I needed freedom, a place of refuge, a place where I could find hope maybe for the first time. My early life was a cyclone of homes, social workers, abusive caregivers, and wondering if I would ever find a place where I belonged, where I could be loved. I found my forever family as an adult. A progressive adoptive family that kept growing. I want you to know I stand amazed at adoption because there is no color, culture, or age that can limit the power of a person finally finding a family where he or she belongs.

Adoption is so much more than just a baby being placed in the arms of parents who were hoping for a child or a child who was in need of a family. Adoption can be a rescuing of a mother who is afraid or a child who is removed from a home of neglect, abuse, and horrors. Adoption is a breath of fresh air. It is a place to land, a place to be loved, a place to simply be.

Adoption is amazing because people are brought together from different bloodlines, cultures, and gifts to form one beautiful unit of connection. It is a place that offers unconditional love, healing, and, often enough, new traditions and the hope of a blended tomorrow. Adoption is a gift to those who get to experience it. It is a choosing of parents to love another; it is a gift to the one grafted in, sealed, and claimed as one’s own.

Another incredible aspect of adoption is the willingness to fight endlessly to bring hope to adoptees. Parents lovingly accept the challenge of standing up to the odds that seek to discourage and dishearten their child. Any number of these issues could be things like bipolarism, fetal alcohol syndrome, autism, attachment disorders, and the many other areas of struggle that a family may face. I have seen parents fight daily for their children with everything they have. They show that love is a gift that is worth the fight.

I myself am privileged to have an adoptive family, and I have experienced so much love and so much healing to my wounds. My family stands with me, fights for me, and I also am standing up to do the work it takes to grow strong in my forever family. I found my forever family as an adult, so for anyone out there who has aged out of the system and is left thinking he or she will never find a place to belong, remember this: one of the most amazing things about adoption is it doesn’t matter how old you are. Get rid of the stigma in your mind that adoption is only for a baby or young child. Adoption is a beautiful grafting of someone who needs a place to belong, a place to be loved. They need a family. You can find that family, no matter how old you are.

Adoption is a person alone in this world who finds a place to be claimed as someone’s own. It is a beautiful thing.