I recently ordered a shirt from adoption.com that reads, “Adoption is another word for love.” It simply sums up how adoption is good. Adoption always starts from loss and that should never be overlooked, but from it can come such great love for all people involved in the adoption triad (adoptive family, birth family, and child).

Open adoption is the most important advancement in the adoption world as of late. Openness creates the opportunity for healing for the birth family. No longer does an expectant mom have to say goodbye to her child forever and wonder about them endlessly. Now, she can have contact with her child if she chooses. Questions about her and her family aren’t left unanswered. The mystery is taken out of the equation for the child. Adoptive parents can enjoy adding another person, even another group of people to their extended family. It sounds all too good to be true and cheesy, right? I know. But it can be a reality. Our beautiful son came to us through his beautiful birth mom. We were happy to meet her entire family when he was about two years old. We also met his birth father and biological grandmother. There is nothing wrong with, and I say this emphatically, no matter the circumstances, everyone knowing each other and sharing a love for a child.

Another reason adoption serves us is that it supports life. Unexpected pregnancies are extremely difficult. That difficulty is only emphasized if the expectant mom does not believe in aborting her child. Whatever your stance on abortion, it is a good thing for women to have the option of adoption. For some, parenting turns out to be their choice. Others choose abortion, but despite the choice to terminate the pregnancy there sometimes isn’t a choice to terminate thinking about that baby. Just as a birth mother can wonder what her child is doing or have grief over missing her child, a woman who aborts a pregnancy can still also have thoughts about wondering what the baby would have been like and missing the baby. For those who don’t think abortion is right for them, adoption provides a way for their baby to live and to have a loving, stable home.

Lastly, adoption creates families. There is no greater gift that a person can give another. Our son’s birth mother created our family. A seventeen-year-old girl made the decision that we would not be childless (or child-free as some prefer to say). We briefly looked into IVF due to male factor infertility but chose adoption instead. So many couples deal with infertility and the fears or the reality of IVF not working for them. Adoption can create that family that couples desire. Biology does have importance, of course, but it is not everything. When my toddler is having a tantrum, it doesn’t matter whose blood runs through his veins. When he kisses me, I melt, and I don’t have a care in the world that he doesn’t share my hair color.

Adoption is one of the things I’m most grateful for. It is complicated, stressful, and forces you out of your comfort zone, but it is good.

Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.