02/11/2015 10:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

An Open Letter to Anyone Dealing With Our Blended Family


First of all, I want to say thank you. Thank you for accepting our beautiful patchwork family as we are. Thank you for all the love and support you have given and will give. Thank you for being there from the beginning, and walking with us through to the end. We wouldn't be here without you. Now that we are learning more about our unique family and its challenges, there are a few things that will help us that we would like you to know:

We will never be able to please everyone, so please understand, first and foremost, we aim to please the children.

No matter what, people will be hurt; people will be missing out. But, know that if this time it is you that is missing out, please understand that means the children and someone else are happy. Our time is limited due to custody, school, activities and friends. Everyone is missing the kids. Everyone wants more time.

We are constantly re-evaluating who we haven't spent enough time with, who the kids said they were missing this week and what we need as a family. We cherish every moment you get to spend with our children, as do they. There will be stints where the time has been too long between visits; we are aware of this, and feel the pain it causes you and us. Please bear with us while we continue to juggle everything. We miss you, we love you and we want to see you as soon as it is right.

There is always something else going on.

We will always question each other's decisions, especially where children are involved. I question yours. You question mine. It's human. It's best for everyone if we all take everything with a grain of salt, and assume, although we may disagree -- maybe there is something else going on we aren't aware of.

We didn't buy that Halloween costume because of a related argument with their other biological parent. We didn't want to have anyone over for a birthday this year because we agreed, after much drama, that every other year we would have no party, and instead just focus on immediate family. This way, the other parent could enjoy a true "party" with the child, and we would not be competing for guests, time slots or who had the better event (a joint party is no longer an option, due to all those things that you didn't know went on last year).

We didn't come over that one time because we had only spent one night with the entire family together in two weeks. We said no to that play date because last time your child told my child that our children weren't really related, and we are still doing damage control from that. No matter what questions about the choices we make arise, please remember the children are happy, healthy, safe, spoiled rotten and loved to the point of smothering. And, there is always something else going on.

We are building our new family and it takes time, trial and error.

None of us knew what we signed on for. You fall in love, and everything seems perfect. And, it is perfect, but it is also fragile, and new, and full of surprises. We didn't know terms like "first family grief," "parental alienation," and "blended family counseling" before we all fell in love. We are a young family, and we are all new at this. We need time and patience to work these things out.

Creating a solid foundation for our family is our primary concern, and we appreciate your patience as we grow and learn. Sometimes we need to make decisions that will help us build and grow. Sometimes we just need time to focus on this new family unit. We miss you, and we love you, but we love us most, and we know that you understand that.

Love Always,
Our Blended Family