I have a stepdaughter who is now five years old. I met her at the same time her dad did, when he found out he was truly the real father; she was only 6 months old. I fell in love with both her and her father. (We had been dating for a short time, but were already talking of marriage).
Her father and I married and received full custody of her for more than one whole year of our marriage. Now we have joint custody and while it makes things harder, I love her still as if she was my own, and I know she loves me as well. She grew up thinking everyone had two moms, and though she is just now figuring out that that is not the case, she is still okay with it. I can tell she is learning other things at her "mommy's" which are not always appropriate, and are never how I would raise her, and while we do have to go through adjusting to our rules each time she comes back, she seems to be doing as well as she can. My heart just goes out to her, and I can't stand some things going on in her life, and Lord knows I want her back fully with us (daddy does too), but I'm relying daily on God's strength, and I'm just thankful that our situation isn't as bad as it could be. I find strength in reading that I'm not the only struggling stepmom out there. The devil likes to make us think we are the only ones going through something when that is never the case. No matter how bad your situation is, you are NOT ALONE! I have to keep being reminded of that myself. Research scripture and you will find over and over again where God tell us he will never leave or forsake us. He is truly our father, and the greatest friend you will ever have! I just ask that if you read this, please add me into your prayers. I sometimes forget that I'm not alone.
Yes and also we are to place trust in God, and although she may not arrive unscathed out of childhood and the effects of the mother's home...this difficult road may be one that brings her to her Lord. And you are no doubt providing the stability, love and consistency that is needed to have a healthy perspective on what the family 'should' look like and providing a role model she will never forget. I had a stepmother who changed my life and am grateful to her and in touch with her to this very day at 40+. Keep up the good work.
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