Ok, so this is how the story goes... I started backdating my high school sweetheart in 2010 after 22 years (yes, Facebook connection - lol) of being apart. We decided to have this long-distance relationship with me in Atlanta and him in Chicago which was a feat within itself. When we started dating I had one child and he had three children and that is the beginning of our blended family story.
As we were in our dating phase and getting to know each other as the adults we had become; we knew within a couple of weeks that we were going to be serious and take this relationship to the next level - Marriage. That is when we started to talk about blending our family and what that looked like for us. We conversed about our kids and their personalities and we were excited about what the future looked like for us. We didn't introduce each other to our kids until at least 4-5 months after dating mainly due to the long-distance relationship that we had so intricately made work. I didn't know what to expect when it came to bringing two families together. Will his kids like me? How will he treat my child? Would the children get along? Those were some of the questions that I had. As we started to get serious we discussed our kids, our life together and blending the family and what that looked like. My husband's motto is children's minds are like sponges, they adapt to changes easily; our kids were 2 years old, 3 years old, 11 years old, and 17 years old at the time.
My husband actually met my son first due to us visiting family in Chicago more often and they got along just fine. My son was of course a little shy because this was a new person in his life and he had not had anyone in his life before that but his Dad. I, on the other hand, met his older (2) children first and they were good kids so I asked a lot of questions, made them laugh and showered them with love. The test came when I met his youngest child which was 3 years old at the time. My husband wasn't sure how she would receive me but when I tell you she came right into my arms without a fuss, it was magical. My husband was surprised that she took so quickly to a new person and I told him "children's minds are like sponges, they adapt to changes easily" - lol.
We were married in 2011, this was when I knew that my life was about to change in a big way!!! We both were so excited to be in church before GOD and a few family & friends. The love we shared had finally manifested to have us share in this moment like we had always knew would happen. Our love had withstood the test of time and we were blessed to finally complete the cycle of life, we had embraced the the fact that we would be a blended family and with GOD'S guidance we would be alright.
After 3 months of being married, we conceived a child but lost the child within a month. We were devastated and had to pick up the pieces. I wasn't sure if God would bless me with another child and depression set in. I was older as well and felt the odds were stacked against me. But GOD heard my prayers and my cries and we conceived Journee 6 months later. She has completed our blended family and made our circle tighter than ever.
Being in a blended family can have its challenges depending on how you go into it. There can be different obstacles that you have to overcome especially when there is interference from others that try to influence the kids negatively about the other parent. Having a strong BLACK man to help all parties navigate through everyone's differences truly helps; It can be a long road to getting everyone on one page but one thing I can say is it's definitely worth it!
Nine years in and we are still going strong, our family has joined in creating this wonderful dynamic as a loving, caring family spread out all across the country.
Thank you for your comments!