Sometimes, I look at my life and the choices within it, and it takes me back.

My journey with adoption as a birth mother has transformed my life so much. It has changed my ability to love. I say it–but truly mean it: When I saw Phoenix for the first time and his red hair stuck up in a million directions, my heart grew.

It has changed my capacity to love people in terrible situations, but I think it also made me more opinionated about certain things like life and choosing life. Knowing what he did for me by simply being a squirmy lovely newborn, I grew miles from a self centered and delusional girl. I had to make a decision, and I did.

Sometimes, I wonder what he would be like if he had stayed mine. It scares me, considering the lifestyle I was living and the lack of structure I had. Yet, those sometimes never lead me to regret about placing. “I Gave You All” is a song by Mumford and Sons. The song is slightly reminiscent of regret, but for me, it’s my adoption song.

I would like to add some lyrics when the pain arises and I don’t know what else to do but cry, like;

I would do it for you again,

I’ll always be there when you’re ready,

whenever you need me, I won’t run away,

I didn’t run away, I ran forward.

Of course lyrically, those ideas would not work, but you get the idea. Yeah, it hurts, and sometimes birth parents feel regret, but speaking from knowing some powerful and wonderful women in my life, our love for our children is with us.

We never forget.

In fact it became part of the foundation of who I am today. The strength it took to place willingly has given me a powerful perspective in my life. I have been through worse. I know what grief is, so while I may be grieving in a sense the loss of a relationship, I am so much more powerful and alive than I was five years ago.

Sometimes, the hardest experiences make us stronger, but in the process of growing stronger, we need to break apart the old. It was the best decision I could make at the time with what I had. Sometimes it is the only thing that consoles me, and sometimes it just reminds me that I am a better person, a stronger and more loving person, and I am not nearly as afraid of what the future holds.

Hang in there, and remember that you will be alright. Just keep swimming.