I am the step-mother to a wonderful and bright young boy named Aaden. Hitting the team year mark, I have known him for five full years of ups and downs.
Now when I say being a step-parent is one of the hardest things I struggle with, please understand that it is not the part of loving this human being.
In the beginning we took baby steps, getting to know each other, the good and bad. But eventually it transformed into loving one another like he was my own biological child.
I hug on him just the same as my other two children (maybe a little less at times to save him the embarrassment), and I even gripe at him the same at my other two.
There is no indifference in this household and it has never felt awkward for either one of us. The issue I face with being a step-parent is wishing there was more for me in the eye of the law.
Now nowhere in my future do I ever see Aaron and I splitting up, but I am constantly haunted by the thought and realization that if it did ever happen, I would have no right to see Aaden after the split.
We have formed a family together, blessing him and each other with two adoring, younger brothers.
But having absolutely no right to anything beyond being married to Aaron and him living in our household full time, we could go from everything to nothing. It is so scary!
I am so blessed to have Aaron, who goes to work each day, full time and even over time, which allows me to work from home and be with the kiddos majority of our twenty four hour days.
That's over 8000 hours a year with one another, living, learning, loving and fighting. Over 8000 hours of memories we form together as a family.
With all acknowledgment and understanding of privacy and why it is in place, I can’t even call places like the school or doctors without having prior permission given by Aaron for the release of information and such.
We are sometimes the ones who spend the most time with our step-children, yet we are the most restricted.
I can only love this little boy like my own with no limitations or boundaries, and hope that I make the best difference in his life and choices.