“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of
mine, you did for me.’
Tonight I’m going to share something that has been on my heart for years. This post is for everyone because at some point in our lives, we will all encounter kids that are the product of stepparents. The kids that are often left behind.
As a stepchild, I can honestly say that growing up all I wanted was to be my stepdad’s daughter.
Now maybe that is because my stepdad was the only Dad I ever really had. Perhaps if my biological father had been someone who was actively involved as my “Dad” then I wouldn’t have cared so much. I can’t really say for sure.
What I know for sure, is that I wanted with every fiber of my being to be his daughter. His real daughter. And quite honestly, up until I was 15, I was. I never felt like a second class child. I was never made to feel like he wasn’t my Daddy. Not ever.
At least not by him.
However, when my parents (stepdad and my mom) divorced, things changed. After an incident when I was 15 (you can read this story:
Redemption of Hearts and follow that one up with my story at (In)Courage) , I didn’t speak to my Dad for 10 years.
What was just as hard as losing my stepdad during the divorce was the loss of the other half of my family. His side of the family. Somehow, people I had loved all my life, basically disowned me. Not only that but it felt like people forgot that I was his daughter.
You see friends and sometimes family have a way of making a stepchild feel less than. There is always that underlying buzz of energy flowing from them that will often remind the stepchild that they are not related by blood. As though we really need reminding. The comments that are made in the other room or within ear shot of the stepchild. Little things they don’t think we hear or see.
Children just want to belong to someone. Even as adults, we are still little children in our hearts who want to have two parents that we belong to.
If you become a stepparent or are involved with stepchildren in some respect in your family, love them. Even if the marriage doesn’t work out. Don’t love them during a season of childhood and then drop them like yesterday’s garbage. Don’t dishonor the relationship the child had with the stepparent. Ever. It hurts. It damages. It’s cruel.
And if you allow a stepchild to call you Mom or Dad, you have signed an unwritten life long covenant with that child to be their parent. Those titles should never be easily tossed around.
Because when the stepparent dies or moves on, there are children they leave behind. I was left behind when my Dad died. I am still his daughter. Blood does not make a parent. Love does.