When we’re uneducated about a topic, we can still have a certain opinion about it — and adoption is no different.

Adoption is a subject that generates many loud opinions. It’s also an issue that gets little exposure and even less education offered for outsiders.

So, many times, when someone has a strong opinion about adoption, adoptive parents or birth parents, it’s mostly just speculation — with little first-hand knowledge to be had.

One of these strong opinions? That adoptive parents should be praised as “heroes” for saving a child from “certain ruin.” In fact, many people exalt adoptive parents to a kind of “sainthood” for choosing adoption.

I was no different. Before my husband and I decided to add to our family by adopting a baby girl, I believed the same.

When we started researching the different kinds of adoptions, requirements and steps they would take, I saw the adoptive parents who were among my circle of friends and acquaintances as cape-wearing, super-strength-wielding heroes who deserved all the admiration I felt for them. To me, these people were simply amazing individuals, and their choice to adopt was a part of that.

So, what’s my opinion now that I have experienced the entire journey, learned every up and down of the process, and become an adoptive parent myself?

Heroes do the extraordinary, the difficult and the awe-inspiring. You may think I just described adoption. And, in many ways, adoption encompasses all of these qualities. But there’s one that stands out above all the rest.

Adoption Isn’t About Heroes — It’s About Love

Adoption isn’t always an easy road, but it can produce something extraordinary: love.

Love is the root of every detail in adoption. It doesn’t require super-human strength, although the decisions made from it can certainly seem herculean.

The fact is that my daughter is my child because of someone else’s brave decision, made through unimaginable pain. That is not lost on me.

The emotions of adoption can be complex, and the journey to it may be challenging. But the story that I will forever tell my daughter is how her birth mother chose life, chose her future and grew someone else’s family through her own sacrifice. I get to tell her how grateful I am to be her mom — not because of anything heroic, but because her birth mother and I both chose love.

Love is not “heroic” in adoption or in any other part of life. Instead, love should be our priority, a common act that produces extraordinary results. Love doesn’t make someone a hero, but showing it can definitely inspire others to do the same.

I have a daughter that doesn’t share my DNA but who is my child just like the two that I carried for nine months. Nothing I do will erase her past or change her story, but love is always the answer for her future.

Society needs to learn to love. Adoption can be that lesson.

We love those who do not share our DNA. We love those who do not look like us. We love those whose background or family history wasn’t the same as ours. We love because making an impact starts with love.

Love is not heroic. But changing the world can be as simple as loving it.

Jill is a 34-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for 10 years and has three daughters; her newest addition was added to her family through adoption. Jill and her husband were in the adoption process for over 900 days before being matched with a birth mother. When they received the call that their baby girl was born, she was 1,000 miles away and three months early. Now she is thriving and home with her Mom, Dad, and two very excited and loving big sisters. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish and obtained her master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports and eating good food.