Not long after Stephanie Carle met her now-husband Chris, she met his daughter Abigail. The way she explains it, it was love at first sight.
"I will forever remember the way she looked, her bouncing personality, the weather, where we were and the way she squealed when she saw her dad kiss me," Stephanie told us via email.
Below, the proud stepmom shares more of her family's story and and offers up her best advice for fellow stepparents struggling to make a connection with their stepkids.
Hi Stephanie. Want to introduce us to your family?
There are three of us in our family. There's me, my husband Chris and his daughter Abigail, who's 6.
How long have you and Chris been together?
My husband and I have been together for about two years. We've been living together for about a year and a half and we were recently married on September 6. (My first marriage and Chris' second.)
You can tell from a quick glance at my blog bio that I'm a stepmother -- but I almost never write about it.
I've had several big reasons to steer clear of the topic. One, I'm not my stepdaughters' mom, and if I were, I don't think I'd be too happy if they had a stepmother writing about their lives on her blog. Two, throughout most of the time I've been blogging, my stepdaughters were teenagers and they certainly didn't need or want me to be writing about them at that sensitive time in their lives. Three, writing about step parenting while you're in the trenches of it is a lot like writing about divorce as you're going through it -- emotions are running rampant and very few writers can steer through the subject with grace and objectivity. Four, and this was a biggie, I often felt like the world's worst stepmother. I mean it. The world's worst.
And who wants to write about that?
By: Sherry Ann McGregor
Two recent articles on Yahoo.com sparked my attention and motivated me to write this article. One article was entitled 'Couples battle in Italy over IVF twins implanted in wrong woman'. The birth parents of the twins discovered the error three months after they were born and a genetic test was done to check for illnesses. It was reported that, under Italian law, the birth mother of a child is recognised as the legal mother.
In the second article, entitled 'Australian parents say they were forced to leave baby with Down's syndrome with surrogate', twins were separated after the biological parents took the healthy girl with them to Australia and left her brother with the surrogate mother in Thailand. (Thailand is often referred to as a surrogacy hub where 'rent a womb' services are known to thrive.) There are conflicting accounts as to why the baby boy was left behind, with the surrogate mother alleging that the parents did not want him after they learnt that he had Down's syndrome and the parents contending that they were told that he was so ill that he would not have survived for more than a few weeks.
Step Moms, Ladies planning on Adopting, going through or thinking of IVF or trying natural methods of getting pregnant.