What Makes a True Family?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Six years ago I became the dreaded "Step-Mom," and I hate that title! When Mark and I started dating in 2010 we talked about our children, and we decided that if we did get married we would have six kids, PERIOD! Since our children are adults and were adults when we married in 2011, we told our children and each other's that they could call us Mom/Dad, but that it wasn't a requirement. Since our engagement on New Year's Eve 2010/2011, I have considered myself a mom to six, not to just the three I physically gave birth to. With that said being a "step" mom is probably tougher than being a mom to the children you raised. The girls that I had the blessed pleasure to raise have a respectable twenty-four, twenty-eight and thirty years of history with me. They know me and I know them. I can tell just by a text message how they really are even if they deny it. I can also see in their eyes if they are truly happy, and vise/versa, they know me a lot of times better than I am willing to admit. That doesn't happen overnight, it is years of being together. And for me and my girls, it's a little deeper in that I was a sick mama and with their dad deployed they took care of me, plus when I divorced their father the four of us went through the pain of betrayal and abuse together which bonded us on a deep level. They are three of my best friends, and I am beyond proud of the young women they have become. I have said all of that to say this, learning about your mate's children takes time, and there will be painful up's and down's. I experienced that this morning, after about a year of estrangement with one of my children from another mother, I wanted desperately to talk to her and make things right, however after being crushed by the lack of communication I was leary to open up and trust again. I am so thankful for the knock on my bedroom door asking if we could talk. I cried, and honestly explained my feelings and why I wasn't in the mood when I walked out into the living room. God ordained that time and I know little by little He is opening the door for me to learn more about the three children He gave me to love, support, and encourage. Truth be known I wanted six kids, but after my diagnosis of epilepsy the diagnosing doctor said I shouldn't have anymore, which was a lie, that's for another post. God gave me these children to not only fulfill my desire, but to give them the real love from a mother.

As we have all discovered on one level or another, this adult stuff isn't fun, and no matter how old we are we are still learning to live life. I remember when I was in my twenty's and I believed since I'd graduated from high school, and gone to college I was done learning, a dear pastor's wife, told me that when I stopped learning I was dead, and she was right!

If you are a parent to children through a marriage that you didn't physically raise, don't give up! Keep the lines of communication open, and while you may not have a clue how to understand the way they were raised, and the pain they have dealt with in their life keep asking questions and don't be afraid to tell them honestly how their actions hurt your feelings. Try and recognize why you have reservations about wanting to talk and work it out, and tell them. They don't understand you anymore than you understand them, and for the most part they are probably just as scared as you are.
For me, I don't trust easily, not anymore. I used to trust no questions asked, then I was betrayed not only by the man who had promised to love and cherish me until death, but by the very people I went to church with. The place where we are supposed to feel safe. Since then, I keep a very tight circle, which is for my emotional protection. When you recognize your own fear it makes it easier, at least it does for me.

So, to answer the title question of my blog post, What Makes a True Family?

Being an adopted kid, for me family is who God gives us to love and encourage. Some of my closest friends I consider family, since I wasn't blessed with a sister, just an annoying little brother 😛😛 I chose my own. Families are messy and painful at times, not that that is the intent, but a lot of times we don't know how to deal with our own feelings so we act out in pain and push away when if we're honest we want to be pulled close and know that we're loved and accepted for who we are scars and all.

Harmony, I dedicate this post to you, Christopher and Courtney. I love all three of you, and I'm so glad you took the chance and knocked on my bedroom door this morning. It meant a lot to me.


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