Valentine’s Day is here again, a holiday that definitely gets a bad reputation for the commercialization that occurs. The cards, chocolate, balloons, flowers and jewelry advertised every year are geared toward couples, which makes everyone associate the holiday with romantic love. However, there are so many different kinds of love out there, and this should be the holiday to celebrate all of them.
As an adoption consultant, I see firsthand the many kinds of love that the adoption process creates. I'm not sure of any other experience that can generate so much new love, and I am blessed to see it unfold every day at work. These are four beautiful kinds of love I see because of adoption that I celebrate every Valentine’s Day.
There are so many myths surrounding birth parents, especially birth mothers, and their feelings toward the child they are placing for adoption. What I see are birth mothers who understand they cannot give the child the life they deserve and, therefore, make the ultimate gift to a family. The love they have for their unborn child is so strong they make a sacrifice for the sake of him or her. While many women who become pregnant experience this attachment, it is lovely to see the birth mother go through the process of carefully selecting the perfect family for her unborn child. Since most adoptions are open these days, she still gets to be involved in the child’s life, watching him or her grow and flourish in the beautiful family she helped create.
This is perhaps the most familiar kind of love that comes out of the adoption process. Many families who adopt have waited for a child for a long time. They have tried everything to have a child and know that adoption is the right path to grow the family they have always wanted. To see their immense joy and hope at every step of their adoption journey is beyond wonderful.
This type of love is one very few people who have not experienced it can understand. When the right connection is made, it’s so obvious that it was meant to be. In these cases, the love that a birth parent shows to adoptive parents is almost indescribable. It can come across in different permutations throughout the adoption process and the child’s life. Ultimately, she has expressed her love by entrusting them with the most special gift of all.
Adoptive parents often feel such a special kind of love for the birth mother and father. The more they get to know them throughout the process, the more they study their faces to see what their future child will look like. In the best relationships, the adoptive parents welcome the birth parents into their life as members of their family. It is a new kind of love, one that birth parents often do not expect to receive when they begin the process.
Adoption creates a whole new family unit, with amazing and unique types of love winding throughout it. To see that unfold every day is such a blessing. Valentine’s Day shouldn't just be a celebration of a couple's love — it should be time to celebrate all the kinds of love that exist.
Nicole Witt is the owner of The Adoption Consultancy, an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within 3 to 12 months. She is also the creator of Beyond Infertility, a community support site and online magazine geared toward families who have gone through infertility.
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