For example, when Ian played soccer I went to his games and cheered. When Brittany sang in the church choir I told her how her beautiful smile lit up the stage. They frequently had birthday cakes, celebrations, and presents at my home.    

Now that they are young adults, and all that love and compassion has melted us into one family. They are not my step niece or nephew, they are my own. But it took time.

If Tanya’s mom refuses to understand the dynamics of a stepfamily, and the harm associated with alienating Carissa and wounding her Darrell, then the family photo should be taken without Tanya. You can’t force family members to understand. All you can do is pray and live a godly example before them. 

Check out our Christmas Facebook page!

Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, spiritual growth, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series. Her newest book The Smart Stepmom, is co-authored with Ron Deal. Laura’s website is

Publication date: November 7, 2012