The things some adopted kids are afraid to talk about for fear of sounding ungrateful.

Adoption is a complex thing for everyone involved. Even the kids.

It can be a wonderful thing when a family takes the plunge and brings a child into their home. It can be pretty rewarding. But sometimes families that are adopting children can face many challenges in the process.

What people often don't consider when talking about adoption, however, is that the children who are adopted can face many challenges too. For their entire lives. For example, adopted children are four times more likely to attempt suicide. For international adoptees, that rate is even higher.


Shaaren was adopted when she was 4 months old.

Last year she wrote an article for The Washington Post in which she shared her story and made clear that, for children who are adopted, coming to terms with that part of their lives isn't always all sunshine and rainbows (emphasis mine):

"At 4 months old, I was flown from my orphanage in India to my adoptive parents in Groton, Mass. I would never say I didn’t have a good childhood — I did. My life was enviable in too many ways to mention. But what’s also true is that adoption is a traumatic, lifelong experience that is rarely recognized as one. Unfortunately, there is no way to convince a non-adoptee that adoption is hard and that its effects continue into adulthood unless that person is willing to hear it. And in my experience, few have been.

In response to her piece, Shaaren says that she received a ton of angry messages from people who told her she should just be grateful, she should be ashamed of herself for feeling this way.

But, she says there was a silver lining too — in the form of letters from adoptees who felt they couldn’t share their own complicated feelings about being adopted until she started the conversation. Watch her talk about it in the video below.

So, what do you think — are you willing to hear her story?

And more importantly, are you game to help others hear her perspective too?

True

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.