On a day that's all about hearts, we must thank David and Amy Bond and Judith Wanichek Adams for opening theirs.
The Bonds are the young couple from Negaunee who shared the story of their search for David's birth mother in a two-part story that appeared in The Mining Journal Thursday and today.
Adams is the birth mother who was found in that search.
All three, for the sake of helping others, were open to talking about the emotions behind such an important effort.
That is much appreciated.
From a 2014 perspective, the world in which Milwaukee resident Judith Wanichek gave birth as an unmarried teen seems a bit like the dark ages. But in 1970, it was called "getting in trouble" and few options were available to young women like her, who were often shunned.
As much as young Judy wanted to keep her son, she loved him so much, she did what she thought was best for him and relinquished custody to a couple ready to provide a good home for him.
David was lucky to have a wonderful pair of adoptive parents in that couple, Bill and Jo-Ann Bond.
For the next 43 years, Judith wondered what had happened to her son. And David sometimes wondered, too.
With great determination, Amy Bond in October started a search to find her husband's birth mother. The breaks went her way and amazingly, she was able to do just that, bringing much joy to not just the Bonds, but to Judith, who now lives in Indiana.
Of course, not every search will have a happy ending. Some birth parents do not want to be found.
We certainly want those wishes to be respected.
However, we encourage anyone involved in adoption to consider transparency, to allow medical history, most especially, to be shared with children who are adopted.
We thank adoptive parents for offering a good life to a child whose birth parents are unable to care for him or her. Adoptive parents make an amazing difference in this world.
We also thank birth parents who want to give their child a great growing-up situation, something they cannot provide, for whatever reason.
We believe Judith Wanichek Adams' words will touch many hearts on this Valentine's Day: "Young girls and women, today, that find themselves in the same situation, have many more options than I had," she told The Mining Journal. "(They have) so many more things to think about but I still think they have to follow their hearts. Do what is best for the child in the long run."
Indeed, the sign of being a great parent - be it birth or adoptive - is putting the needs of your child first. That's what Judith did. That's what Jo-Ann and Bill Bond did.
We thank David, Amy and Judith for sharing a truly heart-touching story this Valentine's Day.