Keepin’ it real

It’s about to get really real, up in here.

Growing up, I encountered many families with varying backgrounds and sizes, but I can only think of one or two that were blended or where the parents were divorced. So my experience with this blended family thing has mostly been trial and error. Lots of error. I’m not going to beat myself up for the mistakes that I’ve made, that we’ve made, but I know that I want to learn from them and, Lord hep me, not repeat them. But it is so hard. So very very hard.

Raising my bigs, Sarah & James, I felt like I always had extra kids in the house. They had half-siblings on their dad’s side, who I adore, so sharing my time and love with someone else’s child was not new to me. But raising someone’s child? A whole new world. Part of the problem is that it’s near impossible to communicate with W&C’s mom and co-parent with her, so we end up making headway, and then they spend time with their mom and it’s all undone. I don’t blame W&C (well, sometimes I do, that’s the error part I was talking about), because I know that they are just kids who want to be loved, need to be loved, unconditionally. Try as I might, unconditional love just doesn’t come as easily as it does with your birth children. Like I said, I’m just keepin’ it real. I love W&C, yes, but I know – and I’m sure they know – it’s not the same way that I love my own children. I know that they don’t love me the same way they love their mom. I don’t believe they should, anyway. If it were just W&C here, I think it would be easier, but we have Daniel and Keelan, so I know they can see the difference. It’s not intentional, it just is. I don’t know how to change my heart, though. I want reach them in a way that is special, but I get met with resistance, which I can only assume is them feeling not loyal to their mom. I also feel like they can probably sense that I’m working at it – it should be natural. But it’s not.

We are about to be back in court with their mom. She has filed a petition to regain custody. Neely and I are optimistic that we will prevail, as is our attorney, but it’s an annoyance. A fight that we did not need or want. W&C know about it (from her, not us), and I know that it causes them stress. They don’t know if they are coming or going. Their mom has told them that it’s practically a done deal and just as soon as we go to court, they will be back with her. We have not discussed it with them at all, because we don’t want to add to their burden. We don’t want them to feel like they need to choose between their dad and their mom. We don’t want them to worry. Things here are status quo.

We’re fighting for them, because we know this is the best place for them. They need stability and consistency. And love. Only I’m not so sure that I demonstrate the latter to the best of my ability. I’m ashamed to say it, but it’s truth. It’s real.

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