Adoption - Not A Plan B

Adoption - Not A Plan B

The stigma against adoption has got to go!

It seems like in American culture, adoption is always a last resort. In movies or TV, adoption is an option for two kinds of people: celebrities/rich people who adopt children from other countries (with the implication being that it's just for the press) or couples who can't have children. It's always really bothered me that people act like adoption is something that should only be done when all other options are taken away. Even worse is when adoption is looked down on. I can remember when I was a kid, a friend of mine whispering to me about how another kid in our class was adopted, as if he was telling me they were a leper. I'm positive we've all seen a TV show or movie where a kid is teased by being told they're adopted (whether it's true or not) and it's a staple of storytelling to have parents struggle with telling their adopted kid that they're adopted. These are things that we need to work out of our way of thinking.

To begin with, let's get rid of all this blood is thicker than water nonsense. About three years ago I gave a speech at my sister's wedding about how blood may be thicker than water, but it's love that is thickest of all. Just because a person is adopted or married into the family does not mean that they are any less a part of that family. Your family is the people that you love most in the world. They're the people that you drop everything for to help. Sure, you might not like all of your family as people, but that doesn't mean you stop loving them. We need to stop with this Godfather nonsense where we act like anyone who isn't born with our blood isn't the same as the rest of the people in the family.

Adoption shouldn't be considered just a plan B to having children naturally. That isn't to say it can't be, for those couples who find themselves unable to have kids naturally, but just that we should stop considering adoption only as an option for these couples. There are more than 400,000 kids in America alone, right now, who need parents. Do you know how many married couples there are? More than 2 million (in 2014). Isn't it staggering to think that any of the kids who need parents aren't snatched up? I mean, that 2 million doesn't even count those people who don't want to or weren't legally allowed to get married in 2014! Why does it matter so much that our kids should share our DNA? Sure, they might not look like you, but if you raise them and love them, they'll probably end up acting, at least a little, like you. Isn't that enough?

Stop acting like finding out someone is adopted is like finding out they're from Mars. Let's stop acting like adopting a kid is like giving up a kidney to a stranger. These things are what makes it so hard for parents to decide how to tell their adopted kids about their origin. Parents don't want to lie to their kid, but they also don't want the child to feel like they love them less. This societal mindset of adopted = weird/loved less makes it hard for parents to tell their adopted child that it doesn't mean anything. Because, and here's the kicker, it doesn't mean anything. If you love someone like they're your kid - then they're your kid. Plain and simple.

So, seriously, let's knock it off.

Cover Image Credit: Go Fund Me

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?


With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.

We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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