When I met Adrian, it was clear we had similar "baggage". We both came from a not-so-amicable divorce, we both had children from that previous marriage, and we both were never going to get married again. (Ya see how that worked out, don't ya?)
These days, we live in a society of blended families. It's the norm, really. People never used to be as surprised to hear an older, married couple say they were celebrating their 25th, 40th, or 50th wedding anniversary. Nowadays, it's astonishing just to hear if someone hasn't been divorced at least once. And yep - I'm part of that society.
After we started seeing each other on a serious level (sounds so mature, doesn't it?), we knew that we weren't just seeing each other, but also each other's children. Then, when we got married, we knew we weren't just marrying each other, but becoming part of the parental units the children would share. I am a person of faith, and I can tell you that the moment I accepted Adrian's proposal, I prayed he would be an example of a man that would buy the truth and not sell it; gain wisdom, instruction, and understanding, and then deliver it to our children. I prayed with all my might he would put aside all judgment and generously share with the children his unconditional love he had for me, and that he would have a "Joseph-spirit", (Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, who, in my opinion was the greatest step-father who ever lived).
I prayed he would be the perfect father, and that together we would be the perfect parents.
Though at the present time I am the richest woman in the world, it has not come without its trials, pitfalls, difficulties, and snags. The process has been less-than-perfect. There have been disagreements, arguments, knock-down-drag-outs, and moments we are less-than-proud of. We have seen illness, death, valleys, and psychiatrists. We have had seasons where we gained friends and family, but also lost friends and family. We have shared in drama, defeat, lost savings; had powerful, emotional lows, and scraped the bottom of life's barrel. And we did it all together.
Don't get me wrong, we have all - Adrian, me, AND the kids - worked at it with all our hearts, and the price of the success we share as a family unit came through that hard work and dedication. Because with all of those things, we have also seen grace, mercy, compassion, and triumph over illness. We have been taught endurance, grown in faith, strength, and perseverance, and learned to trust. We have celebrated the peaks, marriages, each other, life, and love. And we did it all together.
We have a beautiful family, and we are protective of that. We live a charmed life, always enjoying the things that most people don't see right in front of them, and we are joyful and thankful for that. But if it was all taken away from us tomorrow, we would remember that life is a big canvas and we threw all the paint on it we could; we would remember that we made the decision to be a family and commit ourselves to making it a success; we would remember that without the valleys there would be no peaks. We would remember that we were given the gift of being like a unique wine - the gift of being intricately perfected and blended.