Let me preface this story by explaining that I am a protector by nature and sometimes that natural protector can jump the gun.

Not long ago my step daughter came home and shared a concern regarding someone that we knew. The person had been making harsh statements toward her and it was beginning to get a little out of hand. The statement didn’t seem to bother her much but before I knew it I was upset beyond explanation and had gone from calm to extremely upset.

I had turned into Mama Bear protecting her cub.

I knew I had to address this issue because “NO ONE” was going to talk to my baby like that. Thankfully, I was able to say a quick prayer before really diving into a conversation with the person, so a right response kicked in before a reaction could smother it. Yet in that moment I realized something about my relationship with my stepchildren. I realized that I not only loved my stepchildren, but would go to bat for them. Not because they were my husband’s children but because they were now my children.

I believe that often times as step parents we await that “moment” when we begin to feel the same bond with our stepchildren as we do with our biological children. We wait for that special moment when we feel within our heart that our stepchild accept us so we can accept them. If we are honest with ourselves we even feel defeated when that doesn’t seem to happen as quickly as we expect.

Despite the obstacles that may try to hinder this from happening, we believe that for those that practice the art of being INTENTIONAL, it can happen regardless of the barriers.

So to answer the question of “When will I feel like they are mine” I will first say that feelings shouldn’t be the determining factor. How your stepchildren treat you in the moment shouldn’t either. Feelings can be very misleading, so it’s safer to lean on what we know to be true. We have to know that all of our children are an assignment from God in our lives.

Our stepchildren have a special assignment in our lives; they teach us how to love outside of our bloodline.

They teach us how to build relationship and forgive without holding grudges. They teach us how to embrace imperfections. They teach us how to become more like Christ.

So I believe that it’s safe to say that as stepparents, WE must be willing to go to bat for our children because we KNOW that they are ours to protect.