Stepping Out

Some of my long-time readers may remember that Andrew, my stepson, just came back to live with us a little over a year ago. If you're interested, there's more on the history here,
here, and here. It's just too long to get into here...but for a quick summary, his biological mother has been in and out of his life since he was a small baby, and hasn't seen him at all in over a year. She hasn't called in months, allowing both Andrew's 10th birthday and Christmas to pass without even talking to him. Although we have changed our phone numbers, she has MIL's number and knows where she lives, and has never hesitated to call her in the past (when she wanted something).
She's never went this long without at least calling.
So, it appears that she has totally dropped out of Andrew's life. We don't even know where she is. We heard a while back that she was back with her husband, but more recently I've gotten some info that suggests she is no longer with him, nor her baby she had with him.
I hope his "mother" is gone for good this time. I truly believe that would be in Andrew's best interest. Far better than the in & out crap she did for the first nine years of his life, or the emotional abuse she put him through when he lived with her.
Andrew very rarely mentions her. When he does, it's usually to tell us about some bizarre thing that she forced him to do. It's always negative.
When Andrew moved back in with us over a year ago, he asked me if he could call me Mom. I told him, as I'd told him before, that he could call me whatever he wants to call me. He mostly called me Cyndy; he seemed content just to know that he could call me Mom if he wanted, but out of habit just called me by my name.
But a few weeks ago it occurred to me that I don't remember the last time he called me Cyndy. Towards the end of last year, he started calling me Mom more often. Gradually he has completely stopped calling me by my name. It's always Mama now.
I'm just glad that I can fill that role. It's not always easy. There are challenges. But it gets better all the time, and this recent change confirms that.
One more change you may notice - after this post, I won't be referring to him, here or elsewhere, as my stepson. I usually do, mostly for clarification; sometimes with the blended family situation, it's hard to remember who belongs to who. But from now on, he'll be called our youngest son.
Because at this point, it's time to "step" out.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
but of respect and joy in each other's life.
- Richard Bach

Andrew & John, 2009


Tara R. said...

Yeah, this made me cry... good cry. Andrew is so lucky to have you in his life to love him unconditionally like any mom should.

B said...

Nice to make me cry first thing in the morning! Go give that guy a hug and big squeeze.

mommaof4wife2r said...

sad. it's all just very sad. and i'm a little angry too...is that ok?

Working Mommy said...

I can only imagine how difficult your family dynamics must have been in the past, but it looks like things are coming around. It is always nice when things come together like that!!


Just Breathe said...

What a beautiful post. You have me in tears. I pray that he appreciates all that you do for him.

Unknown Mami said...

I'm glad he has you and I'm so sorry his mother has been so flaky.

Aunt of 14 said...

He has his Dad's smile!! I love it. Thank God for you! :)

Heather said...

I wish all stepmothers got this, understood that a child needs to have a "mother" figure in their life, someone who can take on the role, no matter how hard it can be.

You are awesome, girlie!

Susan said...

He is so lucky to have you. I too had a mom who was worthless. I can so relate to what you write here!

shortmama said...

Thank God for women like you that can step up and be a true mother.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

This was a precious post. And I love that quote at the end. Lovely!

KK said...

And you are a hero without even knowing it I bet. How precious.

Melani said...

I am a mother of 4 and a step-mom to 1...it is hard to fill the role when you have step-children. God has blessed you with a gift. My daughter (age 14) calls her step-father, Dad all the time, has for years now, I cannot remember when she last called him by his first name, oh yeah she does that when she is mad at him! LOL

Twisted Fencepost said...

Sweet post!
Parenthood is not only about giving birth. That is only the beginning.
I have step-grandaughters, and like you, have began calling them my granddaughters. Not everyone has to know the details. They are granddaughters regardless. Just as he is your son.

pixielation said...

Some parents don't deserve the title. And all kids deserve a loving home.

Blood doesn't mean a thing - what counts is love and it sounds like you've got it in spades. He calls you mama - he's your son. He's your family.

This was a wonderful thing to read.