My son’s birth mom just got married, and it was one of the best weekends I’ve had the privilege to be a part of. Not only did she get married, she got married to one stellar man. Stellar.

Lindsey and Steve met many years ago but reconnected when she was pregnant. They were just friends. Like, for real just friends. Not the just-friends-for-now-and-hope-this-turns-into-something-sounding-more-like-forever friends. See, Steve was adopted, himself, and he grew up with an open adoption. He was there for Lindsey to share his side of adoption–what it was like for him, how he feels about his parents, and how he feels about his birth mom.

The first time we met Lindsey, she told me her mom and friend would be there. Um, more like her mom and her body guard! Steve is no little man. He hovered over me and my husband, maybe even needing binoculars to see our faces. Okay, that’s absurd. He’s not THAT tall, but he’s tall. Steve, from the beginning, was always around Lindsey, just there when she needed him. They were clearly becoming best friends as Lindsey tried to wrap her head about life.

And now, they are married.

The awesome thing about Steve is that he gets it. He gets that Micah is important to Lindsey–not just important, but a part of her. And I dare say he loves her more deeply because of it. He was there when we all first met and has been there ever since. Steve was there in the room while Lindsey was in labor. He made his departure and left us ladies when things started to really progress, but he was among the first to hold that precious little boy after he was born. Steve became a part of our family when Lindsey did.

About a year ago, Lindsey referred to Steve has Micah’s step-birth father, and then stated, “Yep, I’m calling it a thing.” Sure Micah’s genetic make-up doesn’t involve Steve’s genes, but uhhh…neither do mine or my husband’s, and I still call us family.

At Steve and Lindsey’s wedding, my heart was pouring out so much love for Lindsey. I was so overjoyed for her. To see what has transformed over the past three years, and how she has transformed, is a true testament to the power of compassion, forgiveness, and love. But I spent a lot of time thinking about Steve. See, he didn’t have to be by her side while she was pregnant. He didn’t have to be with her when she cried or be with her when she was scared. But because he was, he also had the privilege of being there with her when she wanted to celebrate happiness… and when she was ready to fall in love.

As mentioned, I think Steve is pretty stellar. But what hit me is that there are a lot of guys like him: guys who marry birth moms and don’t think twice about their past–or maybe they do, and that’s what makes them love these beautiful women even more.

I’ve had some conversations with birth mothers who have feared not being able to find someone who would love them after “all this.” It’s a heartbreaking thought. And let’s be truthful: There will be some boys who feel like having a birth son or daughter somewhere out there may make things messy. BUT, there are also those men who will embrace you and proudly walk with you for the rest of your journey. Those men are real. They are out there. And there are more of them than you’d think.

So here’s a shout-out to all those step-birth fathers: those who step up and are there when maybe the the biological one is out of the picture. Here’s to the man who embraces the adoptive family and feels the joy in adoption along with the rest of us. The man who has been adopted into the adoption journey via a whole lot of love. Here’s to Steve.

And here’s to you.