed to bring. together emerging artists, musicians and Creators to reimagine the next generation of creative expression.

Martinez spoke with Upworthy about her experience taking part in the Meta Sonic Listening Party and how new technology is shaping her as an artist and storyteller.


Keep ReadingShow less

Woman learns lesson in kindness after date apologizes.

How you treat people in the service industry is often used as a measure of what kind of person you are. Arguably, the same could be said for how you treat anyone in a customer-facing job, whether it be the sales associate at a department store, the cashier at McDonald's or the janitor in your office building.

While people may think that these jobs are not skilled positions, they do require an immense amount of skill that has to be learned. The skill just isn't as valued by society as a whole, and sadly, that often leads to people treating those in customer-facing jobs poorly. But when a woman recently went on a date with a potential partner, her poor behavior towards the waitstaff caused him to pause.

The story was shared by a woman by the name of Barbara NOT Barb on Twitter with a lengthy thread about her daughter's recent interaction. Though the details were juicy, it quickly became obvious that kindness is the way to go.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tom Hanks and Bill Murray


What do you think?


via Reasons My Son is Crying/Facebook

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ANSWER

Given the narrow beauty standards in Hollywood, there are a lot of actors and actresses that look look amazingly similar.

Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt look a lot alike…

Keep ReadingShow less


Asexuality is often misunderstood.

In general, it's believed to be the absence of any romantic interest, but asexual identity actually means that a person is not sexually attracted to anyone. Romantic feelings and the strength of those feelings can vary from person to person.

Currently, about 1% of adults have no interest in sex, though some experts believe that number could be higher. For a long time, information on asexuality was limited, but researchers recently have found information that gives us more knowledge about asexuality.

Being asexual can be tough, though — just ask the artists from Empathize This.

To demonstrate, they put together a comic on asexuality, defining it as a sexual orientation, not a dysfunction:

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

This innocent question we ask boys is putting more pressure on them than we realize

When it's always the first question asked, the implication is clear.


Studies show that having daughters makes men more sympathetic to women's issues.

And while it would be nice if men did not need a genetic investment in a female person in order to gain this perspective, lately I've had sympathy for those newly woke dads.

My two sons have caused something similar to happen to me. I've begun to glimpse the world through the eyes of a young male. And among the things I'm finding here in boyland are the same obnoxious gender norms that rankled when I was a girl.

Keep ReadingShow less