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Life

Bringing a Special Needs Child into Adulthood, a Father’s Story

Mackenzie Freeman

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With a big smile and average height, Eddie Giese seems like a regular middle-class dad who likes video games, fishing and loves his family. However, Eddie’s life is much different than other fathers with children. He married Stephanie, his high school sweetheart in 2006, and never anticipated the unconventional family they would build.

Soon after their marriage, Eddie was attending training classes and started the steps toward the certifications for adoption. As a newlywed, he was first reluctant since his career was taking off, but Stephanie was determined to adopt, and they did. During his classes, Eddie realized how much he also wanted to adopt a child. In 2008, they fostered and adopted Nicholas at the young age of just 18-months. Over the next couple of years, the couple had two biological children then Eddie pushed Stephanie to adopt two more children from traumatic backgrounds. This brought their family to vie children between the ages of 8 and 13.

Their child Nicholas, who is now entering the teenage world was diagnosed with Intellectually Disable Disorder with a General Mood Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder. Doctors are unable to pinpoint whether the cause of his ailment is the result of autism or his traumatic background since the behaviors mimic one another. Regardless of the challenges Nicolas faces, Eddie supports and advocates for him while exuding patience and forgiveness.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that there are 437,000 children in foster care in the United States alone, on any given day. With the average age of eight, these children have been subjected to a world of trauma before even entering a foster home. Unfortunately, many children are further exposed to neglect or abuse in a system that is supposed to protect them. This statistic and common result constantly weigh on Eddie.

As Eddie has learned with his children, fatherhood is a balance between rule enforcement and love. He has been sharing an amazing bond with Nicholas by taking him fishing and doing common chores around the house. Eddie must next prepare Nicholas to become a man. According to Autism Speaks, parents must start preparing their children for adulthood around 14 years old. The first step Eddie showed Nicholas was how to use a razor.

Eddie admits that he was getting emotional during this father-son bonding moment and it was especially moving since Nicholas has an intellectual disability. Eddie attempted to go through the shaving process as slowly as possible and highlight best practices and what not to do with a razor.

Stephanie has been impressed with Eddie’s patience and drive with their entire family. She has appreciated his willingness to take equal responsibility for all daily tasks like diaper changes, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the garbage, and puke-related cleanup when the children were babies.

As Nicholas moves more into adulthood, Eddie is concerned with his ability to manage emotions and control impulses. While the lack of control is troublesome, they are confident that with positive parenting, they can overcome this challenge. They have already seen a great deal of progress within the past year which presents a great deal of hope that he can live independently in the future and have a positive impact on those around him. Nicholas has incredible musical abilities so this could be a great career path for his future.

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Life

35 Life Hacks That Will Revolutionize Your Life

Lea Lomas

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Life is all about learning and as we age, boy, do we learn a lot! In order to make the most out of the wisdom we gain from age, we’ve decided to collect 35 of the most clever life hacks on the internet. You can use these simple life hacks for everything from work and travel to getting chores done faster around the house. 

Once you learn these life hacks, you will never want to go back!

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Life

35 Life Hacks That Will Revolutionize Your Life

Sherry Rucherman

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Life is all about learning and as we age, boy, do we learn a lot! In order to make the most out of the wisdom we gain from age, we’ve decided to collect 35 of the most clever life hacks on the internet. You can use these simple life hacks for everything from work and travel to getting chores done faster around the house. 

Once you learn these life hacks, you will never want to go back!

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Animals

A Koala Mother Babysits Three Joeys

Mackenzie Freeman

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The parents who have several young children at home often talk about the challenges that they face. Caring for even one very young child is certainly difficult. Having three kids like this just multiplies all of the associated obstacles. Strangely enough, many animal parents don’t quite seem to have the exact same issues. Then again, it’s possible that koala parents might have some of the same problems. 

Very young children tend to squirm and kick whenever they’re held. Parents who have twins sometimes have a difficult time holding both of the kids at once for that reason. They might get used to it, but it still might pose a lot of challenges physically. These situations are even tougher on the parents who actually have triplets. There are koala mothers who have to care for three joeys at once. A koala mother at the Billabong Zoo was in that situation recently. 

Human parents have certain inherently advantages. The fact that humans are comparatively tall certainly helps. Human infants and toddlers are very small compared to their parents. Many animal parents are not as fortunate, including the koala mother at Australia’s Billabong Zoo.

While these koala joeys are actually capable of climbing trees on their own, they seem to prefer resting on her back. While they’re still smaller than she is, the size difference is actually relatively modest. The mother koala seems to be only around three times the size of each individual joey. Since there are three of them, she seems to be at least somewhat overwhelmed. 

The koala joeys can’t seem to sit still, and all four of them seem as if they’re struggling to get comfortable and stay that way. They aren’t resting peacefully on the mother’s back. Instead, they’re constantly shifting and stepping on her. As this is happening, she’s still trying to hold onto the tree. They almost look as if they’re scratching her at times, which is enough to make anyone feel sorry for the mother koala.

It’s an entertainingly adorable image, but the mother koala still seems to be struggling to keep up with all of these joeys. She’s being remarkably patient, especially when people consider the situation overall. These koala joeys were not actually hers. She was just looking after them.

This sort of thing might surprise a lot of people, since koalas are not especially social animals. In fact, plenty of relatively unsocial animals will care for babies that aren’t theirs. They’ll still have the caregiver instinct, which can be helpful in a zoo environment. 

Koala joeys are actually very strongly connected to their parents emotionally. They spend months in pouches, and aren’t even remotely independent for a full year. It takes them even more time to become truly independent, and they’re still very attached to their parents from that point onward. This koala is not actually their mother, but they have the same sort of bonding instinct that her actual children would have. She’s acting as their mother, and that appears to be good enough for the joeys. 

Even though they could spend time on the tree alone, many of them are not going to want to do so. Koalas are generally very inactive animals. The mother koala in particular just seems to want to rest, and the joeys are not making that easy. Still, as energetic as they are, the joeys still settle down some of the time. 

It almost looks as if all four of them are going to fall any second. Still, all koalas are adapted to this sort of situation, and they’re astonishingly good at staying on trees. 

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