You learn a lot as a child of divorce. Things both good and bad. It shapes your outlook on life, the way you view marriage, the way you look at and treat relationships, the way you reflect on yourself, and the way you handle almost every aspect of your life. Often divorce gets only a bad rep, and don't get me wrong, there are negative things that are involved and that come of it, but there are also many good things. Without a doubt, the most important thing divorce taught me is that family isn't based on your genetic makeup. Love is based on way more than cells and DNA.
Divorce opened my eyes to a lot, but most importantly it taught me that love is whatever you want it to be. I grew up throughout my childhood with not just two parents, but four. Each and every one of these four people taught me more than I will ever be able to sum up in a blog post, and every one of them impacted my life as my parent.
It really gets under my skin the negative connotation that comes with step parents. You see the comments in television and literature, I have received comments from people in my life, and its hard to ignore sayings like 'the redheaded stepchild'. Those that have these outlooks apparently do not see step parents for what they truly are: representations of what love is actually all about.
Step parents didn't create you, biologically speaking. But you know what? They chose you. Step parents take you under their wing and call you theirs. I grew up with other kids my age being jealous that I got two Christmases and birthdays. And as a seven year old, yeah that's cool. But as you get older you realize that really doesn't mean anything. What actually matters is that you have more family to call yours.
My step parents are true parents to me. They have raised me, cared for me, taught me essential life lessons and called me their own. They have sat through countless ball games, traveled with arguing kids across the country, dealt with the rebellious divorce kid stage (admit it, we all had one), listened to problems as if they were their own, and given endless amounts of advice. They call you their child without any second guessing.
Step parents are parents, too. Equally as important. Its time for us all to stop giving them a bad image.