"I Didn't Want to Like Her": The Prompting That Helped Me Connect with My Stepkids' Mom

What beautiful and heart-warming insights about how we can love each other and seek God's guidance, even when our family life doesn't turn out how we imagined.

About three years ago, I asked for a priesthood blessing of comfort during a difficult time. Though I was fully expecting the Lord to speak words of affirmation (which He did), I was not expecting what came next. I was distinctly told by the Spirit that the comfort I sought could be found in building a relationship with someone I desperately did NOT want to know—my stepchildren’s biological mother.

This?!? This was the road to comfort and peace? I mean, my husband’s ex-wife Nikki was great… at a comfortable distance where I could sort of pretend she didn’t exist.

Let me explain. Some other people in my position might tell you that they never imagined they would end up as a stepparent and that it was never part of their plan. But not me. I truly believe that I was divinely prepared to take on this type of mothering. At a young age, I became obsessed with the idea of adoption and always seemed to visualize my future with 10 babies who looked nothing like me or my husband, Brad Pitt. I was single well into my 30s and often dated men who had children from previous relationships. I found it easy to fall in love with children I hadn’t born myself and never felt squeamish at the idea of an insta-family. My long time obsession with adoption seemed especially merciful when I had a few health issues later in life that curtailed the possibility of bearing children of my own. As compensation, I feel like Heavenly Father made it easy for me to imagine my life as a stepmom. When I met and fell in love with my husband, a huge part of our romance and future revolved around his amazing kids who were 6 and 8 when we got married. Loving our little insta-family fiercely was the easy part.

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