Blending Your StepFamily 46: Broken

Blending Your StepFamily 46: Broken October 30, 2014

Pam Rohr Slider1

From Pam Rohr, author of Blended Not Broken:

I am going to share right from my heart today. Lately I’ve been a bit discouraged about recording more podcasts and blogs about blended families. The truth is, I felt like a hypocrite because my blended family is not how it used to be and not how I want it to be. Satan has been telling me I’m a hypocrite and I listened for a while until I was told once again how much these principles are helping families to blend. I was taking on false responsibility because none of us are responsible for the actions and choices of others.

So today I will share from my broken heart. When my brother died at a very young age, leaving behind his 10-year-old son, our nephew, we had a choice to make. Nelson’s birth mom was still alive, a career woman, and she felt she could not bring Nelson into her home to raise even though she was raising his older half brother.

So we, after much prayer, wanted to bring Nelson into our family. He was in 5th grade when his dad died and he very much had a broken heart. He was not only mourning the death of his daddy who had always been there for him, but he was also reeling from the rejection and abandonment from his own mom after she refused to bring him home.

He did not want to come and live with us. He wanted to live with his mom, which is certainly understandable. What child doesn’t want to be with their parent? Every fear he had battled about her in the past about her not wanting him was now confirmed. Her words said she loved him but her actions said yet another.

At first, he blamed us for bringing him into our home. It was too painful for him to blame his mom even though later as an adult, he said he knew the truth. Kids always want to think the best of their parents. I believe that is a gift from God to us parents.

His mom would come to visit him occasionally and he would visit her at times. We lived in another state from where Nelson had been born and raised and where his mom still lived. So when he came to live with us, he had to leave behind everything he had ever known: his home, his school, his town, his friends, his mom, his grandparents, and his brothers. He had a dog however and so we also brought her to live with us so he would still have her in his family. So Captain, his dog, became part of our family too.

The first year Nelson came to live with us, I ended up home schooling him. We tried public school but the little guy could not concentrate and it was just too much change for him. He was grieving so deeply that he could not focus. But home schooling was a great choice in that it helped us to bond even more. Our other kids were at school all day so it was Nelson and I at home together so bond we did. But even before he came to live with us, I always had a very special place in my heart for him. I remember the first time I met him as a newborn; I absolutely fell in love. It was like God was preparing me for the day that he would become part of our family.

We did not adopt Nelson through the courts although we certainly considered it. The reason for this decision was because he had always wanted to go live with his mom. Had we adopted him, and I’m pretty sure his birth mom would have let us; Nelson may have resented us even more. He would have tangible evidence, in his mind, that we were to blame for not being with his Mom. We also had hoped that maybe she would wake up and decide to bring him home with her and we would not stand in the way of them being together. We knew that is what Nelson wanted. So we didn’t adopt him through the courts but we certainly adopted him into our hearts. He became as much a part of our family as any of us.

One thing I want to mention is that Nelson’s mother was adopted as a newborn, right from the hospital. She only ever knew her adopted parents. But when she became an adult, after she had divorced my brother and left him and Nelson, she also cut off all communication with her parents. She never called or went to see her mother the last twenty years of her mom’s life. This broke her moms heart, we could never understand it, as her parents were good people. They were good to my brother and Nelson and all of their family. And when Nelson became an adult, he thought it was terrible how his mom had treated his grandparents. I’m sure they weren’t perfect parents; there is only one perfect parent and that is God the Father. And how many people walk away from Him? But I know her parents loved her and sacrificed for her. They were there when my brother died and were heartbroken at his passing. And they always remained a part of Nelson’s life and were loving and caring grandparents to him.

I bring this up about Nelson’s mom because Nelson has chosen to walk away from our whole family. Not just us who raised him but his grandma, cousins, uncle, everyone. None of us have heard from him for quite a while now. He had cut his birth mom off a few years ago but we never saw it coming that he would also cut us off. Why would he do this? I’ve asked myself that a thousand times.

Could it be a generational curse, his mom did it and now he’s doing it too?

Is it because the wound of abandonment and rejection had never been fully healed and now he’s doing to others what he hated himself? Wounded people wound others, as the saying goes.

Or is it that anger and bitterness has consumed him even though I and countless others have spent hours with him trying to help him to see the importance of forgiveness and letting it go?

Or does he believe the lie that he is a victim?

I don’t know but I wish I did. I do know Satan was using this against me “how can you help other step families when yours isn’t the way you’d like it to be”. I was starting to agree with that liar, he is called the father of lies, but then I came to my senses. The principles for stepfamilies work. And if used, they will help families to blend more quickly. Just because a child makes a choice to cut off communication with his family, doesn’t mean the principles don’t work. There are multitudes of families and not just stepfamilies that have broken relationships. We live in a broken world where bad things happen to good people. We wonder why but sometimes we may not get our answers until the other side.

We pray for Nelson daily just like we do for our other children and grandkids. I do hope and believe that one day we will be reconciled, that is my prayer.

I needed to get this out in the open so that Satan could no longer use it against me in my trying to help other stepfamilies. When we bring things out into the Light, he losses his power over us.

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