Sometime life takes unexpected twists and turns and changes happen and all of the sudden that standard family you were taught to portray is now different and you are now different... and that's OK! Our family started in a different place, with a different father, and honestly a different mother. Changes were made and life separated us but brought us together at the same time.
My first attempt at a happy family was just that...the first attempt. I'm not ashamed nor am I shy anymore to admit I've been divorced or I have three children with 2 fathers. These things happen and sometimes its for the best and sometimes its necessary whatever the reason we must remember we are all human we are all trying and we all must learn to adapt to change. Liam and Finn were born within love but that love broke by no fault of theirs and my focus has always been to support to make sure they remain stable and mentally healthy amid our life changes. I met Rafa at the start of my divorce, knowing how to create and sustain a new friendship while going through one of the toughest situations life can serve is not easy. Rafa always made us feel that healing came first and there will always be time to explore our relationship this is what kept me going when I felt like I could no longer move forward. I think we both instantly knew we had found the one we were meant to be with, we both had scars from life, but that made what we had even more special and beautiful. Although I was happy to be able to finally be thinking of my happiness, my children's happiness was the only thing that mattered. For you to get the full picture I will have to note that Finn and Liam's dad no longer has any contact with them and this is something that remains in their best interest. Rewind to when Rafa met the kids Finn was 2 and they were instant best friends. For Finn it was very black and white and he didn't know his biological father very much Rafa quickly became his father. Liam was 6 at the time and their relationship took a bit longer to develop and Rafa was patient and approached their relationship at the speed that was led by Liam and Liam felt comfortable with. Liam knew his biological father for longer and these changes brought up many feelings for him, Liam felt sadness and confusion, but he also felt relief and for the first time safe. For Liam I knew there would be lots of support needed and with the help from therapists (for both him and I) we got Liam to a wonderful spot. He and Rafa's relationship now is in line with what you would expect to see from an 8 year old and his father and its 100% heartwarming to watch. Present day we decided to add one more to our crew, welcome Oliver! Oliver who rounds out our group of 5 has been the missing link our family needed. Since having Oliver it has made our family feel even closer the boys never use words like "half brother" or "step brother" they just say my baby brother Oliver. This is something that came naturally for them they never even questioned what they would call him....although he has many many many niknames... I believe his favorite title is Baby Brother Ollie. Creating a blended family is never easy and it comes with having to learn to be comfortable with answering questions from curious outsiders about how we make it work?, how do the kids feel?, was it hard at first?. Being a blended family means to be ready to have conversations with family members along the lines of no one child is favored over the other due to blood relation (yes this is a real feeling families can have). This also includes thinking about the holidays and birthdays and reminding everyone that if one child gets a gift the other children also get gifts of the same value (again yes this is a real situation that can and does happen). Blending families and households is not something id ever think was in my future, but I would not have it any other way. I love my soon to be husband with my whole heart and could not imagine the rest of my life without him. We had many conversations in the beginning about how he feels and what becoming apart of our family meant for him and there was never a doubt in his mind he wanted to be apart of it. We welcomed him with all of our love and in return we found the piece of the puzzle that was missing and for him? well he gained 3 little bunnies, a golden retriever, and oh ya me!