I placed almost four years ago, and the grief is still the same. All that has changed is me.

The first eight months after placing were the hardest. I didn’t have a job or any desire to hang out with friends, so my only focus was the grief and pain I felt. That’s when I decided I needed to start counseling. I went once a week for the almost a year.

I was really angry after placing. Anger is easier to deal with. I felt it was better to push away rather than deal with the problem. I had to learn how to actually be sad, learn how to deal with my grief in a healthy manner. Some of my sessions I sat there and just cried. After each session, I could tell I was starting to feel better.

When I met my husband, Justin, he went to a few sessions with me. It helped us to communicate and recognize triggers. We had been married two months when we found out we were expecting twins. I was four months pregnant when we set up the crib. We also purchased diapers and car seats because I needed the security of bringing a baby home. Even now, with 20-month-old twins and a 5-month-old, I don’t always focus on my pain. It just catches me by surprise.

Grief is a process. It’s not a way of life: It’s a matter of choice. It took me a long time to really understand that. Some days it meant that I got out of bed and showered, making that my accomplishment for the day. Other days I cried, and sometimes I didn’t talk at all. I won’t just get over the pain of placing, but now I can at least communicate what I need in order to grieve properly.

Even though I have a beautiful family, I’ll always miss him. I’m grateful for our open adoption so that I can always be apart of his life.

Some part of me will always ache for my baby, but my attitude and focus will continue to change.