Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blended Families - Bridging the Gaps

Many studies have been done about the BLENDING of families - with the high rate of divorce & remarriage that IS the "norm" for America today {sad as that may be, it IS reality, folks}, WORKING AT BLENDING A FAMILY affected by anyone becoming a "step" (father, mother, sibling) is key to the success of that marriage.

I have long been a proponent of INCLUDING all members of a family to the fold - however inconvenient that might be at times, you just can't have a Successful Blended Family unless rules are set and adhered to about what IS and is NOT acceptable.

Dividing up a Blended Family because one or more members of said family are "step", or "already grown, so what does it matter how we treat them" ... is just WRONG, on any and every level.

Is this a HOT TOPIC with me? You betcha {said with a Sarah Palin accent and wink, although I am totally freaking serious about the matter}.

During the recent campaign season, I was impressed, again & again, with the amazing BLENDING of the John & Cindy McCain family. Take a look at the make-up of their children:

Doug McCain: Born 1959, Doug was adopted by John after he married Doug's mom, Carol Shepp. Doug is a commercial airline pilot.

Andrew (Andy) McCain: Born 1962, Andy was adopted by John after he married Doug's mom, Carol Shepp. Andy is a business executive. Andy, who has said that he has grown to be very fond of Cindy -- and who now plays a key role in her family-owned beer-distribution company in Phoenix.

Sidney Ann McCain: Born 1966, her mom is Carol Shepp. Sidney works in the music industry.

Meghan McCain: Born 1984, her mom is Cindy MCain. Meghan is a journalist.

John Sidney (Jack) McCain IV: Born 1986, attending the U.S. Naval Academy. His mom is Cindy McCain.

James (Jimmy) McCain: Born 1988, Jimmy joined the Marine Corps in 2006. His mom is Cindy McCain.

Bridget McCain: Born 1991, Bridget was adopted in 1993 from Bangladesh.

Talk about a SUCCESSFUL blended family - but it came with WORK and TIME and EFFORT; it was not a "given" for the McCain family, no more than it is for ANY family on the "Let's Get Blended So We Can Stay Together" path.

To read an article about the McCain's amazing blended family, click on this link:

http://marriage.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=marriage&cdn=people&tm=608&gps=384_1213_1286_704&f=10&tt=11&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22403599/

To read some TIPS from mental & other health care professionals about the importance of carefully treading when BLENDING a family, visit:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/blended_families_stepfamilies.htm

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Parenting-Stepchildren-2203/laws-unfair-kids.htm

For me, for now, that's all I can manage -- this topic has me really upset, and sick to my stomach, since once again, after being with Mark for 16 years, and married for 9 now, his family is still unable and unwilling to acknowledge "my" girls ... as "his" family. What on earth does it take? {And will it ever end ???}

I've already gone through one divorce because my first husband and I could not agree on the definition of "family" ...

-- D.

3 comments:

Francia said...

Oh! Honey. My heart hurts for you because I know what that all feels like. But who we are and who our children are are not measured by our acceptance in any family, club, association, etc. We are who we are because of how much our God loves us. We are God's Children, He opens his arms to us. Our inheritance comes from our Father in Heaven. Whenever I feel hurt over family issues,(there are many,) I pray a prayer of thanksgiving to my Lord God Jesus Christ for His love and mercy. I am so blessed to be His child.
Dry your tears dear sister, and know that I love you, Kristi & Cara with all my heart and so does our Lord. It will all turn out fine. I'll bet this hurts Mark as much as you. He can't control his family any more than Darryl his. It's hard for men to handle these family dynamics. They really don't know what to do. Their denial & ignoring of the situation is the best they can do. He is truly in the middle, trying to keep peace on both sides. Keep loving Mark, Davi. Mark is a good man and I know he loves you so much. Take the "D" word out of your vocabulary and just be the wife and mother God wants you to be.
Your loving sister, Francia

ann said...

And this would be the Catholic side of the family???
I know you know, it's their loss!!!
blessings

2Travelers said...

thank you both, Francia and Ann - and I have to say, the "D" word, unfortunately, Does belong in my vocab, sis -- I have had one, and I was raised in the midst of not one or two, but THREE divorces - so that word stays - NOT necessarily for me again, I was just making a sad point. Ann, to answer your question - yes, that side of the fam is ... Catholic. -- Davi