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Kraft Family Greatly

When Tremaine Maebry and Roland Locher decided to adopt, they tried to be as prepared as possible.

They read all the articles they could find on what to expect when adopting kids, took parenting classes, and Tremaine even reached out to writers of blogs like "Gays with Kids" to ask more questions.

So when they finally got their two sons, Jason and Jaelon, aged 7 and 9 respectively, the new dads felt truly ready to ace parenting.


However, they quickly learned that's pretty much impossible. There's no way to be fully prepared for all that comes with having kids.

"Nothing prepares you for the 'emotional component' of being a parent," writes Tremaine in an email. For example, he felt this instant, intrinsic need to protect them from the world's dangers.

Jason and Jaelon Maebry-Locher. All photos courtesy of Tremaine Maebry.

Tremaine was most concerned for his kids' well-being in a large, unpredictable city like Chicago.

In the beginning, he worried a lot about how two biracial (black/Hispanic) boys originally from rural Texas would handle such a lifestyle shift.

"Images and stories on TV of black and brown men and women being shot by police plagued me," explains Tremaine. "So my goal was to get them to respect and understand authority."

That was often easier said than done, considering that these boys were still learning what that means in the Maebry-Locher household.

So Tremaine assumed the role of disciplinarian — he's the one who sets and enforces the rules of their household. However, he always makes sure to talk them explicitly about why he's laying down the law when he does.

"Roland is the fun dad and I’m the mean one," writes Tremaine. "But I like that we have this balance."

That said, they're trying to be flexible with their parenting roles as the boys grow up.

But as any parent will tell you, it's not an exact science; all you can do is learn as you go.

Roland, Jason, and Jaelon on vacation in Costa Rica.

There may be some speed bumps along the way, but they're realizing having a family means approaching those issues together.

"We established an open dialog which encourages them to have an honest and open discussion of all things," explains Roland. "Though we may not like some of the things that we hear, if they come to us with anything, we will love them unconditionally. The important thing is to talk about things and take responsibility."

Sometimes the boys want to talk about their birth parents, and Tremaine and Roland always give them the space to do so. It can be hard, especially when they seem to want to ask why their parents left them, but Tremaine's trying to change their perspective.

"I might say, 'Your mommy loved you so much and wanted you to have a better life, one that she could not give you herself.'"

While it's occasionally about dealing with difficult things, family time is most often about sharing space, new experiences, and — above all — learning from each other.

The Maebry-Locher family ice skating.

That's why they have their nightly dinnertime ritual, which is "when we all check in on each other and find out what happened, what's going to happen, and what needs to happen," says Roland. "It's full of funny moments, teachable moments, emotional moments, and ebates."

And since the boys love to be active, they go on a lot of outdoor adventures.

They've also taken a lot of trips to visit family.

"Family is really important to us, and we want the boys to know all of their new extended family and be comfortable with them," writes Roland.

It was on one of those trips that Roland realized how attached their kids had grown to them. The boys were going off to spend time with his sister in Puerto Rico, and they were legitimately upset to leave their dads. It was both gut-wrenching and love-affirming all at the same time — ironically how many describe parenting in a nutshell.

Sometimes getting through the harder, complicated moments are the best reminders that you're doing all right as a parent.

The Maebry-Locher family knows they're not perfect, but Tremaine and Roland wouldn't want it any other way.

What's more, they want their kids to see their parents' flaws so that they know it's more than OK to have them and that working through them makes you stronger in the end.

"I don’t want my kids to see me as perfect," writes Tremaine. "I want them to see me as I am. I am a flawed human being. I will make mistakes. What I want my kids to see and notice is how I realistically deal with my mistakes."

Parenting, just like life, is a process, and each day comes with new challenges. These dads may not always get it right, but if they work together along the way, there's nothing they can't overcome.

Learn more about parents making their families great in their own, unique ways here:

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Myth: There’s one perfect way to family. Truth: There’s a billion ways to family greatly. Share with the people you think #FamilyGreatly”

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GOOD on Thursday, December 14, 2017
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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