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Thought I'd post this for those who are involved in a not-so-great relationship with a stepchild.

My then-husband's daughter was 2 when her parents split up, almost 4 when I started to date her Dad and 6 when we got married. She would spend every Saturday with us. While we weren't very close, I did try to let her and her Dad have their quality time together. He and I separated when she was 12 and shortly thereafter, her mother died so she went to live with her Dad. A year later he and I reconciled and we became a "family". She was 13 and I was strict so her teenage years were a battle for all of us. Many times she reminded me that I was not her mother.

When she was 19 her Dad and I split for good. She and I maintained a relationship over the years - spoke on the phone once or twice a year - exchanged greeting cards, etc. I attended her wedding.

Some years back when she was about 30, she told me that she was very grateful to me for all the love I expressed over the years and particularly for trying to make her walk the straight and narrow as a teen. (She also thanked me for forcing her to go to church on Sunday, etc. as she took a lot of comfort in her faith as the years went by.)
Made me so proud and happy. In fact, I was one of the 6 people she invited to a "home Mass" that she had for her Mom some years ago. (Her Dad wasn't.)

Unfortunately, the world lost her this January when at 38 she died from a brain aneurysm which was apparently caused by a congenital disease she inherited from her mom. (My dear SD had had a hip replacement and a heart valve replacement due to the disease.)

At her wake, the priest told me how often she had told him how grateful she was for my being there and loving her and guiding her through her teenage years.

So - just hang in there, do your best, love the child and be the best parent you can (forget about the "step" part.)

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Thanks for that story and your persistance! It is hard to remember in the heat of the battle with kids or step-kids (or exe's) that the fruits of your labor are a long slow process. Patience and love always pay off in the long run.

Thanks for encouraging us!

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