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Ad Council - Adopt US Kids

For Scott and Amy Arntson the idea of adoption was always in the back of their minds.

They thought about adoption and talked about it over the years as their biological kids grew up, but the timing just never felt right. Then, two summers ago, they saw a news segment featuring a teenage boy who was waiting for an adoptive family. The segment showcased the hundreds of other teens in their state waiting for permanent families too.

That was it for them. "We looked at each other and said, 'yup, this is our time,'" recalls Amy.


So Scott and Amy began to research adoption from foster care, and quickly realized the great need for families to adopt teens. Roughly 43% of youths actively listed on AdoptUSKids.org are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old. This only solidified their desire to bring a teenager into their family.

The next step was discussing adoption with their kids, Ashleigh and Devan. They wanted it to be a family decision, so everyone had to be on board.

After several discussions over a few days, the kids felt good about it, and the Arntsons were ready to move forward with looking for their new family member.

Amy and Scott reached out to an adoption agency in their hometown of Duluth, Minnesota called North Homes Children and Family Services, and began the process. Eventually they were matched with a 17-year-old boy named Isaiah.

Almost immediately, Amy knew he was going to be a part of their family.

Isaiah is an athlete who enjoys running, and Scott is the head track and field coach at a local high school. Isaiah also has an amazing smile that can only be described as contagious.

Isaiah. All photos via the Arntsons, used with permission.

So Scott and Amy drove four hours to Isaiah's foster home to meet him.

"He’s the only child we ever met," says Amy. "As soon as I met him I knew that he would join our family."

Over dinner, they talked about the sports Isaiah plays and the town of Duluth, which Isaiah had visited and enjoyed. They also talked about math being a difficult subject for him and how Scott might be able to help, as he's also a math teacher. Even though it was their first time meeting, the family felt a connection almost instantly.

The Arntsons invited Isaiah to spend Thanksgiving with them, which was the day after they met him. Amy and her daughter, Ashleigh, drove eight hours to bring Isaiah back to their home for the holiday the very next day.

Between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Isaiah spent most of his weekends with the Arntsons, getting to know them and all their quirks. He was there for some sibling squabbles, two car breakdowns, and a performance by their family band. By the end of December, the Arntsons knew they wanted Isaiah to join their family, but recognized it had to be his decision.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for him to say, 'yes.'

Scott, Isaiah and Amy.

"When you hold a newborn baby in your arms, it’s the exact same thing as when you have a teenager who says they want to join your family," says Amy. "It's the most humbling, loving experience."

The official adoption day was moving for Isaiah too.

"Seeing my dad smile, that was pretty cool," he recalls. "He’s a serious guy, he always has that coach’s face and he smiled. It was a good day."

There was definitely an adjustment period for everyone after Isaiah moved in with the Arnstons.

For example, Amy felt like she needed to put extra effort in so Isaiah always knew that he was loved. One of the things Isaiah loves is scary movies, so she would go see them all in the theaters with him, even though she's not a scary movie person.

Scott also had some adjustments to make.

"I thought after raising two other teens I had an idea of how to raise a teen," he notes. "I was wrong."

The family also took Isaiah on vacations — something he hadn't really experienced before. They spent nights camping, playing games and sharing stories — and that's when Amy feels like Isaiah really started to let his guard down and opened up to them.

Devan, Ashleigh and Isaiah at Mount Rushmore.

Back at home, Isaiah had no trouble starting at his new school. Devan, now his older brother, was a senior there and took Isaiah under his wing at first, but Isaiah's infectious laughter and friendly personality helped him make new friends in no time.

And before the Arntsons knew it, they were experiencing all kinds of firsts with him — prom, getting his driver's license, high school graduation, and moving him into his freshman dorm at college.

Devan and Isaiah ready for prom.

Moving to college was a big deal and left Scott and Amy feeling incredibly proud and emotional, especially since Isaiah is their last child to leave the nest.

While these moments may not have been every first of his life, they were every bit as special.

Amy says she didn't need to rock Isaiah to sleep to love him — she loves him because he's her son.

She wants other prospective parents to know that when you adopt an older child, it doesn't mean they're going to leave when they turn 18. Just like any child, they want a family who will be there for them throughout their life.

When kids in foster care age out of the system, they often have little to no support. A permanent family provides a support system that will forever change their future.

"That's what having a family is," says Amy. "Someone who's there no matter what."

The learn more about the Arntsons, check out the video below:

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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