Seven-year-old Charlotte Neve suffered a brain hemorrhage in April, and two operations to stop the bleeding had left her in a coma from which she wasn't expected to recover.
But when Charlotte's mom climbed into bed with her for a final goodbye cuddle, Adele's ''Rolling in the Deep'' came on the radio, and Leila Neve "started singing it to her because she loves her and we used to sing that song together."
Miraculously, Charlotte started smiling.
"I couldn't believe it," Neve says. "It was the first time she had reacted to anything since the hemorrhage. The nurses were astounded and told me to keep singing, and she smiled again."
Two days later, Charlotte was speaking. Now, two months later, she's back in school.
"How she's still here is beyond everybody," Neve says. "She was very lucky to survive."
Neo Huxtable at Mused is a gay man who wants to be a father. Just in time for Father's Day, he penned a letter to his future kid:
Dear future son (or daughter),
It's your dad. I can't wait to meet you! There's so much I want to do with you. I'm looking forward to the day when I can let go of your bicycle and watch you ride; to our regular Friday-after-school routine, when we stop at Baskin-Robbins to get some ice cream; to holding you tighter than the time before as you sleep serenely on my chest. I hope that you look like me, so everyone will look at you and say "you are your daddy's child!" I hope you inherit some of my mannerisms, like cracking your knuckles when you get nervous and not being able to hide your facial expressions. But there's one experience of mine I hope we never have to share.
As Father's Day approaches, I'm reminded of how I seem to have disappointed my dad (and your grandpa) over the years; I was average, at best, to him. I wasn't very athletic, I wasn't very popular, and I wasn't very into girls. Never was. And, to his dismay, I never would be. When I told him I was gay, I distinctly remember his reaction. Dripping with sarcasm, he said, "Shocker! Anything else?" I didn't know whether to feel relieved because he seemed to have known long before I told him, or feel like even more of a failure because I hadn't met my dad's expectations for me yet again. He's since come to terms with it and accepted it, but we'd never talk about it again until you're born. That's when he'll tell me, for the first time in my life, that he's proud of me.
Baby boy, I want to you to be whoever it is you want to be; whether you like women, men, both or neither. I hope that you are able to do so with no fear of anyone judging you or hurting you just because you're "different." And that goes beyond your sexual preference. You could be a hippie or a businessman, a jock or a cheerleader, the class valedictorian or the class clown; be you, and no one else.
Though you won't really understand until some of your classmates tell you otherwise, your family is not the traditional American one. No, kiddo, you'll have two daddies; two daddies who love you just as much as your friends' mommies and daddies do, but two daddies nonetheless. You'll get a lot of strange looks when we pick you up from school, and you'll hear a lot of whispering behind you when we go out to dinner together – trust me, your daddies are used to it. I'm not going to tell you to ignore it, because contrary to the popular adage, words can hurt more than sticks and stones. What I will tell you, though, is that I will never let you lose sight of the higher road; that those stares and whispers are trivial and not at all directed to you; that if you see daddy step outside of himself to put some ignorant people in their places, to do as I say and not as I do!
The good news is people like that are becoming less and less common. Soon, there will be a new "normal," where people won't care about what's going on outside of their own bedrooms and households. You'll be in a world where society won't hold you to some unfounded, unrealistic expectations. You'll be able to jump in the bed between your other daddy and me and we won't be scared that you'll ask which one of us is "the woman."
Soon, kiddo. I look forward to that day.
(Your future) Dad
Peggy Leg(!) the chihuahua was born without a foot, and was destined to have her leg amputated because its weight put so much pressure on her spine.
Instead, Peggy Leg soon will be the "world's smallest bionic pet" -- she'll be fitted with a titanium prosthetic foot by researchers at North Carolina State University, who are doing research on artificial limbs that they hope someday to use on humans.
"They were looking for just the right small dog to do this titanium implant," said Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue's Mary Jewell, who adopted the pooch when she was five months old. "When we were told about this program it was unbelievable. It was like, 'Oh my gosh, she is going to be a bionic dog with a bionic leg.'"
Andrews knew her son would be devastated, and she said as much on the convention's Facebook page: "Thanks for posting. Just wish she'd cancelled before I paid for the vip pass. Now I have to figure out how to tell my disabled son he won't be meeting Twilight. :("
But Strong saw the post, called Andrews, and set up a phone call with Dragon.
Tara: Is this Dragon?
Tara: Do you know who this is?
Dragon: Yes, it's Twilight Sparkle.
Dragon: Tara, you are so talented with all those voices you do.
Tara: Yes, yes I am, aren't I?
Tara: (in Twilight's voice) I love you, Dragon.
Dragon: (stunned, muttering) ...love you, too, Twilight.
After the call, Andrews snapped a pic of Dragon's expression and posted it to Facebook.
"She talked to him for about 20 minutes in all," Andrews wrote. "[She] did every voice he asked her to do, talked a little to him about how to deal with bullies at school, and assured him that there is going to be a season 3 of My Little Pony."
Dragon starts high school in the fall. He recently was switched to special needs classes so he won't be subjected to bullying for liking My Little Pony.
"It's still rather hard to believe this actually happened," Andrews said, "even with Dragon piping up every once in a while, 'Twilight Sparkle said she loved me.'"