"I never wanted kids. Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them," Gabrielle Union previously told PEOPLE

By Karen Mizoguchi
August 21, 2018 07:44 PM
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Dwayne Wade/Instagram

Dwyane Wade feels lucky to be Gabrielle Union‘s husband.

The Miami Heat basketball star, 36, shared a sweet appreciation post to his wife on Instagram in celebration of their four-year wedding anniversary.

“She’s a ⭐️ in her most important role. I wanna acknowledge my wife and the kids stepmom for being everything that each boy and I have needed her to be. We couldn’t have wished for more @gabunion … Thank you for loving us!” Wade wrote along with a photo of Union and his youngest son Xavier, who turns 5 in November.

The NBA player, who is in Italy attending his father Dwyane Wade Sr.’s wedding, is also parent to sons Zaire, 16, and Zion, 11, as well as nephew Dahveon Morris, who turns 17 in September.

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Union, 45, previously told PEOPLE that she had never wanted kids — until she tied the knot with Wade in August 2014.

“I never wanted kids. Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them,” she said.

RELATED VIDEO: Gabrielle Union Sends Pregnant News Anchor Clothes From Her Collection After She Was Body Shamed

However, in May 2017, the actress opened up about her struggles with infertility and suffering “eight or nine miscarriages,” which she wrote about in her book We’re Going to Need More Wine.

“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, [they ask] ‘Do you want kids?’” she previously told PEOPLE. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause.”

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
Ari Perilstein/Getty

In her book, Union painfully recalled the three years of failed IVF cycles she experienced.

“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle,” she wrote.

Earlier this month, Union revealed that a recent diagnosis gave her insight as to why she’s had so much trouble getting pregnant.

“Everyone said ‘You’re a career woman, you’ve prioritized your career, you waited too long and now you’re just too old to have a kid — and that’s on you for wanting a career,’ ” she said, before adding, “the reality is I actually have adenomyosis.”

Adenomyosis is a type of endometriosis that only occurs in the uterus, according to the Seckin Endometriosis Center. While side effects include an enlarged uterus, extremely heavy and painful periods and chronic pelvic pain, the only cure is to undergo a hysterectomy, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Wade previously praised his wife for her strength and perseverance.

“My wife is one strong individual!!!” he tweeted in October 2017 following news of Union’s multiple miscarriages.

Though she was constantly bloated from the hormones of IVF treatments, Union wrote in her book that she and Wade “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”