Stepparents Who Have Really Stepped It Up For Their Stepchildren

It isn’t easy being a stepparent. First, you have to win over the kids. Then you have to win over their biological parents (and they may never come around). But there are many stepparents who have become very important members of the family. Their love and dedication is irreplaceable. Check out some heartwarming stories about stepmoms and stepdads…

Kevin & Madeleine

Kevin & Madeleine

Elizabeth Hatline started dating Kevin in the fall of 2015. She immediately knew after their first date that they were meant to be and that her life had changed forever. The problem was that Kevin lived in Texas, while Elizabeth and her daughter Madeleine lived in Michigan. The couple had a long-distance relationship for six months, and somehow made it work. They wrote letters to each other and used Facetime. Kevin made sure he got to know Madeleine. He always made an effort talk to her and to get to know about her life. He also sent her gifts in the mail.

Teddy Bear Tea Parties & Dance Recitals

Teddy Bear Tea Parties & Dance Recitals

In the spring of 2016, Kevin relocated to Michigan to live with Elizabeth and her daughter. He immediately embraced the role of a stepfather. He and Madeleine had teddy bear tea parties together. Kevin enjoyed reading books to Madeleine and changed his voice for each character. Kevin thoroughly jumped into the role of a father figure. He took Madeleine to soccer games, dance recitals and girl scout troop meetings. He taught her how to swim. Together, they rescued a pair of kittens that Madeleine lovingly named Mac and Cheese. Kevin also spent five days with her at Disney World.

A Match Made In Heaven

A Match Made In Heaven

Kevin proposed to Elizabeth in Boston at the Public Garden, and he also asked Madeleine if he could be her forever “daddy.” He got down on one knee for Madeleine when he made the proposal. She was so excited that she told everyone about “her wedding” and that she was the flower girl. At the nuptials, Kevin said his vows to Elizabeth and his vows to Madeleine. He told her he was going to be the best dad ever and gave her a special necklace that read, “I may not have given you life but life has given me you.”

Loving Stepmom Gisele Bündchen

Loving Stepmom Gisele Bündchen

Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen had been dating NFL quarterback Tom Brady for less than three months when the couple learned that Tom’s ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, was pregnant. While many women would have been discouraged by the revelation, Gisele embraced it. She explained in a 2009 interview with Vanity Fair: “He’s a little angel—the sweetest, most cuddly, loving baby. I feel blessed to have him in my life.” She added, “I want him to have a great relationship with his mom, because that’s important, but I love him the same way as if he were mine. I already feel like he’s my son, from the first day.” Gisele later had two children with Tom.

A Little Boy’s Dream Comes True

A Little Boy’s Dream Comes True

In 2016, a woman named Janelle Rice shared a video on Facebook of her son Landon, 11, opening a very special Christmas gift–his adoption certificate. The touching video went viral. According to Janelle, her son really wanted to be adopted by her her husband Daniel and to have his last name changed to Rice. She told Mashable: “At his fifth grade graduation in May, he was called up to the stage to get his ‘diploma’ and he told his teachers he wanted to go by Landon Rice (rather than his birth last name) — that’s when we knew we had to begin.”

“Extra Dad” Matt Damon

“Extra Dad” Matt Damon

Actor Matt Damon has four daughters: Stella, Gia, Isabella, and Alexia, who is his wife Luciana’s daughter from a previous marriage. During a 2011 interview with Parade magazine, he described the enormous love he felt for his children, including his stepdaughter. He explained, “I jumped into the deep end with Lucy. I mean, Alexia was already four. I was an extra dad…The only way I can describe it – it sounds stupid, but – at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you know how his heart grows, like, five times its size? Everything is full; it’s just full all the time.”

A Dream Wedding With Two Dads

A Dream Wedding With Two Dads

In 2015, a woman named Brittany Peck was getting ready for one of the most important days of her life–her wedding day. She didn’t expect the event to make headlines and go viral, but it did. As she was walking down the aisle, a photographer captured her father reached out to her stepfather and asking him to join them as they walked down the aisle together. Peck told the New York Times: “I was behind the tree, and it was actually hard for me to see. But I heard. I heard people sobbing. Everyone was crying.” The family had been through a lot, including custody battles, so the gesture was particularly emotional.

“Dad Two” Jeff Probst

“Dad Two” Jeff Probst

Survivor host Jeff Probst married actor Mark-Paul Gosselar’s ex-wife, Lisa Ann Russell, in 2011. He instantly became the stepfather of two children. He told Larry King in 2012: “I always thought I would have this family and this great family unit, because that’s what I came from. And then one day I met this woman, and it happened.” He added that the kids consider him a father figure: “Y’know when it locked in? When we were together before we got married, they were playing with it. Sometimes it would be dad, sometimes it would be Jeff, Dad Two, sometimes it’d be D-2.”

Stepmom’s Wedding Vows Overwhelm Four-Year-Old Boy

Stepmom’s Wedding Vows Overwhelm Four-Year-Old Boy

In July 2017, two members of the U.S. Air Force tied the knot, and the groom’s son, Gage, four, became overwhelmed by emotion when his stepmom, Emily Leehan, recited separate vows to the young boy. While she was reading the vows, Gage started crying and embraced her and his dad. Leehan said in part, “I may not have given you the gift of life, but life surely gave me the gift of you.” She talked about how special, smart and handsome Gage was and how he helped make her into the woman she is today. The video of the little boy went viral.

Brad Pitt Stepped It Up Early On

Brad Pitt Stepped It Up Early On

Even before Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got married, the actor petitioned a court to officially adopt her two children, Zahara and Maddox, in 2005. The children started calling Pitt “daddy” not long after the pair started dating, and the actor wanted them to share his last name. The following year, the couple had their first biological child together, Shiloh. The A-list couple later had twins and then adopted one more child together. The couple has since split up, but Jolie admitted in February 2017 during an interview on Good Morning America that the star is a “wonderful” father to their six kids.

A Blended Family That Makes It Work

A Blended Family That Makes It Work

In April 2017, a woman named Emilee Player posted a photo on Facebook of her four-year-old stepdaughter Maelyn alongside her biological parents and stepparents on a soccer field in Georgia. Player captioned the picture: “Because of us, I will never believe co-parenting can’t work! I KNOW through experience it CAN WORK! Choose to do what’s best for your child and everything will just fall into place.” The family was wearing custom-made t-shirts with Step Mom, Daddy, Mommy and Step Dad written on them. Maelyn’s mother, Clara Cazeau, created them for the group and told WSB-TV Atlanta that the blended family takes similar photos every holiday.

Kurt Russell Showed Up For Every Event

Kurt Russell Showed Up For Every Event

Actress Kate Hudson’s biological father is Bill Hudson, who divorced her mother Goldie Hawn when she was a toddler. Kate has always considered actor Kurt Russell as her father. She wrote on Instagram in 2015: “This is a man who made his family his number one priority his whole life. Never missed a school play, a soccer game, a hockey game, a dance recital and the list goes on and on. No matter what he was doing in his busy life, he always showed up. Not because he had to but because there was no other place on earth he would rather be then with his family.”

Bio Mom Is “Super Thankful” For Stepmom

Bio Mom Is “Super Thankful” For Stepmom

Audrey Nicole of Virginia wrote a Facebook post about her ex-fiancé’s new girlfriend that went viral. She extolled the virtues of her daughter’s stepmom, writing: “This is my daughters fathers gf. The sweetest thing ever! I’m super thankful for her because when she visits her dad she feeds her, takes care of her, buys her gifts, and basically takes care of her like her own. Why do all these moms act so spiteful and jealous towards the other women?? NOONE said it was easy trying to be a mother to a kid you didn’t have. So when there is someone trying don’t push them away!”

Stepdad Cries During Adoption Proposal

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When Brandon Williamson started dating Porsche Williamson, her son Kalani Watson was two years old. Brandon told Inside Edition in May 2017, “We would talk for hours. I knew Kalani was very important to her. So if I loved her, I had to love him too.” The couple wed in 2010, and Williamson said vows to Kalani as well. When Kalani turned 10, he asked his stepdad to adopt him, making Williamson cry. “I’ve been there for everything, practically,” Williamson explained. “Him recognizing that, and wanting to have my last name, it meant the world to me.”

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

A woman named Candice Curry wanted to hate her daughter’s beautiful stepmom but wound up appreciating the “young, sweet woman.” She wrote on her blog: “I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you….You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us. You’ve included our daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.”

Making Good On A Promise

Making Good On A Promise

A woman named Kati talked about her incredible relationship with her stepdad in a video on Upworthy. He wrote her a letter, saying: “Kati, what a gift you have been to my life. I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on you. You seemed to have a love of life that few little girls had. As your mother and I fell in love, it was easy for me to fall in love with you too.” Kati said, “He just stepped up. He knew I needed a strong father role and he just did it. But at the same time he just wanted to love and treat me as his own.”

Working Together For The Kids

Working Together For The Kids

The Real Housewives Of Orange County star Meghan King Edmonds has four stepchildren. She opened up about the death of the mother of two of them, LeAnn Huntley Edmonds-Horton, in 2015. She wrote on her blog: “I will never replace LeAnn and nor will I ever try but I hope that I can take her example and love her girls with even an ounce of the love she exhibited. I am truly blessed to have had LeAnn in my life and she lives on in my beautiful stepdaughters.” She added, “For LeAnn to embrace me as she did is a true testament to her character and her willingness to work together for the sake of her children”

A Stepdad Who Treats His Kids Like His Own

A Stepdad Who Treats His Kids Like His Own

A woman named Robin had very young sons when she met Chris (a newborn and a toddler). She wrote on her blog: “I knew immediately that he was the one. From the very first time he met them, he treated my boys like they were his own. Being a step parent is definitely not easy, but for someone to come in and treat kids the way that Chris treats mine is a rare thing. He is the most amazing stepdad I could ever have hoped for.” Chris taught them to swim, how to wisely handle money, and how to do things boys need to learn.

God Gave Tyler, 11, A Daddy

God Gave Tyler, 11, A Daddy

In July 2017, an 11-year-old boy named Tyler surprised his stepdad, Don Gause, by asking him to adopt him. At first, Don thought someone in the family was having a baby. Tyler’s mother, Marcia Gause, told the Daily Mail: “Tyler was one and a half when Don came into his life, they have always had the relationship of father and son. Don had no idea what was going on – we wanted to do it as if it was a baby shower because he always says I wish I could have been there when you had my son…[Tyler] is very wise for such a young person and has said before that God sent him the Daddy that was really meant for him.”

Unwavering Bond

Unwavering Bond

When a woman named Susan was a little girl, her mother introduced her and her sister to her boyfriend (who would later become her stepfather). Susan was very skeptical of the man, and she needed to be convinced that he would stick around and take care of her family. They lived on a farm, and he would make sure she got the bus to volleyball practice. He attended nearly every game, concert, and play. He put her to work on their farm and taught her to drive. He helped Susan get through a divorce and has an “unwavering” bond with his granddaughter, even though they are not biologically related. Susan says he is not her “step-father,” he is her “dad.”

The Happiest Family On Earth

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When Joseph Hawkey and Tiffany Bankert split up in 2009, they needed to maintain a relationship for the sake of their daughter Maddie. Even though they each re-married, they had secret plans to let Maddie know that everyone was still there for her. So, when Maddie was seven, she got the surprise of her life when her dad and stepmom took her to Disneyworld. However, that wasn’t the only surprise, because when she got there she was greeted by her mother and her stepfather. The blended family shared a great day together and showed Maddie that she didn’t have to choose sides whatsoever.

A Pleasant Surprise

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Kristen is the stepmom of four children-Jordan, Riley, Jacob Jr., and Cayden. One day, she took the four of them to the Discovery Kingdom in Six Flags where they were expected to watch a VIP sealion show. However, Kristen was in on a big secret. The kids hadn’t seen their father in over 8-months because he was a member of the United States Airforce in Kuwait. So the two parents planned a special reunion. Partway through the show, the father came out on stage and surprised the kids, bringing them all to tears. Way to go Kristen!

Best Birthday Ever

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A little girl named Hailey was celebrating her birthday when she was led by her stepmother into the center of the yard. It was here that her stepmom, Bridgett got on her knees and gave her birthday gifts. First, she received a stuffed animal and some balloons until finally, she gave her a necklace which reads, “My daughter holds my heart.” Bridgett then gave Hailey her birth certificate, which on the back were the official adoption papers from Bridget to adopt Hailey and become her real mother.

“We Just Love Our Daughter”

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Hayley Booth had gone through a divorce with her husband. However, they still had a young daughter together that was relying on their cooperation to hold the family together. So, when the two got remarried, the couple knew that it was crucial to the new spouses into their family. So, on her daughter’s first day of school, the two women walk the child in together. She posted an image on Facebook with the caption,” Often times I have people ask me ho my ex, his wife, my husband and I co-parent so flawlessly. my answer is always the same-We just love our daughter. Seriously, it’s just that simple.”

His Dying Wish

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Stacey Estel and the man who raised him, Chuck made it clear that they wanted to legalize Stacey’s adoption. They said they had talked about it over nine years but for some reason, the conversation just died off. However, when Chuck became terminally ill with pancreatic cancer the two men knew what needed to be done. So, the father and son got all of the paperwork ready but Chuck got too sick to attend court. However, his last wish was to adopt his stepson, and the entire community worked together to make sure that his dying wish came true. In the end, Chuck adopted Stacey and his dying wish came true.

Showing Respect Where Respect is Due

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In 2015, Brittany Bachman married her longtime boyfriend Jeremy Peck in Ohio. Although this day was supposed to be unforgettable, the unexpected happened. While her father Todd was walking her down the aisle, he stopped and decided to show that her stepfather who was also named Todd what a great stepfather he had been. he went up to Todd, leaving Brittan alone on the aisle and returned with her stepfather where they walked her down the aisle together. The stepfather told USA Today that it was the most important thing that had ever happened to him in his life. This is a sign that he did the most as a stepfather to earn this honor.

Stepfather Cries Tears of Joy

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Lindsey Collin’s stepdad came into her life when she was already nine years old, yet he took on the challenge without hesitation. Although it took them a while to get close, they both eventually broke down and became close companions. They even discussed the notion of adoption for two years, but nothing ever was set into motion. However, one day, Lindsey gave her stepdad the ultimate surprise. She went ahead and got the adoption papers all ready for him. All he had to do was sign it. This brought him into full-on tears and he became her father.

A New Favorite Ornament

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Marissa Thermann, a 17-year-old from Ohio showed her stepmother Heather Thermann how much she appreciated her and loved her just in time for the holiday season. Marissa went out of her way to get her stepmother a homemade ornament as a gift on Christmas. But that’s not all. On the back of the ornament, there is a writing which asks, “Will you adopt me?” Heather broke down in tears as Marissa showed her the already prepared documents for her to sign to make it official.

Ryan’s Big Supportive Family

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Although they tried, Ryan’s parents eventually split up. However, they were not going to let this cause a rift in either of their relationships with their little boy. Even though they were separated and had both remarried, they still came together as one big family to support their son Ryan. On one occasion, all four parents went to his baseball game wearing special shirts, impressing everyone in the crowd. On Facebook, Ryan’s biological mother writes that they all participate in school functions, sports, and other activities and that they each get him for half a week. Now that’s co-parenting done right!

A Christmas Miracle

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15-year-old Cheyenne Hughes was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called familial adenomatous polyposis, leading her to suffer from brain tumors. She was scheduled to undergo another surgery, however, this one was high-risk with a slim chance of survival. She was sad that she was going to miss Christmas so her stepmother and the rest of the family decided to bring Christmas to her. The Saturday before her operation, her stepmom helped to decorate the entire house into a winter wonderland. She noted that it was the best Christmas she could have asked for.