Today I visited my birth daughter and her family. I held her for awhile, but after a few minutes she started fussing and reaching for her mommy. She’ll never reach for me like that. Some days that makes me a little sad.

Sometimes people tell me that it’s time to “get over it.” That the best thing I can do is just forget about it and go back to normal. What they don’t understand is that not getting over it is my new normal. And I’m okay with that. I don’t want to get over her.

I don’t want to forget the bond we shared as I carried her precious life for nine months. Those months made me loving. I don’t want to forget the tears I shed as I said goodbye two short days after her birth. Those tears made me strong. If I forget how hard I struggled, how will I ever know the true meaning of peace? A Navy SEAL wouldn’t forget his training, and neither will I. Placing baby R made me a warrior, I have the battle scars to prove it.

I won’t ever get over it – but that doesn’t mean won’t I be happy. I get to love a very special little girl. Because of her, I know what love means in a way that most people will never understand. And I can give that love to everyone around me. Before I had baby R, my heart was turbulent – I had no sense of self or direction. Now I can be the calm in someone else’s storm.

Placing shattered me, and I will never be the same. But I won’t be cracked or damaged – I will be something completely different and beautiful. I will be a lover, a fighter, and a survivor. But most of all, I will never take for granted the day my little ones reach for me.