Today marks almost 40 days since I have spoken to my stepdaughter. Yeah, you read that right…40 DAYS! Having had her here in Texas with me an entire summer, the bond between us and my family not only grew, but you would have thought she had been born into our family. She fit right in. Because of the different environments she had been around prior to my family and I, my focus was to teach her the values of family bonding, her Hispanic culture, and all that I learned as a little girl from my parents. It went even better than I expected it to. When it was time for her to return home, I kept my word by being active in her life from afar through phone calls, Skype, letters, and packages. Though it’s difficult to accept that not everyone has the same family morals as I do, I’ve done the best that I can with what I have been allowed to do. I know I will never have any real rights to my stepdaughter. I know I will never be a biological parent and I was never trying to be either but, sometimes when you see things that can be better for someone you love, bringing up issues to one’s attention needs to happen. After all, that’s what family does, right? Sensitive subjects are never easy to bring up, especially when the priorities of the parties involved aren’t the same. I grew up in a home where if things were not going well, there were disagreements, or someone had their feelings hurt, we talked it out. Not yell and screamed like crazy people one day, then brush it under the rug the next day like it never happened. Nothing ever gets resolved that way and we are the example to the younger ones in our lives. What they see growing up will have a huge affect on the adults they turn out to be.
Within the 40 days of not speaking to my little step-princess I have called, sent a stationery kit to introduce her to letter writing, my family has called, and I tried to Skype with her for Thanksgiving. I am not only saddened that I haven’t seen or spoken to her, but it’s devastating that after all I have taught her this past summer about family seems to not matter now that she is not here and all that my family and I did for her was merely part of a summer getaway instead of real life lessons of love and morals. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s sometimes hard for me to accept that family doesn’t have the same meaning to others as it does to me. So with that being said, because my stepdaughter is not around us the majority of the time, there is only so much we can do. What she sees and is taught when she is not around us we have no control over and hoped it was going to continue as it was agreed upon when summer ended.
I have not only been bothered with the not being able to communicate with my stepdaughter, but also heartbroken. Since I am big on communication my current attempt was to reach out and say how I felt. I was 100% honest and totally put all my feelings out there. You MAKE time for those you care about. You MAKE time to keep your end of the deal. You MAKE time to be consistent and proactive. You MAKE time to teach your children about family and keeping in touch with them; because there is NO EXCUSE for not doing any of that at all. Everyone is busy, works, and has a life to live. We ALL make time for what’s important and when time isn’t made for you, I guess you are just not important, neither are the family relationships that had been built. Now I question myself; so now what? Do I give up? Do I let go? Am I being cut off and out of her life? Do I let my stepdaughter that I love so much think I just disappeared? Do I keep calling and sending letters even though I get no response back? What am I suppose to do now? Whatever the futures holds, I hope she remembers all that I have taught her; I hope she never thinks that I just disappeared out of her life, and that she has a family back in Texas that truly love her. After all, family is not always blood.
PS. Shout out to all the stepparents that have bonded and truly love their stepchildren: No matter the situation you are in, the kind of relationship you have with the biological parents, what ethnicity you are, what you believe in, and what you have tried to show your stepchildren, know that you have done it with heart, family values, are NOT alone and heartfelt childhood memories are something no one can ever take away.
Thursday Thoughts is a weekly series to share my random and personal thoughts with my readers so that they will get to know me a bit more; the series is just for fun, sharing, is therapeutic for me, and to make you think of similar situations yourself.