+

What comes to mind when you think about foster kids?

Maybe you imagine a troubled child who is a juvenile delinquent. Or an angry, "difficult" child that is never happy, like this:




Unfortunately tantrum-free children do not exist. Photo by Christine Szeto/Flickr.

There are plenty of stereotypes that exist for children who don't, for some reason, have a "forever family." By when you hear the words "foster kids," how often do you think of this:

Image via Together We Rise.

Over 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system are waiting for a permanent home.

And some never stop waiting. Many turn 18 before they can find a family, so more than 20,000 children end up aging out of the system every year. But with an estimated 81.5 million Americans who have considered adopting, the obvious question is "why?" If so many people want to be parents and so many kids need loving homes, why are so many children left in the foster care system?

Some advocates suspect the negative stereotypes of kids in foster care may be part of the reason.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of many foster children before the age 18. GIF from Together We Rise/Facebook.f

The advocacy group Together We Rise wants to help challenge these stereotypes.

One of the ways they do that is by sharing beautiful photos of children on one of the happiest days of their lives: adoption day. Posting them is one of the ways they hope to spread the word about adopting through foster care and reminding people that foster children are exactly that: precious children who deserve joy and bring happiness to thousands of families every day.


By sharing families' adoption day photos, they aim to flip the script on the conversation about the foster system by sharing success stories.

Adoption day photos (also lovingly called "gotcha day" photos) are pictures taken and shared as a public celebration of a foster child's adoption. The posts give us a real look at the face of foster care and the people who adopt children in the system.


These photos aren't just heartwarming — they're representative of the shift in attitudes about adoption.

A 2013 study by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption shows that Americans now have a more favorable view of adopting through foster care rather than international adoption or private infant adoption. And while the number of adoptions have dropped across the board, the amount of people adopting from foster care has actually increased.


A quick perusal of these photos make one thing clear: There's not just one type of foster kid. And they all deserve a permanent home.



Want to help the numbers to keep going in the right direction? Follow Together We Rise and spread the word. Let's create more "gotcha" moments and happy endings for the thousands of kids just waiting to be loved!

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.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
Keep ReadingShow less