There can be beauty out of tragedy. My blended family is a daily testament to this.
I didn’t wake up one morning as a child and tell myself I want to go through a divorce and be a stepmother when I grow up. I definitely didn’t hope to shuffle my kid(s) back and forth and alter the childhood image we all have for a happy and functional family. Growing up, I imagined I would have it all; the career, the house, the 2.5 kids plus dog. Then life threw me a plot twist. I found myself in horrendous divorce proceedings with the father of my 1 year old daughter. I was thrown into a new chapter of life; single working mom with a 1 year old to support emotionally and financially.
Fast forward 5 years and I found my version of happily ever after when I met my husband Drew. He was a package deal as was I. Together we formed a new family unit when we married last year. My daughter Skye is 8 years old and spent her entire life as an only child. While she was excited to have a new sister her age, (Avy) and an older brother (Kavan 11), there were a few growing pains along the way. Luckily, the girls hit it off right away as they shared many of the same interests. It took a little longer for Kavan to warm up to the idea but he has really taken to his older brother role. Skye and Avy look up to him like he hung the moon in the sky.
My daughter and step-children are thriving. This wasn’t always the case. Every one of us drowned in our own way that first year as a family. The underlying love we had for one another was the raft that kept us a float. Navigating schedules, different households with different rules, bio-parent and step-parent loyalties and frustrations on good days and court battles on the bad days is difficult for young kids. Let’s face it, it’s difficult for most adults. We’ve found our new normal and our true north.
My heart has expanded in ways I didn’t know possible. I ended up exactly where I wanted to be. It’s my own version of the marriage, career, 2.5 kids plus dog. It can be viewed as unconventional by some but it works for us. We have the dog, careers we both love, a loving partnership and marriage, three joint kids and a house.
Our journey is still new and we continue to hit speed bumps along the way but we have love, laughter and faith guiding us forward. A blended family has been one of the most rewarding and joyous plot twists of my life.Pictured: Sara Lords + Drew + Skye + Kavan + Avy Photo Cred: D. Selbak Photography Location: Archer Vineyard, Newberg OR