Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our History

Our family is a very unique combination of personalities that has been beatifully melded together by trial, error, and love!

My name is James, and I have the privilege of being the husband to Jill, and Dad to the children. Jill and I were married nearly five years ago, and collectively we had three children by prior marriage(s). She had Andrew (14), and Hannah (11), and I had Maddie (8). When our families merged, the children were much younger, which is a distinct advantage to making blended families cohesive.

We welcomed the birth of our new son, Nathanael back in 2007. So our home has four uniquely independent individuals who often (substitute: occassionally - infrequently - rarely - never!) function together to create a dynamic family atmosphere.

Andrew is an incredibly kind-hearted young man who is well-liked by all. He can fit in with nearly everyone, and has a 'pleaser' mentality. Because he's not known to 'rock the boat,' his struggle is being influenced negatively by those who do not share his core beliefs.

Hannah is a very tender soul who has great compassion for others. Although she's only eleven, she's quite the dramatic actress! She has the gift of leadership, and accordingly her struggle is to use that gift to influence in a positive way.

Maddie is a wonderfully clever and witty little spit-fire who is creative and committed to hard work. She understands sarcastic humor (which I find hilarious), however she has such a knack for it that she's learned to dish it as well (many of her school mates are not amused by this)! Her struggle is with control, and understanding your best effort is better than perfection.

Nate is nearly a year and a half old now. He's a cuddle-bug that we all love dearly. He's not crawling yet (sooo close), but we're fine with it. He's got trisomy-21 (a/k/a Down syndrome), so his biggest struggle will be being accepted for who he is (without apology, entitlement, or excuse) and knowing God made him EXACTLY the way he is.

We are a Christian family, and although I am not going to use this forum to preach, it is important to note; as our core beliefs, principles, and methods reflect the Biblical model for families.

We are like many young families today, running to and fro with too many commitments and not enough time. We function as a family unit daily, yet not every part of our family is always present. Meaning, every other weekend the three older children are gone, so it's Dad, Mom & Nate. Regardless of who's home or who's gone, we are working to instill a sense of stability (a real challenge for blended families) and consitency so our children know that whenever they walk through the front door they are welcomed with unconditional love and affection.

I'll save some of the logistics of how we do what we do for another time. Trust me, it's a work in progress. By no means am I here to suggest that we have all (or even any) of the answers. My hope is that this forum will shed some light to those who know blended families, and offer hope and encouragement to families like ours that are fused!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Meaning & Purpose

Hello, and welcome to 'Family Fused!'

We surveyed 100 people, and the top 5 answers are on this blog!

Do you recognize that phrase (substitute 'board' for 'blog')? It is from my favorite game show, "Family Feud!"

Family Fused, however is about living as a family fused together - a blended family. I came to 'fused' after checking "blended families," "mixed families," and "combined families," all of which are unavailable. So I had to get creative and find another word for 'blended.' After a long time of blank nothingness (cue angelic choir), fused popped in to my head. A quick check on confirmed it to be the right word:


–verb (used with object)
2. to combine or blend by melting together; melt.
3. to unite or blend into a whole, as if by melting together: The author skillfully fuses these fragments into a cohesive whole.
–verb (used without object)

5. to become united or blended: The two groups fused to create one strong union.

And, as final confirmation that this in fact was the RIGHT word
to describe blended families, here's the clincher:

7. blow a fuse, Informal. to lose one's temper; become enraged: If I'm late again, they'll blow a fuse.

So now that the meaning of the blog is clear, here's the purpose: to share our victories & defeats, trials & lessons, tips & topics, and other relevant, helpful, encouraging, honest, authentic, and inspirational subject matter - all on the unique challenges and opportunities facing blended families today.

Now who's ready to play, "Family Fused?!!"