My first blog is devoted to my wonderful step children. Oh how I despise that term, however; it is ‘the’ name given to children one adopts when one marries someone with kids made with another.This is devoted to Kate and Joe because my blog is about what inspires me and over the last 17 years these wonderful little people grew up to be amazing adults who have inspired me more than they will ever know. If not for Kate, this blog would never have been born… thanks, sweetie! All I ever wanted was to marry a wonderful man and be a mom. I’m so blessed to have my dream come true! As a young adult I’d sometimes panic about the concept of becoming a mom… what about world wars? What if I can’t do it? My mom would say “Don’t worry, they come one at a time and they start off as babies”. Well, that’s not quite how it unfolded for me. September 25th, 1993 “Is she sleeping?” “I think so.” Those were the first words I heard from my kids. I was sleeping in the bed and Chris was on a foamy on the floor and the kids edged up to the bed, whispering as they stared at me. I felt like sleeping beauty as they spoke to one another in their precious voices. “I hear it was someone’s birthday yesterday?” I said, eyes still closed, then opened as the children popped backward. Then they climbed onto my the bed and told me all about the birthday party and their lives and asked what we were going to do today. We’ve been forever connected since that day and I can honestly say that they have been the greatest gift ever… they even gave Chris and I to each other on our wedding day. I started today’s blog – International step-kids day as #1. It seems as if there is a day for everything else and #2. Step-kids should be rewarded for being so resilient. I use that word ‘resilient’ tongue-in-cheek as it gives me the shivers every time I hear it. Yes, kids are resilient but why should they have to be? It is us adults that have created all these extra people in their lives, they certainly didn’t ask for it. I’ve been blessed with a ‘step-wife’ who shared her kids with me creating a co-parenting situation that I think was pretty decent, yet still had the children popping back and forth between two households… so tough for them, I know. As my goal is to inspire, I ask that if you have step-kids in your life always remember they didn’t ask for this. Speak kindly about their parents and grandparents and their parents new partner. The maternal/paternal family is a connection so strong that when dismissed in anyway hurts to the core. I know! My parents didn’t split until I was in my 20’s and even then when people would call one or the other down, it hurt, I felt shame. Please avoid this from happening to the young ones in your life. We found it best as we missed spending time with the kids, to tell them we wanted to clone them. This created a whole new conversation; we never wanted them to think we wanted to take them away from their mom. Also, at Christmas or other occasions remind them how many people love them in their new extended families. As I hear adults say things like “I only have to deal with the new wife until the kids graduate” first I disagree, there will always be weddings and babies, etc. On the flip side, ponder this; the kids in this blended arrangement will forever have to consider which of 3 families they will spend Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays with. God bless ‘em if both families have separated, you do the math! In closing, ask yourself “what’s best for the children” before speaking and taking action AND always remind them how special they are! Inspire someone today! Not feeling it? Be kind, be generous… be love!