Being a (evil) stepmother can be one of the most amazing and the most challenging things in the world. For one thing, you're given this child who is a product of someone else's relationship. Call it love, call it lust, call it a one night stand, call it a happy marriage that ended. No matter how you turn the table that's a fact. This child is a product (ugh hate to use that word but my brain can't think of a better one) of someone else's relationship with the person you love. In my case Zoey was a result/product of a failed relationship between my husband and his ex wife. And it's hard to close your eyes and turn your brain off to that. Please don't get me wrong. I absolutely ADORE my sweet little Zoey. But just looking at her and seeing how much she looks like a 50-50 mixture of Jon and his ex-wife is kind of a constant reminder that she's not biologically mine. I think that our circumstance is a lot different from most in a similar situation because I came into her life when she was very tiny. I like to think that I have had a pretty big impact on the amazing little lady that she is and is becoming. Anyhow. It took me awhile to get used to the idea that while Zoey may not have been the product of mine and Jon's love for eachother, she's deffinitely a perk. It's kind of like I bought a cheeseburger and they through in a super yummy milkshake and fires. Okay. I stink at analogies but hopefully that makes a tiny bit of sense.
Secondly, you can't treat your step-child the same way you treat you other children. Now this is probably going to catch me some flack. I'm sure one could argue the opposite but in my case, I've had a really hard time with this one. As much as I love to think I have a say on what goes on in the life of Zoey, legally..... I don't. When it comes down to the nitty gritty I have about as much say on what happens in her life as the cashier in the grocery store. This has been by far the hardest thing for me to deal with as a step-mom. Being in Zoey's life since she was just a baby has allowed me to grow to love her like she's my own. Now this is where things get a little tricky and it may sound like I'm flip-flopping but try to follow me here. I claim Zoey as my own. She is one of my kids. I NEVER use the word step in front of the word "daughter". She is and always will be my daughter. But when you love a child like they're you're own, but you don't have the same rights or authority as a "REAL" parent, it can be absolutely heart-breaking. Luckily for me, Jon and I have almost always seen eye to eye on what's best for Zoey so I've not had many situations where I felt this way. But the one or two times I have felt this way have been absolutely awful. It's like sitting on the bank of a river watching your kid drown and having absolutely no way to get them out of the water. So you have to hope that they make it out on their own, or that someone with the power to help them will. Again, my analogies are terrible but hopefully you get the picture.
Despite the heartbreak that can come with being a step-parent, it is one of the most amazing gifts I have ever been given. I fell in love with Zoey the instant I met her. She will always have a permanent place in my heart. She is by far the most Christ-like, loving, forgiving, and kind people I have known. And I like to think that I have played a part in that. I take so much pride in knowing that I've taken the time (along with her dad and mom) to teach her wrong from right. To show her what it means to be compassionate and watch her take what she's learned and apply it to the way she treats every single person she meets. There is no words to describe the special spirit that she is. And while I sit back and take SOME credit for that, I know that it's not me who made her this way. God made her special. He gave her the strength and the tools she needed to rise above the challenges she's had to face at such a young age and excel in everything she does. I wouldn't trade being her mom for anything else in the world. And as strange as it may sound I thank not only my Heavenly Father for giving me the chance to be part of her life, but also my husband and his ex-wife. Without them, Zoey would not be here. And she was meant for this time. The best gift I ever received was from her "REAL" mom. The permission to have Zoey sealed to me and Jon for time and all eternity. So even though it stinks to have to share her now... I know I will get to have her for eternity.
If you ever do get a chance to read this, Zoey, I hope you understand what I'm really trying to say. While being a step-mom may have it's tiny challenges, every bit of it is worth it to get to have you in my life. You make me want to be a better person. Your smiles and hugs fill my world with happiness. You are such a great big sister to your little brothers (and sisters) and an example to your friends and others who get the privilege to know you. You rock, sister! I love you so so so much. While sharing you now may be hard now, I look forward to spending eternity with you and your brothers and daddy. I love you, Zoey Bagoey!