Over and over again I get asked, “Now that you’re stable and have your own family, will you take your daughter back?” I simply reply, “No. That is not how it is done, and I could never do that.”

I was very fortunate to meet my husband and get married a year after the placement of my daughter. Then two months into our marriage, we found out we were having twins. I love T with all of my heart. She has a loving family with a mother and father, and I could never ask for more. She will always be a part of me. I see the opportunity to have other children as a second chance. In my opinion, God gave me a second chance to do things the correct way: to have more children and have a partner help me with their needs and raising them. Parenting after placement doesn’t decrease my love for her.

I know that some birth mothers feel that they could never have any other children after placing, that the child they placed would someday feel upset that their birth mother choose to place them and then have another child down the road. I do not share those feelings. I have a younger half-brother and sister, and in no way feel that my biological mother replaced me with them. As a birth mother you have a hole in your heart where the baby you had once was, and then you fill that hole with other time-consuming activities such as school, work, community service, or raising other children. I feel that the love is multiplied.

There is no greater love than the love a mother has for a child.

Yes, I moved forward, but I will never forget my experience having and placing T. I feel as though we are not meant to forget the hard times or moments that significantly impacted our lives. We remember them for a reason. A lesson learned.

The moment I found out I would be having girls, my heart could have burst. I was so overjoyed to be a mother again. I still remember holding them for the first time after the long, 48-hour delivery, to finally hold their little bodies in my arms. I cried tears of joy. It brought me back to that chilly October day two years prior, and the love I had for those babies was indescribable, just as it had been then. As I continue to raise my girls and watch them grow, I can not help thinking of T and how she might have similar personality traits to the girls.

When we visit with her, its fun to watch her interact with my girls. I came to realize shortly after placement that I had to move forward and not stand still. I could not wallow in my self-pity of missing T. I had to go on with my life. If I wanted her to be proud of me, I knew I had to finish college and be the best person I could be, so I decided to move on from the past even though it hurt.

Having my own family and raising two preschoolers and a 1-year-old son doesn’t mean I have forgotten about T or miss her any less.

She will always be a part of me.

She is why I am such a huge adoption advocate. Adoption is a huge part of my life, and I want the world to know what a blessing it can be. I speak as an adoptee, birth mother, and someday, an adoptive mother. It is possible to move forward with life after placement: Just never forget where you have been and the person you have become because of it. What are some ways that you think birth mothers can move forward with the healing process after placement?