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Sandra Bullock nailed why we should stop saying 'adopted child'

All right, real talk: When's the last time you heard a parent refer to their kid as their "whoops, we forgot to use protection" child? What about their "it took a lot of help from doctors to make this happen" child?

No one talks like that! (OK, other than in a Judd Apatow comedy.) They'd sound ridiculous. Your kids are your kids — regardless of how they became a part of your family. Why do we so often forget to apply that understanding to children who've been adopted?


It's a question actress Sandra Bullock wants people to think about a bit more critically.

Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.

Bullock has two kids: 8-year-old Louis and 5-year-old Laila. Louis is the supersensitive one. "I call him my 78-year-old son," she recently told InStyle. And Laila is downright fearless. "She's a fighter, and that's the reason she's here today. She fought to keep her spirit intact."

Bullock adopted Louis in 2010 and Laila, who'd been in foster care, in 2015. When asked by InStyle's Glynis Costin if the overall situation for kids in foster care is improving, the actress got emotional: "Not quickly enough," she answered.

"Look: I'm all for Republican, Democrat, whatever," Bullock continued. "But don't talk to me about what I can or can't do with my body until you've taken care of every child who doesn't have a home or is neglected or abused."

The actress then brought up a great point: Why do we even feel it's necessary to use the term "adopted child"?

"It makes me teary-eyed [wells up]. Let's all just refer to these kids as 'our kids.' Don't say, 'my adopted child.' No one calls their kid their 'IVF child' or their 'Oh, shit, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child.' Let's just say, 'our children.'"

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Damn right, Bullock.

Hearing your kid referred to as an "adopted child" — as if it's crucial to qualify any kid as such — can be a hurtful way of suggesting, albeit unintentionally, that they're somehow less than your own.

It's an issue Upworthy writer Laura Willard explored in 2015: "9 things this adoptive mom would like everyone to know." In the piece, Willard noted how the language we use while speaking about parents who adopt or kids who've been adopted can make a world of difference.

For instance, please don't ask Willard if she plans to "have any kids of [her] own." Her kids are her own.

"It's a wording issue for most adults," Willard explained of the question. "But for kids who are struggling with attachment or working to feel secure in their families, those words matter. When you ask this in front of kids who were adopted, you might be shaking an already unstable foundation the family has worked hard to build."

These might seem like relatively small and inconsequential changes. But to parents and kids alike, they matter!

Families are not made with cookie cutters, after all. They come in all sizes, colors, ages, and genders — and no one construct is more legitimate than any other.

It's important that the language we use acknowledges this reality.

As Bullock told People magazine in 2015: “If a traditional home is one that is filled with lots of love and poop jokes, no sleep, schedule books filled with more kids' social events than adults' and lots of yelling over who touched who first … then I have a very traditional family."

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Democracy

Appalachian mom's speech on Kentucky's proposed abortion ban is a must-hear for everyone

Danielle Kirk is speaking up for those often overlooked in our cultural debates.

Canva, courtesy of Danielle Kirk

Appalachian mom gives passionate speech.

Many people felt a gut punch when the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision that protected a woman's right to an abortion. However, for some this was a call to action.

Danielle Kirk, 27, a mom of two and an activist on TikTok, used her voice in an attempt to educate the people that make decisions in her small town. Kirk lives in Kentucky where a trigger law came into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Being a former foster child, she knew she had to say something. Kirk spoke exclusively with Upworthy about why she decided to speak up.

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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