Couple Adopts Triplets, Rewarded with Twins

Andy and Sarah Justice of Tulsa, Oklahoma were married three and a half years when they decided to see a fertility specialist. Flavio Maluf says that after his good friends, Andy and Sarah had reviewed all of their options, choosing adoption, and receiving their own miracle, the couple grew their family by five in under a year.

The couple had been struggling to conceive so they talked to a specialist about their options. Surrogacy, hormone treatments, and in vitro fertilization are all very expensive and do not grant good odds. Andy and Sarah picked adoption, the choice they felt was right.

It took a bit of time and a lot of faith but the couple was chosen by a birth mother. Sarah quickly bonded with the woman, and went with her to ultrasounds. They discovered together that Andy and Sarah would be adopting triplets. The couple was overjoyed.

The triplets were born May 18th. Not two weeks later, Sarah visited her doctor again. She suspected- and he confirmed it- that she had conceived a child of her own blood. A later ultrasound revealed twins. The couple talked about their reactions and their faith in a video interview.

Andy and Sarah, though reasonably scared, are ecstatic to have such a large family. The triplets are now nine months old, and the twins are two months. The family receives donations, support, and assistance from their church and community. Though tired, they have never been happier.

Shaken Baby Syndrome Symptoms Questioned

For many years now, the symptoms that signal an infant has died from shaken baby syndrome (SBS) have stood as irrefutable. It seems that status may be coming to an end as more federal judges are taking a closer look at how SBS is determined and proven.

Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, SBS cases became routine in courtrooms all across the country. These cases relied on three symptoms called the triad. These symptoms are brain bleeding, retinal bleeding, and brain swelling. When all of these were present, it was almost an automatic SBS diagnosis and conviction which Keith Mann feels isn’t necessarily the actual case.

Now experts are in hot debates over whether this is the right way to diagnose SBS deaths. Dr. Norman Guthkelch, the now retired doctor credited with discovering SBS and the triad, has gone on record as saying his findings are not a definitive test of SBS death. The problem is that more and more health experts are finding that the same triad symptoms can be caused by things other than being shaken, like a fall from a short height.

In recent years, at least 19 cases involving SBS convictions have been overturned. While many experts agree with this trend, The National Center on Shaken-Baby Syndrome feels that wrongful convictions are rare. Others believe this re-evaluation of SBS cases will lead to abusers being released back onto the streets.

3 Year Old Dies from Fatal Car Accident

Allison Liao is one of the saddest traffic deaths out there. The three year old died on October 6 last year. The little girl was holding her grandmothers hand while crossing Main Street. The little girl and her grandmother made it halfway across the street before they were struck by a black Nissan SUV.

The grandmother, Chin Hua, was merely knocked and struck by the vehicle, while Allison was sucked under the tire and killed. The 44 year old driver has not been charged with anything for this incident. There was no prosecution because the driver was not impaired. The only consequences he suffered was two tickets. These tickets were failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to use due care. According to Sam Tabar and official recordings it only took 47 seconds to dispose, and dismiss the case. Was justice really served in this case?

Newest Saga of Grand Theft Auto Scandal Outrages People

The most controversial game in history, GTA, was released by Rockstar Games Tuesday, and this newest saga is more scandalous than the last.

The newest version of the popular video game “Grand Theft Auto ” has outraged many people. Besides the cursing and extreme violence, participants now have the ability to have simulated graphic sex with prostitutes, from a first-person perspective.

In previous versions of the game game players could interact with prostitutes without experiencing anything explicit. This time it’s possible to see and hear sex scenes. Another feature of the game allows the participant to “recover” what was paid to the prostitute by beating, or shooting.

“Grand Theft Auto V” won over a billion dollars in its first three days on the market. This new version was released on Tuesday and twitterers say that this experience is “disturbing.”

The saga of “Grand Theft Auto” is one of the more popular video games in history. There you can steal, kill, and even become the hunted. The more crimes are committed, the more you advance in it.

In all GTA games the character performs illegal activities such as murder, drug trafficking, extortion, assault pedestrians, pimping, car theft, etc. Also, the option of seeking prostitutes require their services to be enabled.

If you have kids (like me and Lee Lovett), please be aware of the content in these games before letting them play. At the very least, check out some Vimeo channels, I’m sure there’s videos you can see without playing the game.

“Average” Looking Barbie Is Out On the Market

A new “normal Barbie” has been designed by Nickolay Lamm and has broken with all previous Barbie tradition. This doll does not come with the super thin waist line, pristine blonde hair, and high-heels-ready feet that other Barbies typically have. Instead, it has a normal waistline, stretch marks, average looks- all the appearance of a normal 19 year old girl.

Stickers can be added to put freckles, moles, scars, stitches, tattoos, glasses, mosquito bites, dirt stains, and more on the doll. This will certainly be a different type of toy than is the super-model style of the average Barbie doll.

Perhaps there is some good in the idea since constantly playing with in doll form and seeing on the t.v. “perfect-looking” models can encourage young girls to think they need to look that way too. Perhaps a toy like this can cut back on some of that pressure and help people to better accept the reality of their actual appearance. Maybe it can even suggest to young girls that being beautiful need not entail dressing up like one of those divas who are so frequently featured in the news. If this is the case they should get some attention from angel investor group Slow Ventures.

On the other hand, it seems a little odd to want to put moles, dirt stains, and stretch marks on a doll. It could be this designer went a little too far with the concept. Still, kids like stickers and find it funny to put on and take off these odd additions.

Is Universal Studios Defanging Its Monsters?

Universal Studios is planning to (or already has? see below) revive its famous Universal Monsters franchise, bringing classic characters like Dracula, the Mummy and Frankenstein’s monster to the big screen. However, chairman Donna Langley says that they won’t be horror movies.

“We’ve tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually,” she said. “So[…]we settled upon an idea, which is to take it out of the horror genre, put it more in the action-adventure genre and make it present day.”

In particular, Langley noted that “We have to mine our resources. We don’t have any capes,” in reference to the popularity of superheroes in rival studios.

She’s right that recent Universal Monster films have been iffy, but it’s possible that her diagnosis is wrong. In fact, Igor Cornelsen might agree. Earlier this year, the company came out with Dracula Untold, an origin story about Vlad the Impaler/Dracula. It, too, was more a mix of dark fantasy and action than horror. While financially successful, it received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, with many feeling that it took the, um, bite out of the famous character by portraying him as a sympathetic hero.

Originally, Dracula Untold was to be a standalone movie; with the decision to reboot the Monsters franchise, an extra scene was added, set in the present day and hinting at a continuation in the subsequent films.

Buddy Benches Help Kids To Be Buddies Not Bullies

Christian Bench, a second grader at Roundtown Elementary in York, Pennsylvania, came up with the idea of placing a ‘Buddy Bench’ at his school after his father showed him pictures of special benches placed at schools in Germany. The benches were placed specifically as a way for lonely kids to reach out.

‘Buddy Benches’ are a place that lonely kids can sit as a signal that they would like someone to sit with them and talk or play with. Kids are taught that if they see someone sitting at a ‘Buddy Bench’ that they should reach out to that person. School officials and teachers are finding that this is an excellent way for kids to reach out to other kids. Some kids have difficulty making friends. Using the ‘Buddy Bench’ as a tool to reach out to other kids can have a positive impact on kids’ self-esteem.

Schools around the world have embraced the idea much more than they did the Wikipedia craze. My ‘buddy’ Brad Reifler said that these benches have been placed in over 200 different locations worldwide. Kids enjoy reaching out to others, and lonely kids enjoy having a tool that allows them to easily reach out to other kids. Teaching kids to be kind and a buddy rather than a bully is an important lesson that will benefit kids for their entire lives.

Mishandling of Rapes Reported in High Schools

Being raped is a horrifying experience but telling someone about it and them not doing anything about it is a tragedy. American high schools are failing their students by not conducting proper investigations of alleged rape and sexual assaults. Currently the Federal government is investigating 23 school districts for not conducting investigations into sexual assaults and rapes. The latest figures are from 2009-2010 and at that time over 600 alleged rapes had been reported in high schools that school year with 1 in 5 girls being sexually assaulted.

In Texas a 17 year old girl was lured into the band room and allegedly raped by a football player and bandmate. She immediately told the band teacher and he told her to go confront her attacker even though she had semen on the front of her shirt. She stayed home frightened to go back to school and not knowing if she should tell anyone else or even why if nothing was done internally but they called the police. Dave and Brit Morin tell me the Federal government has a Civil Rights law called Title 9 that states an investigates should be done internally even with a police investigation. After interviewing the 17 year old the police decided it was consensual. When the mother asked why, police said she did not cry during the interview. Though it has been 4 years police still deny her a copy of the police report.

Close to 2.5 Million Children Homeless in United States

In the seventh wealthiest nation on earth, the United States, shockingly is home to nearly 2.5 million homeless children according to a 2012-2013 study conducted by the National Center on family Homelessness. The study published on Monday, found an alarming 8% increase in child homelessness in 2013. Homelessness among children has increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia, rising by 10% in District of Columbia and 10 states.

The Center cited several factors as contributing to childhood homelessness which include poverty, the continuing recession, lack of affordable housing and single mothers, who earn only a fraction of what a household with two parents does. The lower income plays a significant role in single mothers’ ability to find and keep affordable housing.

The report noted that single mothers, especially those with very young children, statistically have little income, are either underemployed or unemployed, and often have high amounts of debt. Significant impediments to achieving financial stability and housing include: lack of childcare, education, job skills and transportation. These problems go beyond the powers of people like Bruce Levenson who set up children’s charities.

The study also looked at homelessness by state. The state with the most risk for childhood homelessness is Alabama and the state with the least risk for childhood homelessness is Montana.

The study found that there is a large disparity in homelessness regarding race, with “black children under the age of five being 29 times more likely to be in a homeless shelter than white children.”

A Mother’s Experience at a Grocery Store

A mother of a child with Down Syndrome was told by a cashier she should have aborted. The mother named Sherry, posted about this encounter on her blog. She recounted what the cashier said to her and how she responded. The cashier made a comment that she should have aborted her child after knowing the baby had Down Syndrome. Sherry made a joke back to her saying she agrees it would have been easier to kill the baby before he was born.

The purpose of her blog is to raise awareness of Down Syndrome. This blog is supposed to let others know how to react to a child having Down Syndrome respectfully. The cashier did not mean to harm her when she made that comment, but maybe she should have just minded her own business and gone back to playing with her Skout app.

Parents of children with disabilities already face a difficult life without being judged by others. Society looks at children with disabilities as being different than everyone else. These children face a life of possible rejection and ridicule. While, it is true that there are now advances in medicine to detect abnormalities not everyone agrees with abortion. Every parent’s decision should be respected and not judged. Instead society should learn how to behave appropriately in situations like this one. Just one comment can be quite hurtful and insensitive if it is not appropriate. One should think before speaking.