My parents divorced when I was in second grade. It was a long time ago, and to be honest, a lot of that season is kind of blurry when I look back on it now.

But what I do remember in detail is the first time I met each my stepmom and stepdad—and the (sometimes rocky) journey it was building a relationship with both of them.

When a stranger bravely steps into a family with hopes of becoming part of it, there are a LOT of feelings to be had by all.

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Disney’s holiday advertisement “The Stepdad” (which is really more of a mini-movie) hits the nail on the head as it shows one man’s rollercoaster to becoming a family man when he moves in with his significant other and her two kids just in time for the holidays. We see both the joy and the tears as he tries, fails, and tries again to find his place and create memories with his new family. 

As someone who was a kid in an equation not too different some 20 years ago, I can relate entirely—and I would guess most stepparents who watch this are nodding their heads in solidarity, too.

See for yourself here (and maybe grab a tissue or two): 

“The Stepdad” was this year’s installment of Disney’s “From Our Family to Yours” Christmas Campaign, in which they partner with Make-A-Wish to grant life-changing wishes for kids with serious and terminal illnesses.

A beautiful advertisement for a top-notch cause—well done per usual, Disney. 

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And to all the bonus parents out there patiently learning how to love and be loved in your blended family, we see you. We know it isn’t always easy, but your role is so important—and even though you may not see it now, your presence will become one of the biggest blessings to their lives. 

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward