Guest Post by Jenny Lorton – I’m excited to introduce Jenny as the guest blogger again today. She has become a regular and I’m thankful for her willingness to share these stories. Today, Jenny gives her perspective on being a step-parent and the difficulties that come with it. She explains that building relationships aren’t always easy, but they’re worth it. God bless you, Jenny. Thank you!
“Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Children are a blessing from The Lord.
I’ve always believed that, even when you inherit the child at age 16 through a second marriage. Especially a girl. Named Amy. You see, that’s what I always wanted. A little girl. And I was going to name her Amy. But life didn’t work out quite that way.
After almost 7 years of marriage, I was finally pregnant (read more here). And my husband and I were being transferred to Subic Bay, Philippines. I actually found out that I was pregnant the same day the movers showed up to our San Diego, California, apartment. I had a miscarriage after only a month in the Philippines and then was divorced a couple of years later.
I always knew that God has an ultimate plan for my life, but I never imagined that it would include a teenage “child” instead of the baby I always wanted. Fast forward to 1988, when I finally met my daughter, Amy. De ja vu. She was a very precocious teenager, with her first car, who had lived with her dad ever since she was a toddler. Then in comes another woman. Me. Her dad and I started dating in 1987 after I moved from Sacramento, CA, to Dayton, OH, for work with the Air Force.
To say I was an intrusion into her much pampered life would be an understatement. For the next couple of years, she tried everything in her arsenal of “He’s my Dad” to break us up. Life was tense and we had many not so friendly “get-togethers”. When she finally graduated from High School, her dad and I thought she would finally settle down a little, go to college (even though it was a two-year school and not her college of choice), and get a part time job to help with her expenses. On and off this went for a year or so. We finally had to give her an ultimatum – either get a job, her own apartment, and go to night school…or join the military. After much conversation and consideration, she decided to join the Air Force.
So here we were in 1991, planning her final Christmas at home before saying goodbye to her and sending her off to boot camp. This was to be her first official time away from home and the beginning of her new life on her own. I wanted to make it special.
It’s not easy to buy for a kid who had been doted upon by her father, his mother, and the rest of the family, as she was the oldest grandchild. Her dad was the youngest of four brothers and he had Amy when he was still a child, basically. But he was committed to raise her as best as he knew how.
So I tried my best to remember everything Amy said she wanted throughout the year…special pajamas, tennis shoes, clothes. And even though we didn’t have a lot of money (we basically lived from paycheck to paycheck), I was determined that her Christmas would be special.
On Christmas morning, when she finally woke up (you know teenagers – they always want to sleep!), she came into the living room and sat on the carpet right next to the Christmas tree. Amy was one tough cookie. It took a lot to make her cry – the loss of her grandmother in 1988, needles, boyfriends. But when she started opening one gift after another, and getting more emotional after each one, even I had tears in my eyes.
She finally opened the last one, a Precious Moments girl in a uniform, and the tears started to fall. I had finally got through to this beautiful, wonderful daughter of mine. And God filled the hole in my heart that was empty for wanting a child.
This is my Christmas to remember. Even though I’ve had great Christmases since then, 1988 will always be special. It’s the Christmas I finally knew I had a “child”, not just a “step”.
Jenny is a retired civilian finance manager from the Air Force where she worked for 24 years. She resides in Warner Robins, Georgia with her husband and 3 dogs. In her spare time, Jenny is an artist and avid crafter. She enjoys helping and sharing the bible the others. A life-long dream has always been to write.