This week on Dancing with the Stars was the “Most Memorable Year Night,” a chance for the competitors to commemorate the most significant year in their lives. For the former Hamilton and Grease Live! star, Jordan Fisher, that year was 2005—the year he was officially adopted.

The 23-year-old explained, “I was taken in by my grandmother and grandfather from birth pretty much. My biological mother had me when she was 16 and then struggled with substance abuse.” While she wasn’t fit to be his mom at the time, his grandparents stepped in and, as he describes, “took him out of that world.”

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In an interview with PEOPLE he praised his parents saying, “My life could have been very different… It’s because of their unrelenting, unconditional support and love I’m able to have the life that I have now and do everything I love to do and that starts with the selflessness and love of my mom and dad.”

This gratitude for his parents is what brought him to tears following his performance this week.

For someone who has found great success so early on in life, Fisher isn’t motivated by money or fame. His goals in life are clearly motivated by the love he was shown by his parents.

He told PEOPLE, “My adoption journey fully fuels my inspiration, my drive, what my vision of success is. My ultimate goal in my life is to have a family,” he says. “I want to be an incredible father, an incredible husband and take great care of my wife and all my kids and do what I love to do during the day to provide for them. That, ultimately, is what I see as being successful. I just aspire to be even half of how wonderful as my parents are.”

With an abortion happening every 30 seconds in America, our culture clearly needs a wider celebration and acceptance of adoption as a viable option for mothers in unplanned pregnancies. Fisher’s mother could have chosen abortion, but, despite her difficult circumstances, she chose life for her son. This selfless choice, and the love of his adoptive parents, is what brought Fisher to where he is today.

“My being adopted, it saved me, it literally saved my life. It could have been really tough for me and it wasn’t. And I was so loved. I’m just so grateful for them.”

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Brenna Skattebo

Brenna works in the marketing department as the Content Manager and loves having the chance to draw people into what Save the Storks is doing through storytelling and keeping them up-to-date with pro-life news. When she’s not saving storks, she can be found exploring Colorado with her husband or playing with her adorable niece and nephew. Follow her adventures on Instagram.