This month, we want to talk about a very sensitive subject.
We are a Blended Family.
Recently, a friend who we’ve known for over 2 years made a remark that really bothered us.
We were blessed to be able to have Lexie, Jake and Bailey with us on The Singing At Sea Cruise. 3 of our 4 children. Yvonne, Jake and I were standing looking at some pictures that were taken by the Ship’s photographers.
I was having a conversation with a long time friend and this other friend was speaking with Y. He looked at Jake and then turned to Y and asked “Is this your son?” Yvonne answered him, “Yes, this is OUR son, Jake.” He then said, “Oh, yeah, I know. Yours, mine & ours…. But he must be yours because of the red hair.”
Jake was standing in ear shot and heard “my friend” ask the question. I’m not sure what emotions were going thru Jake’s mind.
To this day, I am ashamed that I didn’t step in.
I know that if I would’ve said something harsh and there would’ve been an awkwardness and I’m sure some “back peddling” on his part, but regardless, I should’ve set this friend straight.
I should’ve stood up for my family regardless of the consequences.
No, Lexie, Jake and Bailey are not my biological children, but make NO mistake- I AM their Dad. They are my children. I have been in their life for 10 years and I’m not ever going to walk away from them.
This has not been the first time someone has said something like this. People say things or ask questions because they are curious. I understand that.. It’s the manner and the timing that is crucial.
A Pastor’s wife made a similar comment one time. Also in front of Jake and Bailey. Y handled her.
People who are not connected to a blended family, really can’t grasp the difficulties that blended families have.
I’m not saying to treat us special. I’m just saying that we ARE a family and we have feelings too. Especially our children.
I have a friend who introduces his son as “My Stepson.” I WILL NEVER do that. There are NO steps in our family.
Yes, I know some may be saying “Hey, that’s the consequences of divorce.. So deal with it.” To you, I say “Yes, we do deal with it everyday. But why not have a little compassion for the kids who have to go through it?”
This would be the month most of our readers expect an article inspired by the Singing at Sea cruise from which we just returned. When Bryan & I were discussing what the subject matter should be, I spoke up and told him that the topic that has weighed on my heart everyday since our cruise was a hurtful one that involved our son, Jake. We deliberated about it for 2.5 seconds and decided to plunge through this topic. Why? Because I believe somebody, probably many some bodies, have dealt with this too. Or maybe you are the somebody who has been careless with your words and injured a child.
I need to put a disclaimer on my part of our devotion from the get-go. I am crazy protective of our family. In the last two months though, it has kicked into over drive. To Bryan’s point, I’m sure curiosity over our family dynamic sometimes leads people to cross the line from acquaintance into nosey.
The Hutson household is a blended family. Although, in our situation, it isn’t that way. You see, Bryan has been in our children’s lives for over a decade. The highlight reel would show their biological father making very destructive choices that not only affected himself but a multitude of others in a deeply painful way. The details are unimportant at this point. And to be honest, most wouldn’t believe it if they knew. What is important to understand though is that we are a family. I am their mother and Bryan is their dad. Bryan has been my partner raising our children for nearly 10 years. Bryan has cuddled Bailey since she was a toddler, carried her in his arms outta the school when she was sick, carried her from dinner to the room on a cruise when she was sea sick and totes her to every orthodontist appointment. He is the only man in their lives who has made choices for them. He financially helped support them, as well, long before we were married. He loves all OUR children. So, there are no “step” children around here.
Two months ago, we found out their biological father passed away suddenly, unexpectedly and sadly alone. Jake found out from his father’s mother in a grief stricken moment…. after school… by a phone call. He then called me at work and protected his sister by not telling her until I rushed home. He’s compassionate. He’s sensitive. He is protective of his family in the same way as his Momma .They were devastated. Not because they had been close to him or even really had a healthy relationship but because the chapter had closed. They had only seem him a handful if times over the last 8 years. As children, we all long for a father’s love. In the end, he wasted the opportunity to have these great kids in his life. It was the very next week they decided for the first time to come with us on the cruise. I think they didn’t want to be away from us this time.
On the ship, Bryan was talking to a long time friend of ours and another friend we have known for a couple years started a conversation with me while Jake was standing there with both of us. The friend speaking with me asked ” Is this your son?” I answered him with “Yes, this is OUR son, Jake.” He then replied “Oh, yeah, I know. Yours, mine & ours…. But he must be yours because of the red hair.” I literally could not say a word. That is bad. If I don’t say a word it’s because I’m trying not to lose my testimony. Bryan realized what he had said and looked towards us and continued with the discussion he was having all the while wrapping it up to get us out of this situation. Immediately, I read the hurt on Jake’s face. He’s such an old soul. He’s like his Momma and just pushes his hurts down. He is wicked funny but that just covers his sensitivity and compassionate heart. Bryan quickly ended his conversation and started us walking. When we got to our room, I told him I needed to share something with him. He already knew. He finished my sentence. We both felt such a heavy sense of disappointment and sadness. Disappointed that someone we expose our youngin’ to was so careless about our sons feelings and sad because we knew the heartache it brought to Jake. Here he is still dealing with all the emotions around the end of a tumultuous relationship with his biological father and an adult is telling him in a sideways manner that Bryan really isn’t his parent. Bryan has been his dad for almost 10 years now.. day in.. day out. That right there makes this Momma a bit cross eyed protective. Sadly, I lost respect for that friend that day.
My hope is that adults will stop and think about the things they say… Especially when children are involved. Let this be a reminder to all of us that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about and we all will strive to be a tad more thoughtful around others.
So how should we approach blended families?
-Realize that they are first a family. The actual word-“blended” may come first, but FAMILY is the most vital part.
– Do not engage in negative conversation regarding the circumstances of the past.
-If you have a question, first ask YOURSELF why you want to know. Check YOUR motives.
-All questions and concerns should be addressed to the PARENTS. DO NOT involve the children. Always choose your words AND your approach wisely. Ask the parents and NOT in front of the children. Season your words with love.
Luke 18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.”
-Pray for the family. Just like we all have issues that no one knows about, so does the blended family. Pray that God would join them together in unity and that His spirit would direct the leaders of the home to make wise decisions concerning the family.
1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
The Hutson’s 2014