Tuesday, my oldest stepdaughter graduated from the eighth grade.

When I met her, she was going into the second grade.

When I met her, she was….

My stepdaughter's second grade photo

  • precocious
  • curious
  • intelligent
  • courageous
  • idolized her father
  • had a faith in God beyond her years
  • had a strong sense of self
  • and she trusted few people…. dad, her dad’s parents and two aunts and an uncle

When I first met her she kept me at arm’s length. She had been hurt and her instincts put up a mighty emotional shield for protection. I had to earn her trust. From the moment we met I knew that it would take time for us to get close but I never doubted it would happen.

I am very proud of who she is today and the woman she is growing into. My heart is to be there for her to lean on, ask questions of, depend on, share silly “girl” stories. I want to model a healthy marriage for her and teach her how a woman loves and respects her husband.

My stepdaughter has her struggles as every teen does. My prayer for her today and everyday is that she continue to have a high respect for herself and for those around her. That she seeks to serve others. That she never looses her curiousity about the world around her.

My husband and stepdaughter graduation morning!

Today, as she walked across the gym to receive her diploma, I saw a young lady who still possess the same qualities she did when I first met her.  She has matured and developed those traits into strong character strengths. I also see a young lady who is beginning to trust again. And I fight back the tears thinking of that because I know that I’ve been a part of helping her regain trust in others.

I say it humbly but I say it because I want other stepmoms to celebrate and recognize the amazing and positive impact they have on their stepchildren.

StepMoms are the unsung heros of the blended family!

In the beginning of our relationship, my stepdaughter ignored me, told me she didn’t want to talk, she said mean things to me, she asked me a 101 questions a day and she watched my every move (often with commentary). Through it all I stayed strong and loving. While my feelings were hurt many days, I never left. I was always available to listen. I offered a shoulder to cry on. I told her the truth when she asked tough questions. I cried with her. I was there for her.

While I cried myself to sleep many nights, my commitment to her never wavered. She was watching. She was learning she could trust me. She was learning she could trust others. She told me recently that I’m part of her “inner circle.” That’s her circle of trust. I consider that a very high honor.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that she has brought rich blessings to my life. I am a stronger, smarter, and less selfish person since becoming her stepmom!

My stepdaughter and I before graduation.

StepMoms: you are making a difference in the lives of your stepchildren. Many of you may not feel like it right now but you are. Your stepkids are watching you. They may be testing you but they are watching your reaction and learning much from you. Your love and commitment is sending them a clear message. Stay strong and press on…..

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Share the positive difference that you see in your stepchildren because of your influence. Share the difference you hope to make in the lives of your stepchildren.

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