Like a lot of people, our friendships have changed over the years. Sometimes different seasons in life bring about different friendships.

While I recognize some adoptive parents have different hearts and the foundation for a solid friendship isn’t always there, some of our closest friendships are in our network of adoptive families.

Here are five reasons why it’s awesome to have adoptive families in your circle of friends.

1. They understand you.

These adoptive parents have ridden the roller coaster of the adoption process. They’ve crossed the red tape, they’ve received “the phone call,” and they know what it’s like to bring a new child home. These friends understand the anxieties and the excitement of the journey you’ve been on.

2. They’re mindful of their language.

Some friends will never understand the impact of their words. They may be confused when you tell them it’s hurtful after they inquire about having your “own” children versus adopting. The adoptive families in our circle of friends are conscious about using positive adoption language, and when we’re around them we don’t have to worry about the little ears that are listening.

3. You don’t have to worry.

Most adoptive families recognize the boundaries of appropriate questions to ask about your family. While some neighbors or other friends may be curious about your child’s birth family—and don’t know any better not to inquire—we never have to worry if our friends who have adopted will ask nosy questions about our children or why their birth parents made an adoption plan.

4. Our children can relate.

There’s nothing that makes me happier than knowing my daughters will grow up alongside families built like their own. Our children can relate to our friends’ children, and we hope that bond will be strong in the years to come.

5. There’s a special bond.

When we’re having a BBQ or game night with our friends who have adopted, we consider it our safe zone to talk about our fears and anxieties. It’s not that we don’t feel comfortable talking with our other friends about the complexities of adoption, but the power of having friends who have similar experiences, worries, and concerns is priceless. And we’re grateful adoption has bound us together as friends.