Showing Love for My Step Children

George Washington was a Step Father

It is often said that the Lord works in mysterious ways and in allowing me to fulfill my desire to follow in the footsteps of my father, of which I am the first born of five, and have a large family of my own, the path has been anything but predictable.

In answer to my prayers I have been blessed with four wonderful children and have experienced the joy and love of being a biological father, an adoptive father and a stepfather.

I love them all, each in their own way, and cannot imagine my life without them.

Words cannot describe the rush of emotions a father feels when, minutes after birth, a nurse places your newborn child in your arms. Love. Pride. Responsibility.

This is the child you helped to create and, in its current helpless state, is totally dependent upon you for the very life you have given to it. I still remember those feelings when I first held my new born son,Victor, in the hospital some twenty years ago.

Adopting Our First Son From Abroad

However, I also remember similar feelings, but different circumstances, that occurred some three years earlier in the dusty little town of Progresso, Honduras when I first laid eyes on the little boy who became my first son.

Newly married, my wife had expressed to a friend and his wife, who were visiting us while on vacation from his job at the U.S. Embassy in Honduras, a desire to adopt a child from abroad.

Nothing definite, simply a chance remark about an idea we had discussed briefly.

My friend's wife immediately thought it was a great idea and encouraged us to come to Honduras as there were, according to her, orphanages full of children needing parents and adopting one was almost as easy as picking up food at the grocery store.

It turned out not to be that easy but, once we started down that road we never considered turning back.

The paperwork took about a year and, with that completed, we flew to Honduras where my friend and his family lived and attempted to locate a child. We had a couple of slim leads which we followed up on and were fortunate in finding the child we desired.

Our first encounter with the toddler who became our first child was described in one of my earlier Hubs entitled We Find David. My feelings that day were similar to those I would later feel at the birth of our second son.

The only negative thoughts on that and the days immediately following our return to Tegucigalpa where we waited at my friend's home while the adoption was finalized, was a nagging what if fear.

What if something had something had gone differently and we had not found our way to this child? Like my second son, as soon as I took my soon to be adopted child in my arms he became my child and the thought of life without him was unacceptable.

To me there has never been a difference in my feelings toward both of my sons although, as unique and different individuals my interactions with each one are different.

Life As a Single Parent

Unfortunately, a few years after our second son's birth, our marriage failed and I spent the next decade as a single parent.

With my efforts focused on raising two children while trying to make a living at the same time, there was no time for a social life away from my children.

However, as they grew into teenagers and began having more of a social life of their own, my thoughts turned to finding another wife.

With my children still at home and not wanting to have a new marriage come between my sons and me, I decided that I needed a woman who was used to children and, if I expected her to accept my children I would have to accept hers as well.

A New Wife and Two More Children

I had always wanted more children, so the prospect of acquiring additional children through marriage was appealing.

As it turned out the woman I found and fell deeply in love with had a daughter who was one week younger than my oldest and a son who was two years younger than my youngest.

All were in their teens (actually the two oldest ones were twenty when we married) and were mature enough to accept each other.

While neither of us pushed our children to quickly bond into one big family as we might have been inclined to do had they been younger, I was fully prepared to love all four of them equally.

As with my first son, meeting my two step children was an abrupt event. I had met my step daughter briefly a couple of years earlier while visiting my then wife to be in Russia.

However, between friends and work she wasn't around much and her brother was away in the country the whole time with his grandparents.

I did, however, get to interact,despite our language barrier, and teach her one thing. She worked in a small cafe where my wife to be and I dined on a number of occasions during my visit.

Lora would wait on us and would walk us to the door when we left. Once out of site of the owner I would give her a tip explaining that, in America tips went to the server not the owner. I was probably considered a cheapskate by the owner for not leaving a tip, but my step daughter to be was obviously happy with my little ruse.

Two years later I met my step son for the first time at the Los Angles Airport when he arrived with his mother and sister. I quickly took both children into my heart and never took time to distinguish between my wife's and mine as far as any of our four children were concerned. They responded in kind and I know of no parent who is happier with their children than me.

He best deserves the Name of Father Who Acts the Part of One

As a life long lover of history I have always known that George Washington, in addition to being the Father of our Country, was also a step father and adoptive father.

Upon his marriage to Martha he became the step father to her two children, both of whom he treated as his own.

Later in life he and Martha also adopted and raised two of their grandchildren following the early death of her son John Parke Custis just prior to the battle of Yorktown where John was serving under his father's command (John Parke Custis was among the many who died of disease just prior to the actual battle).

In a letter written to Washington in 1776, John Parke Custis summed up his feelings toward Washington with these words ...It pleased the Almighty to deprive me at a very early Period of Life of my Father, but I can not sufficiently adore His Goodness in sending Me so good a Guardian as you Sir.

Later in the same letter he provided the perfect definition of fatherhood when he wrote He best deserves the Name of Father who acts the Part of one.... .

The best way to show love to an adopted or step child is to simply act the part of a father (or mother as the case may be).

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

Chuck profile image

Chuck 4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona Author

shiningirisheyes- Thank you for your nice comments. I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub and my Hub on the Scott-Irish ( http://hubpages.com/holidays/Scot-Irish---The-Othe... ) I don' know why you couldn't comment on that Hub. I checked it and there didn't appear to be blocking comments there. But thas for posting your comments on that Hub here.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

This too is a wonderful, insightful and self reflective hub. I thank you for sharing.

I also wanted to let you know that I just finished reading one of your hubs on the Scot-Irish and attempted to leave a comment but it wouldn't accept my comment. I hope you do not mind me leaving it here.

I found the Scot-Irish hub so completely interesting as I had no idea about some of the Irish migration history. I thought I knew most of it and now I realize I was wrong. I was surprised to learn of an earlier mass migration due to the industrial revolution. What really took me by surprise was realizing John F. Kennedy wasn't our first Irish president, as that title goes to Andrew Jackson.

Just wanted to say thank you for providing two very interesting articles.


mary 4 years ago

wonderful post i loved it


4 years ago

sorry, please do not take this the wrong way, i take it when you say you love your adopted son and stepchildren as much as your bio son, it means you are willing to take a bullet for them as you would your bio son,and you are willing to love them absolutely unconditionally and not give up on them in any circumstances.

but part of me cant help but wondered whether you are only sayin this because you really do feel that way, or are you just saying it because it is the right thing to say, the right thing to do.

do not get me wrong, if you really do come to love your stepchildren as well as adopted son as much as you bio son, then they are very lucky to have a dad like you on their side.

but i am sceptical, because i am a christian as well, i have been a christian long enough to know how human like christians are. we strive to the ideal standard God set us, but most of us fall way short.

i say this because i grow up with a christian step father, who in "many" ways is a very loving christian man. i was 12 when he came into my life. by that point he already have 2 bio sons.

from the beginning he treated me the same way as his son. and he did love me a good deal. in fact, he always say to people that i am his son, there are absolutely no diff between me and my brothers ( his bio sons).

and i so want to believe him, as my dad was not in my life, and desperately wanted a dad.

but as time go on, part of me began to realize while he does love me, it is not the same kind of unconditional love he has for his sons.

and a few years, i got myself into quite a bit of trouble ( i wont go into details), he stood by me initially but soon got tired of me "not helping myself" as he would call it and he basically washed his hands clean of me.

which is ironic because one of his bio son got into something much worse in the past two years, and he was and still is forever a "dad" who loves his son unconditionally.

i wish he was upfront with me from the beginning, rather than "saying the right thing" for everybody else, and possibly God ( like any of us could fool Him).

the my expectations would not be so high, and i would not ended up getting so hurt through the disllusition.

if you ask me, what he did was selfish.

i can understand it may be tricky with adopted children, but i believe when it comes to step children , one should always be honest with them, so they would not get hopes up only to have it dashed later, like what happened to me.

BTW, my stepfather did apologise to me later, and i am trying really hard to rebuild our relationship. but i have stoped calling him " dad" and call him "Roger" instead.

and he knows why. as i believe the title "dad" should only reserved for a "real father" who is willing to commit to me in a EXACT same way as they would do their bio child.

the only one i call dad this days is my heavenly Father.

moral of the story, be honest. do not promise others something you can not possibly keep.


Christina Lyons profile image

Christina Lyons 8 years ago from West Hollywood

Despite the part about the marriage not working out, I thought this was a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing your intimate and personal story with all of us, you sound like a wonderful man.

Christina


bobmnu 8 years ago

Family are great. When all is said and done freinds and nice but you can always count on a good family.


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

Congrats on winning...this is awesome!


Paper Money profile image

Paper Money 8 years ago

Great Hub, I can relate to what you are saying, being a parent to a child who is not biologically yours could become difficult if you want or easy if you choose to just be a parent and love without question.

I love the fact that you shared something so personal, included history and the style and tone of the hub is quite commendable.


blessedmommy profile image

blessedmommy 8 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

Congrats on winning Chuck! And thanks for sharing.


jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 8 years ago from Scotland

Well done Chuck, todays winning Hub, thanks for sharing such a personal story.....jimmy


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Valued advice. Thank you.

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