The Blended Family

I think I chose the wrong career path.  I should have been a lawyer.  Ok, so I’m a little riled up– we just received a statement from our family court lawyer.  The statement was expected as we are gearing up to go back to court– the amount was more than expected.  There is zero doubt in my mind that it is worth every penny, but it is still hard to have your house fund chipped away at.  We’ve already spent half of a down payment in the last three years– again, absolutely necessary, but incredibly frustrating.

Without saying too much (probably not a good idea while proceedings are still active), we have been my stepdaughter’s primary caregivers since she was 2 years old.  However trying it may be, both emotionally and financially, this amazing little girl needs us to fight for her.  For stability, for her health, for the chance to realize her talents and dreams.

This is the blended family.  It is both heartbreaking and exhilarating.  I have been blessed with another daughter (whom I actually welcomed into my life years before my biological daughter).  The first time she said “I love you,” that was it– I was in one hundred percent.  I knew she needed a strong female role model– and knowing that she needed me motivated me to work harder on my relationship with my husband and on myself.

However, with this sweet girl comes another mother.  I have always wished that we had a co-parent who really wanted to work cooperatively for the good of our child– she is the one who really needs it.  She’s old enough now to start asking questions, and how do you explain why both sides of her family must stay so separate?  Why does her sister (our baby daughter) have both parents together while she has to go back and forth?  In one family she is the baby, in one she is the big sister.  The houses could not be more different.  At 6 years old she has already learned to be two different people, switching back and forth to assimilate with her surroundings.  There’s no way it can’t have an effect on her.

I don’t know the answers yet to the questions that I know will come someday– all too soon.  I am still learning everyday to better support her in this unique journey.  In one sense she is lucky to have such a large extended family– and they all do love her very much.  But she has been given a challenge indeed– one that her father and I must do everything we can to equip her with the tools and strength to overcome.  I know there will be struggles along the way, but I know she can do it.  We can do it.  We are the Rodriguez Family, a special family: a blended family– but stronger because of it.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

8 thoughts on “The Blended Family

  1. leighleighspeaks

    Praying for you all. It is very hard as i completely know what challenges you are talkinf about. Stay positive! God is in control. Lean on him for strength, have faith it will all work out.
    The answers to all those questions will come in time.

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  2. Step-Mom Mediator

    Court is a necessary and VERY costly evil, unfortunately it is the only option in some situations. Our latest modification has been going on for almost a year already and to save some of the lawyer costs, I do a lot of the administrative work and it ends up consuming me! Just started blogging as an outlet and am also concerned about how much I say because of it but speaking the truth can’t be considered disparaging…so here I am! Be strong and eventually the truth will prevail, sometimes it just costs a ton and takes forever….hang in there!!

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    1. Stacey aka the Soccer Mom Post author

      Thanks for the encouragement! When you say “modification,” does that mean that custody was already arranged and you’re back in court to make changes? That is what scares me the most– what is to stop a parent from trying again…and again…and again?

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      1. Step-Mom Mediator

        Yes, our current order was entered less than 3 years ago and we are back again due to contempt on the Mom’s part and needing to modify the order to stop it from continuing. In most cases the court won’t entertain modifications unless there is enough of a change in circumstance to warrant it. If you are in the process of getting your first custody order, I would suggest making sure that it contains specifics about dispute resolutions like mediation before going back to court for after the order is entered. Hope that helps, I started my blog to share my self taught legal knowledge in this area just as much as an outlet for me….feel free to ask me anything!

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          1. Step-Mom Mediator

            Ouch! Two years is a long, expensive and stressful road to have to travel….hopefully it ends favorably for you and your family soon!!! Depending on your situation and where you are in the process, there are many things you can do to try and make sure you stay out of court in the future. The first thing I suggest is to make sure that any possible issues you can see arising are addressed and an alternate dispute resolution, like mediation before court or which parent gets the final call. If you haven’t checked out my entry on Our Family Wizard, it’s worth a read because so far the service has been helping lay out a lot of necessary details for us and the professional accounts help save a bit on attorney fees. If you would like some private and specific advise I would be happy to share any of the things I’ve learned along the way.

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