natalie brenner

‘I can’t introduce you to my kids until I know. They’ll attach to you, and I can’t break their hearts.’: Girlfriend nervous it’s ‘too soon’ to meet boyfriend’s kids, feels anxious to not ‘replace’ mom

“While I waited, my mind raced. Did their mom know I was spending the weekend with them? Do I hug them? I was suddenly anxious. I heard the door open. ‘Natalie,’ Kevin called, ‘Come up here.’ I breathed in deeply and felt jitters. I wanted these boys to not feel awkward. I knew I wasn’t their mom, and I would never think I’m replacing her.”

‘I choked out, ‘So, their dad and I are no longer living together.’ 8 months into fostering two of the girls, and 2 months after saying ‘yes!’ to adopting, my children’s father and I separated.’

“We had 5 kids and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. Our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies. I was secretly dying inside. It was silent, painful. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.”

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