Step-parents, half-brothers and step-siblings can be the makings of a very complicated family life. I would know. I have step-sisters, half-siblings and uncles who are younger than me. I grew up with and still have all the complicated family-drama scenarios like who is the “real” grandma and I hated feeling guilty for calling my step-father “dad.”
So when I choose to get married and become a step-mom, I refused see the kids as “step” or half or anything that would be less than loving them fully as my own. It was a decision I did not take lightly. But I knew I couldn’t expect the same from them (to do so would be unfair). God showed me that our new family would be grafted together, just like we were grafted into His family. Although the branches are separate, they fuse together over time as if they were never different pieces.
Jesus was the branch we were grafted into and now, God the Father doesn’t see any difference between us and His beloved Jesus. Therefore, I proudly introduce my new kids as my son and daughter, just like the Father introduces me as His beloved child.
To my delight, the kids made a choice to start calling me “mom” on their own… (until they get unhappy with my parenting choices, then they start referring to me by name). They make me laugh because I know the covenant I made before God, to love them as my own, will eventually win us all over.